Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday of Our Lady

Our Lady of Divine Providence

Mary, Immaculate Virgin and Mother of divine Providence, keep my soul in the fullness of God's grace: govern my life and direct it in the way of virtue to the fulfillment of the divine will. Obtain for me the pardon and remission of all my sins; be my refuge, my protection, my defense, and my guide in my pilgrimage through the world; comfort me in the midst of tribulation; bring me safely through every danger; in the storms of adversity afford me your sure protection. Obtain for me, O Mary, the renewal of my heart within me, that it may become a worthy dwelling place for your divine Son Jesus; keep far from me every kind of sin and negligence. Dear Mother of Divine Providence, turn your motherly gaze upon me, and, if through weakness or malice I have provoked the threats of the eternal Judge and saddened the Sacred Heart of my dear Jesus, cover me with the mantle of your protection and I shall be safe. You are the Mother of Providence; you are the Virgin of pardon; you are my hope on earth. Grant that I may have you as my Mother in the glory of heaven. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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


Ignoring the imperfections of others, preserving silence and a continual communion with God will eradicate great imperfections from the soul and make it the possessor of great virtues.

Read more about St. John of the Cross

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hail, holy cross! embraced by Jesus,
sanctified by his sacred blood.

Thou art my comfort and salvation.

Through thee shall I enter

into everlasting life.

O suffering, O bleeding Lamb of God!

O blessed Savior, you stretch forth your divine arms

and tenderly embrace the cross.

Come, come, beloved cross.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet ...

I myself am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall ever thirst. (John 6:35)

I will not leave you orphaned; I will come back to you.
(John 14:18)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tabernacle of the Week

St. Ann Church
Nashville, Tennessee

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Three Words of Wisdom


Photo: R. Massaro St. Agnes Church Orrville, Ohio

Today, April 16, has traditionally been the feast day of St. Bernadette. Although, St. Bernadette is not on the Roman calendar this year, I still like to celebrate her feast day since she is my patron saint through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

St. Bernadette was the child of a miller.  Most of us have seen the famous movie, The Song of Bernadette, in which the Soubirous family suffered agonizing poverty because her father lost his job as a miller.  The symbolism of wheat and of bread, always played an important role in the life of St. Bernadette.  When asked which brought her more happiness, seeing the Blessed Virgin or receiving Holy Communion, she had to struggle to answer, finally saying, "they both brought me great happiness."

St. Bernadette suffered from debilitating asthma, and later in life she suffered a cancerous tumor on the knee, which was cruelly painful. She offered up her suffering for the conversion of poor sinners.

When St. Bernadette was dying, the Bread of Life symbolism came into play as she meditated on being "ground like wheat" under the miller's stone.  Here is a prayer she wrote about "bread."

 Written by St. Bernadette

O Jesus, give me, I beg you, the bread of humility,
the bread of obedience,
the bread of charity,
the bread of strength to break my will and to mold it in yours,
the bread of interior mortification,
the bread of detachment from creatures,
the bread of patience to bear the sufferings my heart endures.
O Jesus, you want me to be crucified, fiat.
the bread of strength to suffer as I ought,
the bread of seeing you alone in all things and at all times,
Jesus, Mary, the Cross, I want no other friends but these.

We can see the heart of a Carmelite in St. Bernadette. It has been written that she would have liked to enter Carmel, but her health prevented it.  As Secular Carmelites, we can see her desire for mortification and detachment, necessary virtues for union with God. St. Bernadette had no other desire than union with Jesus through Mary. Although she was privileged to see the Blessed Virgin, she had to travel the same narrow road that all Christians are called to travel. It is a dying to self and our egos and having a heart on fire with the love of God. 

Dying to ourselves and being faithful to our promises of chastity, poverty, and obedience is not easy, no, it can be very difficult at times, but God will give us the grace to persevere. Saints like Bernadette show us the way-Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the Way the Truth and the Life!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spiritual Direction With St. John of the Cross

I should like to persuade spiritual persons that the road leading to God does not entail a multiplicity of considerations, methods, manners and experiences--though in their own way these may be a requirement for beginners--but demands only the one thing necessary: true self-denial, exterior and interior, through surrender of self both to suffering for Christ and to annihilation in all things. In the exercise of this self-denial everything else, and even more, is discovered and accomplished. If one fails in the exercise, the root and sum total of all the virtues, the other methods would amount to no more than going around in cirlces without getting anywhere, even were one to enjoy considerations and communications as lofty as those of the angels.

A person makes progress only by imitating Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life...
From The Ascent of Mount Carmel, BK II, Chap. 7, No. 8

During this season of penance and self-denial, let us pray for each other that our sacrifices may not be an end to themselves, but so that we may imitate Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us. Life is short, let us deny ourselves something each day so that we may grow in virtue. Let us remember, too, as St. John teaches us that true prayer comes from the heart. It is not a technique or a method to be conquered. 

As Secular Carmelites let us be faithful to our 1/2 hour of prayer each day. Consider it a "mini-retreat" where you can spend time with the One whom we know loves us.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Date of St. Therese's Entrance into Carmel

The day chosen for my entrance into Carmel was April 9, 1888, the same day the community was celebrating the feast of the Annunciation, transferred because of Lent. The evening before, the whole family gathered round the table where I was to sit for the last time. Ah! how heartrending these family reunions can really be! When you would like to see yourself forgotten, the most tender caresses and words are showered upon you, making the sacrifice of separation felt all the more...

I left on my dear King's arm to climb Mount Carmel...

My emotion was  not noticed exteriorly. After embracing all the members of the family, I knelt down before my matchless Father for his blessing, and to give it to me he placed himself on his knees and blessed me, tears flowing down his cheeks...

A few moments later, the doors of the holy ark closed upon me, and there I was received by the dear Sisters who embraced me... my desires were at last accomplished; my soul experienced a peace so sweet, so deep, it would be impossible to express it. For seven years and a half that inner peace has remained my lot, and has not abandoned me in the midst of the greatest trials.
(From a Story of a Soul)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, April 8, 2011

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


What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he hears best is silent love.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Shrine and Basilica of Mary Help of Christians
Administered by the Discalced Carmelite Fathers
Click on photo to visit their updated website

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carmelite Quote

St. Maravillas of Jesus, OCD

Generally I pray until one o'clock and some days a little more, when I've got less to do or when I feel myself strongly attracted  to the foot of the tabernacle. Then the only thing I do is, in a profound inner silence, remain next to the Lord and love him.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, April 3, 2011


These words are taken from today's Gospel about the man born blind. In today's account, those who do not believe in the miracle question the man about the healing that took place. They ask him a very important question, "How were your eyes opened?"

Conversion of St. Paul-
blinded for 3 days

Let us put ourselves in the man's position for a moment of meditation on this beautiful story. A story of healing and conversion. I pose this question to you, dear reader, and to myself. How were your eyes opened?  How did your conversion of heart take place? Was it dramatic and miraculous, or quiet and a gradual change of heart?

I ask you to think about this, the story of your conversion when your eyes were opened to the living God, to Jesus his Son, and to the Holy Spirit during this Lenten retreat before Easter. We can recall our lives before our conversion. Like the blind man we were in total darkness, were we not? before God called us into his marvelous light!  So I ask you to reflect on the people who helped you, the circumstances, the situations that God put in place to help you to see the light.  Let us be very grateful that the Holy Spirit penetrated our poor, sinful hearts and opened up our minds and hearts to the life of grace.

Let us remember where we came from, our sinful past. This will keep us humble to remember how poor we were without Christ. It will remind us to reflect on holy poverty, that we are still poor indeed without his help in each moment of our lives. Let us remember to pray for the conversion of sinners, as Our Lady asks us to do. Perhaps the blind man's family had prayed for years for his conversion, for his spiritual sight to be restored. The total healing from Jesus was an answer to prayer.

As Secular Carmelites, let us reflect on the teachings and the lives of our Saints of Carmel.  Holy Mother, St. Teresa, writes about three different conversions in her life. In the life of St. Therese, the Little Flower, her Christmas eve conversion is well-known, and well-told by her in A Story of a Soul. We can see that some souls are given the grace of instant conversion of heart, like St. Paul and others are a work-in-progress.

Let us pray for each other, that we continually seek out the Lord for conversion of heart and implore, "Lord, I want to see!" Yes, I want to see you glorified in my life. Yes, I want to see your holy will to be done in me. Yes, I want to see every knee bend at the name of Jesus. The name above every other name. The name that brings healing and salvation to all mankind!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds