Thursday, September 21, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A CHEAT DAY

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing


Anyone who has tried to lose weight is probably familiar with our three words for today. Many weight loss programs advise a person to have a "cheat day" once a week, so one does not feel deprived.

I think you know where I am going with this...do you have a cheat day in your spiritual life?  Do you take short cuts in the spiritual life? Do you want your reward now? As St. Pio used to say.

How many ways can our human nature try to cheat?

Cheating on a Diet
This cheating seems to be sanctioned and approved by various health professionals and nutritionists.

Cheating on taxes
According to federal statistics, over one and a half million people 
cheat when filing their income taxes.

Cheating in school
Schools are facing a modern-day dilemma: students are using technology to cheat on tests and exams.

Cheating in sports (using enhancement drugs)
Major league sports continually report on athletes who cheat and use illegal drugs to excel in sports.

Cheating at Cards
Casinos have severe penalties for those who are caught cheating through "counting cards" and other various means to beat the "House."

Cheating on Your Spouse
Infidelity and cheating on one's spouse causes marriages to shatter and families to break apart. Many times, healing and forgiveness never takes place.

We can also ask ourselves who are trying to lead a life of virtue, if we have fallen prey to the ways of the world in which there is no sense of sin. No fear of God! No fear of offending the Almighty!

Have we been faithful to our baptismal promises, our vows that we renew each year at the Easter season?  Have we been faithful to the spouse of our soul: Christ the Lord?

One only has to read the daily news to see that we are living in a post Christian era. This drastic situation calls for drastic measures. This world needs saints. This world needs living witnesses of holiness. This world needs a holy multitude of counterculture spiritual activists: people who will take up a life of prayer and proclaim the Living God and encourage others to do the same.

We are living in dark times. Now is the time to stop cheating and taking short cuts in the spiritual life. We have only one life to live and it is short. Let's make a decision each morning to give Jesus permission to control our life. Let's make a decision to be faithful to prayer today.

Let us pray for each other.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS










Saturday, September 9, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Lourdes, France


Your nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole universe. The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, has shone from you, O Theotokos. By annulling the curse he bestowed a blessing. By destroying death he has granted us eternal life (Troparion).

By your nativity, O most pure virgin, Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness; Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you: The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our Life (Kontakion).


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Monday, July 31, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A BLINDING LIGHT

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing-St. Paul Church North Canton, Ohio


Scripture tells us that St. Paul was blind for three days after a light from the sky brought him to his knees as he fell to the ground. The voice of the Lord spoke directly to him, telling him to go into the city. Saul obeyed.

...As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground..."Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?...I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting...(Acts 9:9)

Paul, a military man, who was used to giving orders, was suddenly obeying the voice of Jesus and others around him after this life-changing experience. He was able to trust those around him to lead him into the city. Once in the city, waiting to be told what to do, Saul has a vision: a man coming to him and healing him of his sudden blindness. 

St. Paul's conversion story should make us pause and think of how the Lord became the center of our life. Was our conversion experience as dramatic as Paul's? Or was it a gradual change of heart that led us to follow the Lord? Whether it's the story of St. Paul, or another saint, or a friend or family member, a person's spiritual conversion should leave us amazed and grateful for how the Holy Spirit works to convert the hearts of men.

Sometimes, others around us become that blinding light for us. They speak truthfully and sometimes harshly to us about our sinfulness and lack of virtue. Sometimes, it is the Holy Spirit that sheds the blinding light on us in our time of prayer. He convicts us of sin, encourages us in virtue, or sheds light on Scripture or Church teaching for us. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) speaks of this sometimes painful light as "self-knowledge." It is the gift of the Holy Spirit who shows us who we truly are before the Lord. Hopefully, we respond in humility and not run in fear from the truth and give up on prayer.

The conversion of St. Paul reminds me of the prophet, Elijah. While St. Paul experienced an audible voice of the Lord, a voice that was heard by those around him, Elijah, the man of prayer, heard the voice of the Lord within his heart. For those of us who are seeking the Lord in prayer on a daily basis, we strive to hear His voice in our heart. We look for a word from Him, telling us what we should do, or we wait for a word of encouragement, or an admonition, or His gift of consolation. We are receptive to whatever He wishes to give us in the time of prayer.

We can recall that when we were first converted to the Lord, we needed the help of others to lead us, just as St. Paul needed his men to lead him into the city. Paul needed the wisdom of others to guide him, just as we need confessors and spiritual directors to lead and guide us. Paul was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit!  We who are baptized and confirmed Christians must go forth and evangelize just as Paul did. Sometimes the mission field is in our backyard with family, friends, and coworkers. Let us share the amazing grace of God with others.

"Amazing Grace...I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!"





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY

ST. ELIJAH
PROPHET AND FATHER OF CARMEL
JULY 20

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing-Carmelite Shrine Niagra Falls






The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervade its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal. (From the Carmelite Proper)

Holy Father, St. Elijah, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Saturday, July 15, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

JULY 16

THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

HAPPY FEAST DAY TO ALL CARMELITES!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


NOVENA-DAY 9


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O blessed Finder of Grace, Mother of Life, Mother of Salvation! May we through thee have access to thy Son; and may He, Who was given us through thee, receive us through thee. May thy integrity and innocence excuse before Him the stain of our corruption; may thy abundant charity cover the multitude of our sins, and thy glorious fruitfulness supply our want of merits. Our Mother , our Mediatrix, our Advocate, reconcile us to thy Son, commend us to thy Son, present us to thy son; by the grace with which thou art honored, obtain that He, who through thee put on our weakness, may, through thee, make us partakers of His bliss and glory. Amen.




Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 8

O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O most glorious and ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel, faithful Protectress of all those who wear thy holy Scapular, behold thy poor servant humbly prostrate at thy feet, deploring his misery and imploring thy prayers, and beseeching thee to protect him through the stormy ocean of this tempestuous world; hear my prayers then, O refuge of sinners, and after this our exile show unto us the Blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O most clement, O most loving, O most sweet Virgin Mary!


Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS


Friday, July 14, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio



DAY 7

O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O most Holy Mary of Mt. Carmel, pray for me, I beseech thee, that through the merits of thy Son, I may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and that I may serve Him faithfully in this life, and hereafter see, love, and enjoy Him in the kingdom of His glory. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, One God, world without end. Amen.


Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, July 13, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 6


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O Mot Glorious and ever Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel, I offer unto thee this day, all my thoughts, words and actions: I am weak and infirm, dejected and cast down at every tribulation, and terrified at the dismal prospect a review of my own interior gives me. All is misery, a continual propensity to vice, and repugnance to virtue. O Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners, thou wilt not reject a contrite and humble heart. Intercede for me, I beseech thee, that I may so live in this sinful world, that at the hour of death I may be worthy to be admitted into the Regions of Bliss. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, One God, world without end. Amen.



Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LAD OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16


Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio



DAY 5

O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O Most Glorious Virgin Mother, who, by favor of thy Divine Son hast so great power in heaven and on earth, enlighten my blindness and strengthen my resolution. The zeal thou hast in promoting the welfare of thy sacred Order, and the part thou takest in seeing the grace of our Redeemer abound in us, give me a right to thy interest in this my request; and when that awful hour of death approaches, be to me, I beseech thee, a tender Mother, and by thy prayers dispose thy Son Jesus Christ favorably in my regard. Amen.



Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS












Tuesday, July 11, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio



DAY 4


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O Most Glorious and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! I, thy unworthy child and client, sensible of the favors thou enjoyest with God, humbly present myself before thee, and beg that thou wilt intercede and obtain for me true contrition and repentance, and undefiled purity of heart, and a conscience free from sin and all offense against God; direct me, I beseech thee, in all my actions during life, and in that awful moment when my poor soul departs from my body, conduct it into the presence of thy Son, there to sing His praises forever and ever. Amen.


Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS






Monday, July 10, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 3


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

Remember, O most holy Virgin, it is a thing unheard of that thou has ever forsaken those who have recourse to thee. Encouraged with this hope and confidence, my most dear Mother, I, a miserable sinner,cast myself at thy sacred feet, humbly begging that thou wilt adopt me as thy child forever, and take upon thee the care of my eternal salvation: do not, Mother of the Word Incarnate, reject my petition, but graciously hear, and grant it. Amen.



Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.


Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, July 9, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 2

O Glorioius Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, vouchsafe to impart to us, Thy unworthy servants, a small portion of that heavenly grace with which Thou has been pleased to sanctify Thy servant Mary; adn grant that, through her intercession and protection, we may be shilded against all temptations, and be secure from all our enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.


Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS


Friday, July 7, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 1


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Friday, June 30, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing


OUR LADY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

Memorare to Our Lady of the Precious Blood

REMEMBER, O Lady of the Precious Blood, the sorrowful sheddings of the Blood of thy Jesus and the most bitter tears thou didst mingle with His Redeeming Blood. 

In the name of the Blood of the Victim of Reparation and of thy holy tears; in the name of the seven swords which pierced thy heart, by which thou didst become the Mediatrix of all graces for the human race and the Queen of Martyrs, have pity on my soul and on all its miseries; have pity on sinners and on the innocent souls they seek to pervert; have pity on the poor, the sick, the infirm, on all their sufferings, both physical and moral; have pity on the agonizing, especially upon those who, except for thine intercession, would leave this world without being purified in the Blood of the Lamb.

It is by the Blood of thy Dying Son, by His inexpressible Sufferings, by His last plea to His Father in favor of mankind, by His ignominious Death and by the perpetuation of His Sacrifice on Catholic Altars, that I beg thee not to reject my supplications, but graciously to hear them. Amen.






Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Spiritual Direction with St. Teresa of Jesus

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing- Regina Health Center Richfield, Ohio


 In sum, my Sisters, what I conclude with is that we shouldn't build castles in the air. The Lord doesn't look so much at the greatness of our works as at the love with which they are done. And if we do what we can, His Majesty will enable us each day to do more and more, provided that we do not quickly tire. But during the little while this life lasts--and perhaps it will last a shorter time than each one thinks--let us offer the Lord interiorly and exteriorly the sacrifice we can. His Majesty will join it with that which He offered on the cross to the Father for us. Thus even though our works are small they will have the value our love for Him would have merited had they been great.

May it please His Majesty, my Sisters and daughters, that we all reach that place where we may every praise Him. Through the merits of His Son who lives and reign forever and ever, may He give me the grace to carry out something of what I tell you, amen.  
The Interior Castle, Seventh Mansion, Chapter 4, No: 15-16.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Friday, June 9, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Prayer to Our Lady for Religious Vocations 
by Pope St. John Paul II

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing Walsh University Chapel Canton, Ohio



Mary, Mother of the Church, to you we turn. With your "yes" you have opened the door to the presence of Christ in the world, in history and in souls, receiving in humble silence and total submission the appeal of the Most High.

Grant that many men and women may know and hear, even today, the inviting voice of your Son: "Follow me." Stretch out your motherly hand over all missionaries scattered throughout the world, over religious men and women who assist the elderly, the sick, the deficient, the orphans; over those who are engaged in teaching, over the members of secular institutes, the silent leaven of good works; over those who in the cloister live on faith and love and beg for the salvation of the world. Amen.





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Feast of Pentecost





Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine North Jackson, Ohio





Sequence from today's Liturgy:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, May 29, 2017

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine North Jackson, Ohio


NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit- Sixth Hymn of Virtue: Gentleness





Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing- Poor Clare Monastery North Canton, Ohio


Because you are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt compassion, with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

(Please enjoy this post from the archives)

People are given to complimenting each other's clothing, hair and external accessories. That is the way of the world. As Christians, we are striving to weave beautiful and holy garments with the fabric of virtue provided by the Holy Spirit.

St. Paul tells us to clothe ourselves in virtue. This holy attire should be evident for all to see, but as St. Teresa of Avila tells us, people who possess true humility and virtue usually are unaware that they possess these spiritual gifts. The saints spend their entire lives constantly striving to achieve virtue, totally unaware that the virtues they possess is what attracts others to them.


Photo: R. Massaro (c)2017 Spirit Singing  Walsh University Chapel Canton, Ohio

I recently saw a statue of Our Lady and the Infant Jesus. The statue is a representation of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I have only seen icons of Our Lady under this title, never a statue. And it is truly a beautiful statue that is displayed in the chapel of Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. I bring up this point because of Our Lady's garment on this statue. Icons are typically full of symbolism. The gold in the background of icons represents the glorious light of heaven. If you look closely, you will see the gold shining through Our Lady's garment in the photo of this statue. This light symbolizes what Christ said to the apostles and to us, “Let your light shine before men.” Not that they will say how wonderful we are but for others to give glory and praise to God.

The Gospel reading this past Saturday was about Our Lord's Transfiguration. We heard in that Gospel that his clothes became radiant as light. This manifestation was a glimpse of his glory that the apostles were blessed to witness. Jesus, a living icon, displayed his glory amidst the brilliant light of heaven! And then the voice of the Father: "This is my beloved Son, listen to him."

Reflecting on this statement, I can't help to see the similarity between the Father's command and what Our Lady said at the wedding feast at Cana. She stated to the servant, "Do whatever he tells you." In other words, listen to Him. I'm confident she said this with great gentleness and charity.

As Christians, we can ask ourselves, have I displayed the holy attire of gentleness in my dealings with family, friends and co-workers? Or, am I harsh and demanding? St. Therese tells us she (through the Holy Spirit) perfected her physical manner to become gentle in her voice and in the way she looked at others. She desired that her whole being reflect the love that was in her heart.

As Carmelites, we know that we must strive for this holy gem of virtue. Why is gentleness so important? Because the holy garment of gentleness has the light of mercy shining through it! If we, as sinners, want to be treated gently and mercifully by Our Lord, we must treat others in this same manner.

I believe these virtues are angelic qualities we must long for and possess before we are fit for the kingdom of heaven. We know that St. Paul even names one rank of angels as Virtues.

I meditate on the gentleness exhibited by the Archangel Gabriel when he addressed the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation: “Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God.” Wouldn't those be lovely words to hear at our judgment? Let us pray that when the Lord summons us home, Our Lady will be by our side defending us poor sinners before the throne of God. And may we hear those gentle words that were spoken to Our Lady, “Do not fear, little one, you have found favor with God.”

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit-Fifth Hymn of Virtue: Kindness



Photo: R. Massaro (c)2017SpiritSinging



 The Lord's kindness is everlasting
 to those that fear him.” (Psalm 103)


Continuing this series on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, let's take a closer look at the fruit or virtue of kindness.

We might first ask the question, “What is kindness?” When reflecting on this virtue, it seems to get lost somewhere between gentleness and patience, two distinct fruits of the Spirit. According to the definition in the dictionary, kindness describes a person who exhibits love, affection, and a gentle nature. In our spiritual life dictionary, we agree with this definition but also want to take it to a higher level, a level of the Spirit. Kindness is a holy attribute of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Recently, I watched a repeat of EWTN Live with Mother Angelica. Toward the end of the program, there was a caller who seemed to make an impression on Mother Angelica. Although the caller was troubled by something, her voice was gentle and peaceful. Mother Angelica remarked on this, saying something to the effect, “Be very grateful for your gift of gentleness, my dear. Many people work very hard for what seems to come very naturally for you.” We could take her statement and insert any one of the gifts or fruits of the Spirit-we could say, "be very grateful for the gift of patience, be very grateful for the gift of kindness, because many spiritual people desire these gifts." And it is sad to say, but many people never receive these gifts in this life. Why? Attraction to worldly desires and pleasures are stronger than a desire for prayer and self-denial that bring about virtue in the soul.

In St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, she teaches us that the soul in the second mansion is not content with staying there and not because they want to advance. They do not want to advance because they are still attracted to the world and to sin.

This stage pertains to those who have already begun to practice prayer and have understood how important it is not to stay in the first dwelling places. But they still don't have the determination to remain in this second stage without turning back, for they don't avoid the occasions of sin
Interior Castle, II:1

If a person dies in this state, he must be purified in the holy fire of Purgatory. Once God purifies his heart, he receives all the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their full glory, and the soul is prepared for the beatific vision. 

When speaking of spiritual gifts that we do possess, we must be very careful that we do not take credit for any virtue or gift that God has bestowed upon us. We could boast and say we obtained such and such a gift by our own efforts at prayer. We must be careful not to steal the Lord's glory. If we must boast, we must boast in the Lord (I Cor 1:31). Remember, God chooses the weak to shame the strong. We must remain humble in the sight of the Lord.


If we know a person who is kind, they will most likely be gentle and patient and loving as well. The fruits of the Holy Spirit could be likened to inseparable friends. When you see one, you see the other!


Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 SpiritSinging Upper Basilica Lourdes, France

The meeting between Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette has always impressed me. Bernadette was lowly in the eyes of the world. She was poor and uneducated. Yet, Our Lady appeared to her and showed her great kindness, saying to her:  “Would you do me the favor of coming here for fifteen days?” Bernadette said that no one in her life had ever spoken to her with such great kindness. 

May we imitate the beautiful kindness of Our Lady when we deal with others. May we be especially kind to those who are looked at unfavorably by our society. May we offer them the sweet fruit of the Spirit and share with them what the Lord has given to us: His love, mercy, and kindness!



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS