Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tabernacle of the Week

Sacred Heart Parish--Wadsworth, Ohio

And we ask that this Bread be given us daily, so that we who are in Christ and daily receive the Eucharist as the food of salvation, may not, by falling into some more grievous sin and then in abstaining from communicating, be withheld from the heavenly Bread, and be separated from Christ's Body…
St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200-258 A.D.)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles

From the Liturgy of the Hours, excerpt from the writings of St. Augustine:

This day has been made holy by the passion of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. We are, therefore, not talking about some obscure martyrs. For their voice has gone forth to all the world, and to the ends of the earth their message. These martyrs realized what they taught: they pursued justice, they confessed the truth, they died for it.

God our Father,
today you give us the joy
of celebrating the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul.
Through them your Church first received the faith.
Keep us true to their teaching.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday in the "Year for Priests"

Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.
Catechism #1549

Peace be with you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Prayer for Life

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives
are made difficult,
of men and women who are
victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick
killed by indifference of
out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace to accept
that Gospel as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives,
and the courage to bear witness
to it resolutely,
in order to build, together with all
people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life. Amen.

Prayer of Pope John Paul II

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catechism Quote

"You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself"

Catechism #2199

The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it.

This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.

As Secular Carmelites this teaching on the fourth commandment helps us to understand our promise of obedience in light of the commandment. We are to be obedient to the Church through the Order, which includes our Provincial (in our locale-Fr. Grennon) and the Council of our community. This means we abide by the decisions the council has made after discussing matters with the entire community. The council should be given due respect. But as the Catechism states, this presupposes the respect on the part of the other party as well.

We cannot go wrong if we remember to treat everyone as Christ. If we play favorites we have a divided heart. Those with a divided heart are far from the reign of God.

Let us pray for each other.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spiritual Life Dictionary

Feast of St. John the Baptist
He must increase and I must decrease

A moral virtue prompting in it's possessor an appreciation and external expression of his true position with respect to God and his neighbor. As pride devastates the Christian character, so humility builds it up.
Virtue does not require that a man should depreciate his ability against his knowledge, for St. Thomas says, " that a person should recognize and appreciate his own good qualities is no sin."
Source: Catholic Dictionary

St. John the Baptist is an exquisite example of humility. As Secular Carmelites we must pray for docility of spirit, a by-product of humility, in order to be formed in holiness that we may obtain purity of heart.

Scripture tells us that only the pure of heart shall see God. We know that St. John the Baptist had a pure heart, a heart holy and pure that caused him to exclaim "Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."

May the Holy Spirit form in us a pure and holy heart, that we may see God in all the circumstances of our life, and at last come to that holy vision where with the Blessed we shall see him face-to-face.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, June 22, 2009

Three Words of Wisdom: Staying On Track

There is an old saying by farmers about corn crops: "Knee high by the Fourth of July."

This refers to the observation that one's corn crop is on track to reap a good harvest.

This saying by farmers is a good metaphor for the spiritual life as well. We could ask ourselves if we are on track, so to speak, in our spiritual life and ready for the Harvest Master when he calls.

How do we measure if we are on track? With the only device that Christians possess: the ruler of love.

We can ask ourselves if we are producing good fruit from our prayer life and responding charitably in situations that try us. Sometimes, Secular Carmelites get caught up in the question: What mansion am I in (referring to St. Teresa's Interior Castle)? St. Therese wrote that she did not care about what mansion she was in, because she measured everything by love. In one of her famous poems, Living on Love, she writes:

Living on Love is sailing unceasingly,
Sowing peace and joy in every heart,
Beloved Pilot, Charity impels me,
For I see you in my sister souls.
Charity is my only star.
In its brightness I sail straight ahead.
I've my motto written on my sail:
"Living on Love."

In the above line we see that she treated her sisters as if they were Christ. This is another device we can use to measure our charity. Do we treat everyone the same? Do we play favorites? The Lord teaches us that sinners love those who love them. Do we make a sincere effort to love those who are difficult to love?

You don't have to be a Secular Carmelite to know that St. Therese's life of simplicity and confidence and trust in God was more than a mere motto of "Living on Love." The Holy Spirit-The Spirit of Love, filled her soul to the brim and overflowing with the great gift of charity that we all seek in our desire for holiness. The good news is that her "Little Way" is accessible to all, for all are called to holiness. As St. Teresa teaches us we don't have to think much, but to love much. This is all that is required of us.

As St. Paul says, "Do everything with love."

St. Therese, Doctor of Love, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and tender Mother of all people, I consecrate myself to you and to your Immaculate Heart, and recommend to you my family, my country, and the whole human race.

Please accept my consecration, dearest Mother, and use me as you wish, to accomplish your designs upon the world.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, rule over me, and teach me how to allow the heart of Jesus to rule and triumph in me and around me, as it has ruled and triumphed in you. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Carmelite Quote

St. Theresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Yes, my God, You know well that no other longing have I than to be a victim of Your Sacred Heart, entirely consumed as a Holocaust in the furnace of Your holy love.

Your Heart shall be the altar of this my consummation in You, O my God; and you shall be the priest Who shall immolate this victim in the furnace of Your holy love.

Therefore, O my God, inspire me to make myself in everything like to you, in as far as I can; particularly do I desire to imitate you in those virtues most pleasing to your most amiable Heart, that is humility, gentleness, obedience.

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by my ingratitude, pierced by my sins, yet loving me still--accept the consecration that I make to You of all that I am and all that I have. Take every faculty of my soul and body. Draw me, day by day, nearer and nearer to your Sacred Heart, and there, as I can bear the lesson, teach me Your blessed ways. Amen.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is Friday, June 19, 2009. The beginning of the "Year For Priests" proclaimed by His Holiness, Benedict XVI.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule

Article #12

It is the mission of the Secular Carmelites, called as they are to a life both contemplative and apostolic, to carry into the world the distinctive witness of Carmel: "The Lord of Hosts lives, before whom I stand."

One will never fully grasp the full meaning of the Rule unless one clearly understands and wants to live two things: first, the vocation of Carmel; and second, the mission of Carmel...

The Secular Carmelite has been sent by God to carry on the "distinctive witness of Carmel to the world." This simply means that you are not being sent by God to talk to the world...Rather, you are called to be a person who stands for the contemplative way of life and the apostolic fervor or zeal that the Order represents. The world will not be impressed so much by what you say as by what you are.

Commentary on the Rule of Life, Michael D. Griffin, O.C.D.

The Secular Carmelite is required to attend a monthly meeting with the community. Why do we do this? Why must we strive to be faithful to this? Because we need the support of our brothers and sisters to encourage us and help us to live out our vocation and witness of Carmel in the world.

Hopefully, with the practice of fraternal charity, we are building up our community and the Body of Christ in the world. We should strive to bring out the best in our brothers and sisters by first of all practicing what we have promised to do; being faithful to mental prayer each day, being faithful to the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours, being faithful to our devotion to Our Lady, being faithful to the regular reception of the sacraments.

When we come together as a community we share the common struggle of trying to be faithful to our promises. When we look at our brother and sister and see that they are indeed trying, it gives us the courage to renew our desire to be faithful Carmelites. The community meeting strengthens us in our resolve to follow Jesus Christ.

If we are unable to attend a meeting, we should contact the president or a council member and inform them of our absence. When the community becomes closer in friendship with Jesus Christ, the absence of a member is clearly felt, and we should remember in prayer all those who could not be present at the meeting. Someone in the community should contact the person and share with them what took place and what teaching was given.

Let us pray that our communities become holy dwelling places where God is present in the love we have for our brothers and sisters. May the world be a witness to the fruit of our prayer : our love for one another.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Catechism Quote

Catechism #1397
The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:

You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother...You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal...God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful. (St. John Chrysostom)

In the life of the saints we see a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. For Secular Carmelites the life of our Holy Father, St. John of the Cross is no exception. Here is an excerpt from his biographical sketch from the Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., Pg. 27

His experience of God was always rooted in the life of the Church, nourished by the sacraments and the liturgy. Witnesses of his life spoke of the devotion with which he celebrated Mass. A center of his contemplation, Mass often proved to be an occasion for special graces. During the celebration he could become so lost in God that he had no consciousness of his surrounding. His greatest suffering during the imprisonment in Toledo was being deprived of the Eucharist. The Blessed Sacrament was "all his glory, all his happiness, and for him far surpassed all the things of the earth." The one privilege he accepted when major superior in Segovia was the cell closest to the Blessed Sacrament.

O Sacrament most holy
O Sacrament divine
All praise and all thanksgiving
Be every moment Thine!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, June 11, 2009

St. John of the Cross-Sayings of Light and Love

Saying #54

Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.

Many people who read St. John of the Cross misunderstand his "nada" spirituality, or the teaching of emptiness, spiritual poverty, dark night, etc. If one perseveres and studies his teaching, one finds that he describes souls who are filled with joy and peace of spirit when they give up attachments to worldly pleasures.

Let us pray for each other, that the Holy Spirit would enlighten us and give us the grace to deny earthly pleasures and seek the kingdom of God.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Consolation of the Sacraments

In my Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, I have noticed that when an obituary for a priest is printed, it states: " Fr. ______passed away after the prayerful support and consolation of the Sacraments."

When I speak of consolation in this post I am not referring to consolation of the senses, although that may happen as well. I am referring to the joy and peace, a condition of the heart, that comes from the knowledge that "God is with us." That His presence in the Church, veiled in the sacraments, gives us hope and courage and the strength to pray and respond with love to our neighbor.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies us and consoles us as we strive for purity of heart. He consoles the sinner who mourns over his sins. He consoles the sinner who mourns to love as Christ loved. He consoles us and gives us strength to begin again the effort to suffer and love in imitation of Jesus Christ.

Catholics in good-standing with the Church have the opportunity to receive the consolation of the sacrament of Holy Communion each day, yet so many people are not even aware that they can go to mass daily. Lay Carmelites are called to be nourished at the Lord's table:

The liturgical life, as a perennial participation in the Paschal Mystery, nourishes the Secular Carmelite in his daily pledge to follow Christ crucified and risen, toward an ever more perfect union with God, by making the pains and joys of his life an offering of praise and glory to God.
Rule, Article 5

As Catholics, we also have the opportunity to receive the consolation of the sacrament of Penance on a regular basis. Lay Carmelites are exhorted by the Rule to have a great esteem for the sacrament of Penance.

One of the ways in which the regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation helps me lead my life of contemplative prayer is that it places me in a situation in which I can approach the promises and power of the Gospel to help me keep my relationship with Christ honest and sincere. ..There is always the danger that I can pretend to be closer to God than I really am, that I might feign a kind of intimacy and familiarity with God that is false.
A Commentary on the Rule of Life, Michael D. Griffin, OCD

As Lay Carmelites, we can witness to our love and devotion for the Eucharist in our local church. We are called to be Eucharistic people. When we leave the Lord's table we are called to proclaim our Eucharistic joy to our neighbor by our loving words and actions. As our recent retreat master, Fr. John F. Loya pointed out to us, we are called to be "bread of life" to each other. Here is a beautiful quote by Fr. Loya taken from his article that was published in the Catholic Universe Bulletin, our diocesan newspaper:

"We, by baptism, are priests who sacrifice our own body and blood as food for others. We lay down our lives in loving service of God and our brothers and sisters in Christ."

The Psalmist says: with praise, let us awake the dawn. Yes, with praise let us awake each day to greet and praise the Lord's presence in all the tabernacles of the world. Let us greet and praise him in the tabernacle of our heart. Let us make our way to the Eucharistic feast each day. Let us not wait until the last moments of our earthly life to receive the consolation of the Sacraments.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Prayer to the Most Blessed Trinity

O most holy Trinity, have mercy on us, O Lord, cleanse us of our sins; Master, forgive our transgressions, O holy One, visit us and heal our infirmities for the sake of Thy name.
Lord , have mercy (3x)
Glory be to the Father...

Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spiritual Life Dictionary

Today's Term: Illuminism

Recently, I was reading from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors: Deep Conversion Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.

In his chapter on Conflicts and Conversion he speaks about the soul that exhibits traits of "illuminism." He says it is the second main root of conflict, the first being egocentricism.

He writes that the soul in this state has an illness. Illuminism comes in two forms. He states:

On the natural level it is the conviction of some people that their ideas, their opinion, their preferences are automatically superior to those of others. When one talks to an illuminist, evidence contrary to the latters' view has little or no effect on his conviction. Even if the evidence is objectively compelling, it does not penetrate his mind or will.

On the supernatural level this disease shows itself in the conviction that "I have a special light from the Holy Spirit, you do not. Therefore, I am right and you are wrong." I like to call this form of the aberration the privileged-pipeline-to-God idea.

Deep Conversion Deep Prayer, Chap. 8, Pg. 78-80, Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.

In the Secular Order of Carmel we are called to be servants of prayer. What a holy and joyful vocation to be called to by the Lord! This requires a response of great humility and docility on our part. The soul that Fr. Dubay describes is stricken with a spiritual cancer that is caused by pride. Only the light of the Holy Spirit can heal this deadly disease and bring about the conversion this soul desperately needs.

St. John of the Cross speaks of beginners who display pride, the source of illuminism in some of the following ways:

*Vain desire to speak of spiritual things in the presence of others.
*Desire to instruct rather than be instructed.
*Secretly condemn others for not having the devotion they possess.
*Critical of others.
*Do not want anyone other than themselves to appear holy.
*Love to be noticed while praying
*Desire to be the favorite of their confessor
*Confess their sins in a favorable manner to appear better than they are.
*Dislike praising others.

St. John gives us hope, however, and says that all beginners fall victim to some of these imperfections on the road to perfection.
May the Holy Spirit open our eyes with the gift of self-knowledge, so that we may see ourselves as we truly are.

Let us pray for each other!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stained Glass Flowers-Little Accounts of the Miraculous

From the Life of St. Teresa of Jesus(Avila):

That night I had a fit, which left me unconscious for nearly four days. During that time they gave me the Sacrament of Unction, and from hour to hour, from moment to moment, thought I was dying; they did nothing but repeat the Creed to me, as though I could have understood any of it. There must have been times when they were sure I was dead, for afterwards I actually found some wax on my eyelids...

For a day and a half there was an open grave in my convent, where they were awaiting my body, and in one of the monasteries of our Order, some way from here, they had performed the rites for the dead. But it pleased the Lord that I should return to consciousness. I wished to go to confession. I communicated with many tears...

The fact is, when I come to this point, and realize how the Lord seems to have raised me from the dead, I am so amazed that inwardly I am almost trembling.
The Life of Teresa of Jesus, Chapter 5, Translated by E. Allison Peers

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Catholic Church. It is a cycle of psalms (based on the Church's liturgical calendar), prayers, and spiritual writings. From the introduction of the Liturgy of the Hours:
From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the church fulfills the Lord's precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.

The liturgy of the hours is prayed by religious and laity.

After Pentecost may be a confusing time for beginners praying the liturgy.

We are now in the 9th Week of Ordinary Time and the First Week of the Psalms. For those who need a little extra help, I have made up a help sheet for praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I hope you find it beneficial.
Peace be with you!


God, come to my assistance. Lord make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever. Amen.


Antiphon I


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.


Repeat Antiphon 1:

Antiphon 2:


Glory be to the Father....

Repeat Antiphon 2:

Antiphon 3:


Glory be to the Father...


Repeat Antiphon 3:



Canticle of Zechariah Antiphon:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.... (this is on the card that came with your Office book It has Morning and Evening Canticle on it)

Glory to the Father....

Repeat Canticle


Our Father

Closing Prayer-May the Lord bless us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.


God, come to my assistance...


Antiphon 1:


Glory be to the Father ....

Repeat Antiphon 1:

Antiphon 2:

Glory be to the Father...


Repeat Antiphon 2:

Antiphon 3:


Glory be to the Father...

Repeat Antiphon 3:



Canticle of Mary Antiphon:

Recite Magnificat on Evening prayer card.

Glory be to the Father...

Repeat Canticle Antiphon:


Our Father...

Closing Prayer

May the Lord bless us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.