Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady

(photo:R.Massaro, Sorrowful Mother Shrine, Bellevue, Ohio)
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

Queen of the Rosary, sweet Virgin of Fatima, who was pleased to appear in the land of Portugal and bring peace, both interior and exterior, to that once so troubled country, we beg of you to watch over our own country and to assure its moral and spiritual revival.

Bring back peace to all nations of the world, so that all, and our own nation in particular, may be happy to call you their Queen and the Queen of  Peace.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for our country. Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for all humanity a lasting peace. Amen.

Read more about the children of Fatima
at the World Apostolate of Fatima -click here

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Three Words of Wisdom

(photo: R.Massaro-Walsh College Campus)


Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,one of his disciples said to him,
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test." (Luke: 11)

These words by the apostles in today's Gospel show great wisdom and humility on their part.  We can reflect on our own lives and ask ourselves, Do we allow anyone to teach us anything?

The apostles new their place before the Lord, Jesus was their great Teacher and Master. In our society, the Church has a major problem with Catholics who refuse to be obedient and follow church teaching. One has only to pick up the newspaper and read the results of poll after poll in which Catholics state they do not believe the Church's teaching on various issues.

We are living in a society in which relativism, secularism, and materialism are three words of ill-wisdom that have replaced poverty, chastity, obedience.  You may say, wait a minute, those three virtues are only for the religious.  No, indeed, all, without exception, are called to holiness. But the Lord is dealing with stubborn people today, just as today's first reading suggests. Stubborn people who refuse to obey the will of God, who refuse to be detached from worldly possessions, stubborn people who refuse to die to themselves and be obedient to the Church and the Holy Father!

As secular Carmelites, we are constantly challenged to remember the three words of wisdom: Lord, teach us... we must be willing to be formed in the spiritual life by the Holy Spirit through the teachings of the Carmelite Saints and our spiritual director.  If we never follow the advice of our spiritual director, well, I'm afraid that we are not truly being obedient to Christ. 

Let us look to the saints who were anxious to do the will of God by being obedient to their spiritual director and superiors. The saints have no problem saying: Lord, teach me...not only to pray, but to be obedient, to be chaste, to be kind, to be humble...

Let us pray for each other, that we seek to follow Christ and his teachings through the Holy Father, through our local bishop, and through the superiors of the Order of Carmel.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carmelite Saints of the Day:
Blessed Maria Pilar, Teresa and Maria Angeles
Virgins and Martyrs

Maria Pilar of St. Francis Borgia (born at Tarazona on December 30, 1877), Teresa of the Child Jesus and of St. John of the Cross (born at Mochales on March 5, 1909), and Maria Angeles of St. Joseph (born at Getafe on March 6, 1905), Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of Guadalajara, Spain, were martyred on July 24, 1936, after having given witness to their faith in Christ the King and offered their lives for the Church. The first fruits of the countless martyrs of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, they were beatified by John Paul II on March 29, 1987.
(photo & bio from

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, July 23, 2010


God of eternal wisdom, in your providence you willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should bring forth the Author of Grace, and take part with him in the mystery of man's redemption. May she obtain for us grace in abundance and bring us to the haven of everlasting salvation. We ask this through our Lord. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stained Glass Flowers-Little Accounts of the Miraculous

From the life of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein):
...For almost twelve years, Carmel had been my goal; since summer 1921, when the life of our Holy Mother Teresa had happened to fall in my hands and had put an end to my long search for the true faith. At the advice of her spiritual advisor and with the awareness that her mother would not be able to withstand this second blow ( after her baptism into the Catholic faith) Edith had decided to wait patiently.

By the end of April, assured within her heart that the time was right, Edith began to take the first steps in preparation. She asked Archabbot Walzer's permission to seek admission to the Carmelite Order, which he granted  in mid-May of 1933.

Edith was admitted to the Cologne Carmel on the vigil of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) on October 14, 1933.

Excerpt from Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carmelite Saint of the Day


A Reading from the First Book of Kings:

There he came to a cave, where he took shelter. Then the Lord said: "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by." A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord - but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake - but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire - but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?" He replied: "I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts."

Photo: R. Massaro

Peace be with you!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Gentle Reminder: Today is a day of fast for secular discalced Carmelites in preparation for St. Elijah's feast day tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Three Words of Wisdom

Today's Words: The Better Part

In today's Gospel, we read about Mary who chose "the better part." As Secular Carmelites we can look to our Carmelite saints as perfect examples of ordinary people who became extraordinary people by choosing "the better part." Before mentioning a few of these holy people, here is the Gospel passage for today:

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." (Luke 10:38-42)

St. Therese, like all the saints, chose the better part by choosing to love. Her vocation: "In the heart of the Church, I will be love." This statement of hers was inspired by St. Paul, another saint who chose the better part and encouraged us to choose the same path as well: "Now I will show you the way which surpasses all the others. If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love..." (I Cor. 12:31, 13: 1-3) We are all familiar with this famous passage on love.

As Secular Carmelites we are called to live a life of Beatitude. This is a daily choice, actually, a moment by moment choice of choosing "the better part."

Bl. Elizabeth chose to be a "praise of Glory." She tells us that we must not be like children who sometimes say yes, and sometimes say no. We must always choose the better part, the will of God.

By living a life of Beatitude we will always choose "the better part."  Let us pray for each other, that as Christians, as Catholics, as Carmelites, we will set a holy example of being like Mary in today's Gospel.  Let us not be upset and worried about many things. One thing only is required-Do we desire it?

Peace be with you!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady

Look To Our Blessed Mother:
Following in her footsteps,
you will not go astray;
Praying to her,
you will not fall into despair;
Thinking of her,
you will not err;
While she keeps hold of you,
you will not fall;
With her as guide,
you will not grow weary;
With her as protectress,
you will have no fear;
Enjoying her favor,
you will reach the goal.

St. Bernard

Peace be with you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Feast Day to all Carmelites!-SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL

(Evening Prayer I, Office of Readings, Morning & Evening Prayer)

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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

Gentle Reminder: Today is a fast day for all Secular Carmelites in preparation for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel's feast day tomorrow.



To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls, generous spirits, and unselfish hearts; it is their manner to give rather than to receive even to the extent of giving themselves. They consider it a heavy burden to possess themselves and it pleases them more to be possessed by others and withrawn from themselves, since we belong more to that infinite Good than we do to ourselves.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, July 12, 2010


Akron, Ohio
Administered by the

Mother Franciska Lechner
Foundress of the Daughters of Divine Charity

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carmelite Quote

Before speaking of the interior life—that is, of prayer—I shall speak of certain things which those who attempt to walk along the way of prayer must of necessity practice. So necessary are these that, even though not greatly given to contemplation, people who have them can advance a long way in the Lord’s service, while, unless they have them, they cannot possibly be great contemplatives, and, if they think they are, they are much mistaken...

With regard to the first—namely, love for each other— this is of very great importance...

Let us now come to the detachment which we must practice, for if this is carried out perfectly it includes everything else...

It is here that true humility can enter, for this virtue and that of detachment from self, I think, always go together.
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

Peace be with you!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spiritual Life Dictionary

Today's Term: Confession

The auricular confession of sins to a priest in the tribunal of penance. All mortal sins committed after baptism must be confessed, together with those circumstances which alter the specific character of the sin.  Confession must be made by all  who have come to the use of reason, at least once a year.
The great confessor, St. John Vianney
below: Edward the Confessor
Photos: R.Massaro

A sacrilegious confession is one in which  the penitent wilfully conceals one or more mortal sins of which he is conscious, or has no contrition or purpose of amendment or intention of making satisfaction.
From A Catholic Dictionary by Donald Attwater

The Secular Carmelite is encouraged to receive the sacraments often, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our rule states:

...The Secular Carmelite will, in addition, have a great esteem for the Sacrament of Penance, or Reconciliation, and practice, as far as possible, acts of traditional Christian piety.
Article 10

The Universal Call to holiness is for all, not just religious. Those who are called to Carmel have heard the call of  Jesus to "Come, take up your cross and follow me." The Cross is the daily dying to self.  When we fail in charity, even in small matters, it is always a cause to confess, even if it is venial in nature.  St. Teresa teaches us over and over again in her writings that she did not want to offend "His Majesty" in any any way, no matter how small. This is the desire of the saints!

Let us pray for each other, that we will have the desire to have a clean and pure heart, only then will we be fit to enter the kingdom of God and see him face-to-face.

Peace be with you!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tabernacle of the Week

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
Columbia Station, Ohio
Pastor: Rev. Charles J. Ryba

A Prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Lord, God you blessed Elizabeth Ann Seton with gifts of
grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that
she might spend her life in service to your people.

Through her example and prayers, may we learn to
express our love for you in love for our fellow men and
We ask 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

Monday, July 5, 2010

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule

Article 10:

Those members of the Church who are called by the Lord, are free from impediments, and conscientiously accept this special vocation and the Rule of Life offered by the Secular Order, can apply to be admitted to a Community, and accepted by the competent authority.

After sufficient contact with the Community, the candidate is admitted for a period of formation, which normally extends for two years before the temporary Promise, and for another three years before the definitive Promise.

The statement above in paragraph one "free from impediments" is a very important point that needs to be addressed and followed up with council members and the director of formation.  Communities who are lax in having candidates fill out necessary application forms and obtaining sacramental records may run into serious problems.  For example, if a candidate does not share that he or she is divorced and remarried without a declaration of nullity cannot validly make promises as a secular Carmelite. This person would not be able to receive the sacraments, and would not be able to be accepted into Carmel until they are again in good standing with the Church.

The candidate must provide references, the name of his or her pastor or spiritual director, his baptismal certificate with all notations, that include confirmation, marriage, and religious profession dates.

All new candidates and yes, even professed members who have been members of a community for years must have a baptismal record in their permanent file that is kept in the local community files.  All records must be kept confidential. 

Sometimes, when a baptismal record is requested the record comes back with the notations on the back missing.  Candidates must make sure they request a baptismal record "with all notations" that include, again,confirmation and marriage records.

As article 10 states, this call to the Secular Order of Carmel is a special call that one follows  after hearing the call of Christ.  This special call is not only discerned by the candidate in a time of discernment through formation, but it is also discerned by the council.  The candidate must state in writing their request to be admitted to formation or their desire to make promises.  This act of humility to ask for permission to make promises, reminds the candidate that it is not a "given" that one will make promises.

Interviewing candidates throughout the period of formation will help in the discernment process. Let's not forget, too, our professed members who may be struggling with their vocation.  It is important for the council to speak to these members from time to time as well.

Let us pray for each other and our new candidates who sincerely want to follow this special call to Carmel.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Catechism Quote

(Photo: R. Massaro)
Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."

Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignityof the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.

(Photo: R.Massaro)Peace be with you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady

Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine 
Parma Heights, Ohio

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Three Words of Wisdom

This new feature, "Three Words of Wisdom" is inspired by a recent retreat our Carmelite community had in June.  The retreat director asked each person to share in about three words what the Holy Spirit had impressed upon his or her heart during the retreat.

Today's Three Words: BE NOT AFRAID

I'm still meditating and reflecting on the three words shared by some of our members. One member shared her three words: "I can leap!"

This brought to mind what our late Holy Father, John Paul II said in his inaugural address: "Be not afraid!" Awesome three words, don't you think?

As Secular Carmelites, we can reflect on the ways the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of courage. For one member, during the retreat, the Holy Spirit gave her this gift and grace to make a spiritual leap that she had been praying about.

Each of us can reflect on our fears in the spiritual life. Are we afraid of giving up worldly attachments? Are we afraid of committing ourselves completely to the required half-hour of prayer? Are we afraid of dying to self in our hesitation to accept humiliations and disappointments?

If we remain faithful to meeting Christ in our prayer time and with our remembrance of him throughout the day, the Holy Spirit will remain with us and give us the courage we need in the challenges we face each day. He will give us the courage to step out into the deep...the deep being whatever we are called to at any given moment. Let us submerge ourselves into the little moments of life we are called to each day. We know from the life of St. Peter that if we step out into the deep and fail through weakness or lack of trust, the Lord is right by our side to lift us up! Let us pray for each other, that we "be not afraid." Let us echo the words of St. Paul, "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. (Luke 1:30)
Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS