Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost Sunday-Celebrating the Birthday of the Church

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit-11th Hymn of Virtue: Charity

"...Over all these put on Love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect." Colossians 3:14

In this article, I will be using the symbolism of a holy garment of love that Christians should wear.

In preparing for the feast of Pentecost, I have been thinking about how the Holy Spirit helps us to be faithful to our Secular Carmelite promises of chastity, poverty, and obedience. We know that if we are in the state of grace that the Holy Spirit is living and working in us and providing us with the gifts and fruits of the spirit to respond with love to the situations in our every day life.
The Gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.
The Fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity,gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity
In St. Paul's letter to the Colossians he is in effect telling us to put on a holy overcoat of Love. This glorious garment will be seen by all and "They will know we are Christians by our Love."
However, we must remember that underneath this holy coat are still the beautiful garments of the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that we have put on, when we put on Christ.

According to St. Teresa, the truly humble person will not know that he wearing such a beautiful and saintly garment. He will notice other people wearing the garment and secretly pray to God that he may possess this garment, too. If we possess this garment of Love, we will be seen as the one who wears a garment like Jesus wore.

Bl. Teresa of Calcutta was known for saying, "There are not two loves, or three loves, only one Love. And God is love."

Bl. Teresa was a person poor and humble in the eyes of the world. She wore a lowly habit of the consecrated religious, but even for those who are walking in darkness they could see that she was clothed in the holy habit of God's Love.

As Carmelites, we put on a holy habit-the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We normally wear it, not for others to see but next to our heart where true love of God and neighbor is born, and lived out in response to our baptismal promises.

We make our promises near the altar, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, with the Saints as witnesses and we entrust our promises to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Our Lady, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit will help us to keep our baptismal garment pure and our holy cloak of Love unstained as well.

Let us be open to the Holy Spirit, especially on this holy day, that He will clothe us with the robe of salvation, His Spirit living and working in us. May others truly be witnesses of our holy life and echo that famous hymn: "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love."

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Answers to yesterday's quiza:

#1-St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face
#2-Jessica Powers
#3-St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
#4-The Transverberation celebrated on August 26
#5-The Fifth Mansion

Peace be with you!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Paraclete-The Living Flame of Love

Titles of the Holy Spirit
Catechism #692

When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the "Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to one's side," ad-vocatus. "Paraclete" is commonly translated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler. The Lord also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth."

Besides the proper name of the "Holy Spirit," which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God--and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.

O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

St. John of the Cross describes the Holy Spirit as the Flame of Love that ignites the spark of love that resides in our heart for God. This love, as he states, tenderly wounds the soul. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) describes this great wound of love in the form of a mystical arrow that pierced her heart and inflamed her soul with love for God, so much that she thought she would die. In the lives of the Saints, we can always find a point of reference to their heart being inflamed with love for God.

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St. Philip Neri. St. Philip describes many experiences of this flame or burning desire of love, so much so, that he opened his clothes to relieve the overwhelming sensation of heat in his heart.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus describes how she felt after having made the Oblation to Merciful Love:

I felt myself suddenly wounded by a dart of fire so ardent that I thought I should die. I know not how to describe that transport: there is no comparison which would make the vehemence of that flame understood. It seemed as though an invisible force plunged me wholly into fire. Oh, that fire! What sweetness! One minute, one second more, and my soul must have been set free...

The Catechism teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the Paraclete. Paraclete also has a definition of one who consoles. Jesus promised us not to leave us orphans. He remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament and His Spirit is ever-present with us, His Church. Let us not take His Spirit for granted.

May he give us a burning desire for Him alone. A fire that will burn out all attachments to the passing things of this world.

Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle in us the fire of your love!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

St Philip Neri, priest

St.Philip Neri was born at Florence in 1515. He went to Rome and began to work with young men among whom he fostered Christian life and formed an association for the poor and the sick. Ordained to the priesthood in 1551, he founded the Oratory where spiritual reading, singing and works of charity were practiced. He excelled in his love of neighbor and in evangelical simplicity along with a joyous service to God. St. Philip died in 1595.
From the Liturgy of the Hours
(click on photo to learn more about St. Philip Neri)


Father, You continually raise up your faithful to the glory of holiness. In your love kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled the heart of Philip Neri.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reign with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(See the sidebar for the Novena to the Holy Spirit)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Prayer for the Holy Souls

For all our brothers and sisters who rest in the Verano Cemetery and in all the graveyards in Rome and of the world, may the words of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount become the Good News of eternal salvation.
May the kingdom of heaven be theirs.
May they possess it as a Promised Land."
May they have eternal joy.
May they be satisfied in their hunger and thirst for righteousness.
May they be called the children of God forever.
May they see God face to face.
May their joy and happiness be full and unlimited.

Let us pray:
O God, the glory of believers and the life of the just who saved us by the death and resurrection of your Son, be merciful to our deceased brothers and sisters. When they were in our midst they professed faith in the resurrection; give them endless bliss. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Pope John Paul II

May all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Catechism Quote

Catechism #739

Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church's sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Carmelite Quote

St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes:

"When I speak of my Carmelite vocation and Jesus Christ I cannot stop myself. Carmelite! What a word, so full of beautiful meaning: crucified victim, pure host, lamb who takes away the sin of th world."

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spiritual Life Dictionary

Today's Term:

Spiritual Marriage (Transforming Union)

A mutual, total surrender of love between the soul and God. In frequent actual unions, God communicates his secrets and love to the soul in a direct manner. Being so united with Christ she enters into and shares the intimate life of the Blessed Trinity.
The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. Pg. 775

What is this holy person like? Fr. Thomas Dubay gives us some idea of what this person experiences:

*Complete self-forgetfulness

* Rejoices when ill-treated

* Great desire for the will of God to be done

* No fear of death

* No aridity in prayer

* No raptures (perhaps occasionally)

* Interior peace and calm
The Fire Within, Seventh Mansions, Pgs. 106-107
Our sister in Carmel, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, wrote extensively on the holy Indwelling of the Trinity in our soul and the Indwelling that she experienced in the spiritual marriage. If you are familiar with her writings you know that she desired to be a "Praise of Glory." Many people are intrigued by this concept and find it hard to understand. Below is her statement that describes it very simply. To be a "Praise of Glory" is to imitate Christ. Referring to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel she says:

"This Mother of grace will form my soul so that her little child will be a living, "striking" image of her first-born, the son of the Eternal, He who was the perfect praise of his Father's glory."

I began this post with a definition of Spiritual Marriage. A union in which the soul experiences a deep intimate life of the Blessed Trinity. This interior life of union with the Trinity is not hindered by fulfilling one's daily obligations. St. Teresa teaches us that the soul, although it does not understand how, is able to attend to the duties of business while remaining in complete union with the Trinity. Nothing disturbs this soul whom the Lord has brought to the beautiful and glorious seventh mansion.

The Lord gave our holy mother St. Teresa of Jesus the desire of her heart-Him alone! We may ask ourselves: How desperate am I for the Lord and His will, alone? As Secular Carmelites let us pray for each other and remain faithful to prayer, that the Lord may bless us with a deeper friendship. A friendship that reveals the secrets of the Beloved: his great love for each of us.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, May 17, 2009

National Shrine of St. Dymphna

I am blessed to live in an area of Ohio that is within one or two hours driving distance from a number of shrines.
Some of the shrines in Ohio:

Our Lady of Consolation-Carey, Ohio
Sorrowful Mother Shrine-Bellevue, Ohio
Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted-Youngstown, Ohio
Our Lady of Lebanon-North Jackson, Ohio
Our Lady of Mariapoch-Burton, OhioOur Lady of Lourdes-Euclid, Ohio
National Shrine of St. Dymphna-Massillon, Ohio

National Shrine of St. Dymphna-Massillon, Ohio
Feast of St. Dymphna-Virgin and Martyr was 
Friday, May 15

Fr. Ed Gretchko, pastor of St. Mary
Church, Massillon, Ohio and Chaplain
of St. Dymphna Shrine chants the
Litany of St. Dymphna as pilgrims
enter the chapel.
St. Dymphna was born in the 7th century, when Ireland was almost universally Catholic. Her mother was a devout Christian, her father a pagan. After the death of her mother, her father desired to take Dymphna, his daughter, for his wife. Having refused his advances, her father drew his sword and beheaded her.

After her death, miracles and cures began to occur. St. Dymphna became known as the patroness for those with nervous and mental disorders. Today, her shrine is located on the grounds of the Heartland Behavioral Healthcare Center, the former Massillon State Hospital.
Please visit the official National Shrine website at:

Relic of St. Dymphna

Prayer to St. Dymphna
O God, Who gave St. Dymphna to Thy Infant Church in Brabant as a perfect model of virtue and didst deign that Thy servant seal with her innocent blood and with numerous miracles the teachings of the Holy Gospels so that the true religion might spread more rapidly, we beseech Thee that Thou wouldst grant especially to those who honor her reliques, Thy Protection, so that being fortified in the true faith and gratefully imitating all her virtues we may render greater glory to They Supreme and Infinite Majesty, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Matthew Herttna
Great promoter of devotion to St. Dymphna
Eternal Memory!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

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

May is the month of the Holy Rosary. Thanks, Erin for sharing the link to this video.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule

Carmelite Rule-Article 9

The primitive Church, the members of which were "of one heart and soul" (Acts 4:32) is the model upon which the Secular Order bases its community life. The Secular Carmelite should cultivate fraternal relations with the other members of their religious family, and bear in mind that, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, their fidelity to their vocation affects the spiritual welfare of each of them.

This excerpt from the Rule speaks of the working of the Holy Spirit in our life to help us be faithful to our promises and to each other and to the Order.

This excerpt also refers to the early Church, and how they knew each others' needs, because they were united by a common vision of living out the Gospel as was handed down to them by the Apostles.

How do we know the needs of our brothers and sisters in our local community unless we spend time with them and get to know them? Meeting together once a month is not enough time to form deep bonds of spiritual friendship.
Let's challenge ourselves to truly get to know our brothers and sisters in Carmel.

Here are a few suggestions:

*Call or email a member in between meetings. Encourage them if they are having personal problems.

*Participate in an online community discussion.

*Meet for lunch or dinner.

*Meet for daily mass and get-together afterward.

*Pray for the living and deceased members of the community.

Sometimes we meet with people for years and do not even know the name of their spouse or how many children they have. We do not know their occupation and the things they are interested in.

Let us make an effort, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to truly have our community become "One" in the Body of Christ. A "oneness" so complete that we are willing to discover and share the joys and sorrows of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Peace be with you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tabernacle of the Week

St. Joseph Church
Massillon, Ohio

...My soul longs for Your Body; my heart desires to be made one with You.
Give Yourself to me, Lord, and it is enough, for apart from You there is no consolation. I cannot exist without You, nor can I live if You do not visit me. Therefore, I must come to You frequently, and receive You for the health of my soul. If I do not, I shall surely faint by the wayside, being deprived of this heavenly food.
Imitation of Christ-Chapter 3-#2.

As Lay Carmelites, we are called to the Eucharistic table each day. Let us thank God for this wonderful gift of being able to receive him daily.

St. Therese once said that the Lord does not come down from heaven to wait in a gold ciborium. No, He longs for us to receive him frequently.

I recently visited the church pictured here and you can see the priest reciting Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours with the few parishioners who came early. This would be a wonderful Carmelite apostolate to start in our parish churches.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Devotion to Our Lady Mother of the Church

Mother of the Church, pray for us!

The Virgin Mary acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the Redeemer... She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ'...since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head. Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church. Catechism #963

All the saints had a special love and devotion for our Holy Mother, Mary. One Carmelite in particular, St. Raphael Kalinowski, OCD had a beautiful motto: Mary always and in everything.

*His conversion took place through Mary

*He entered Mary's Order, Carmel, whose goal is allegiance to Jesus Christ

*His prayer life imitated Mary-she who pondered the Word in her heart

*As spiritual director he taught souls the way to Jesus is through Mary
*He propagated the scapular devotion-a sacramental of the church, that helps to sanctify every moment of life.

As Lay Carmelites we have a special devotion to our Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and she has a special love for her children in Carmel. Let us be very, very grateful that Jesus has called us to Our Lady's holy Order. Let us as Catholic Christians be very. very grateful for the great gift of Mary, Mother of the Church.

May we ever thank her for all the prayers and tears she has shed on behalf of all of her children.

On this day, O beautiful Mother
On this day, we give Thee our love
Near Thee Madonna, fondly we hover
Trusting Thy gentle care to prove
(well-known Marian hymn)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady


On The Love of Mary, our Mother

As among all the blessed spirits there is not one that loves God more than Mary, so we neither have nor can have anyone who, after God, loves us as much as this loving Mother; and if we concentrate all the love that mothers bear their children, husbands and wives one another, all the love of angels and saints for their clients, it does not equal the love of Mary towards a single soul.

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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

Saying #42

Reflect that the most delicate flower loses its fragrance and withers fastest; therefore guard yourself against seeking to walk in a spirit of delight, for you will not be constant. Choose rather for yourself a robust spirit, detached from everything, and you will discover abundant peace and sweetness, for delicious and durable fruit is gathered in a cold and dry climate.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(click on photo for John Paul II's Prayer of Entrustment to the Virgin 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

Friday, May 1, 2009

Novena to the Holy Spirit

First Day
Importance of the Gifts

All notes and prayers are excerpts from Favorite Novenas to the Holy Spirit, published by Catholic Book Publishing Co.
We shall strive during this Novena to obtain an increase of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, over and above the special favors we shall ask from the Divine Spirit. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are supernatural dispositions given to us with grace, to make the soul attentive and responsive to the movements of the Third Person of the Adorable Trinity.

Prayer:Almighty and eternal God, You have regenerated us by water and the Holy Spirit, and have given us forgiveness of all sins. Be pleased to send forth from heaven upon us Your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and of Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Second Day
The Gift of Holy Fear

The irreligious man often fears that there may possibly be a God and a time of retribution. O what a base fear; a fear that he tries to bury in oblivion by leading a riotous, sinful life. The Gift of Holy Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us above all things to offend Him.

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set You,my Lord and God, before my face for ever; and shun all things that can offend You, so that I may be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in the heaven of heavens, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God forever and ever. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Third Day
The Gift of Piety

The Gift of Piety is the Gift through which the Holy Spirit calls to the service of God and man, the mistress of virtues, charity. It prompts us to love God not because of His majesty, but because He is our Father. It makes us love whatever is near and dear to our Divine Savior, beginning with His Immaculate Mother and going down the scale to the most abandoned on earth and in purgatory.

Come, O blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart, incline it to a true faith in You, to a holy love of You, my God, and of all my fellow creatures for Your sake. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Fourth Day
The Gift of Knowledge
Knowledge, as a Gift of the Holy Spirit, directs the soul to judge of things, both human and Divine, according to supernatural common sense and not according to the standards of the worldly-wise.

In this age of doubt, materialism, pleasure-seeking, what shall we say of the necessity of this Gift to enable us to distinguish good from evil, innocent pleasure from tainted joy, truth from falsehood, the real good from the apparent good among all the things around us? Let us, therefore, pray earnestly for this Gift.

Come, O blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the Will of the Father. Show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Your glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to You and Your eternal rewards. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Fifth Day
The Gift of Fortitude

Fortitude is the Gift of the Holy Spirit strengthening the soul against all natural fear and supporting it to the end in the performance of duty. Daily the soul, in the state of grace, must go forth to fight the good fight of Christ; to do its duty, which, because it is duty, will always be difficult.

Come, O blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity. Sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies. May I never be overcome and separated from You, my God and greatest Good. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Seventh Day
The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a Gift of the Holy Spirit, helps the Christian, in the state of grace, to grasp according to his mental capacity, the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. Perhaps, to many of us, the articles of the Creed are but dry disconnected truths. God gives us the Gift of Understanding to enable us to penetrate the truths of our holy religion in a manner that will enable us to live them.

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten my mind, that I may know and believe all the Mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Your Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of You and the Father and the Son. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Eighth Day
The Gift of Wisdom

Wisdom is that Gift of the Holy Spirit whereby the Divine Spirit raises up our intellect and our heart to rest in God alone. Knowledge tells us the value of earthly things, and how we can enjoy them licitly without offending God; but Wisdom mounts high above them.

Wisdom is that blossom of all the other Gifts. The latter lead us up, step by step, to the throne of God: Wisdom bids us sit down on His footstool and judge all earthly things from that sublime height.

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the Mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power, and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Show me the way by which I may be able to attain them and possess them forever. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Ninth Day
Zeal for the Glory of God
and the Propagation of the Faith

The first great Novena in honor the Holy Spirit was crowned with an abundant outpouring of the Divine Spirit upon the Apostles. It enkindled within their bosom a zeal that knew not fear of starvation or death, that defied the sword and the cross, that braved storms at sea and bloody persecutions on land. for the propagation of the Faith of Jesus Christ.

Before we close this Novena, let us beg the Holy Spirit to pour out an abundance of the apostolic spirit upon our priests, missionaries, and nuns.

Holy, Divine Spirit, by the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, deign to pour abroad Your most ardent and omnipotent charity into all hearts, so that there may be on e Fold and one Shepherd in the whole world; and that we may all come to sing Your Divine praises in heaven forever. Amen.
Recite 7 times the Glory be to the Father.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS