Monday, April 30, 2012

I wrote a series of articles in 2008 on the fruits of the Holy Spirit in light of Carmelite spirituality. This series is requested frequently from visitors. Since time for writing is short these days, I've decided to run the series again.  I hope you are blessed by these articles.
Let us pray for each other.

Rosemarie, ocds

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit-First Hymn of Virtue: Joy

First Hymn of Virtue: JOY

There is a beautiful hymn that I'm sure is familiar to most of you: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

The title of this hymn seems to sum up the one truth that our soul is longing and yearning for true joy that can only be found in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Of course, the world will tell us differently. The world spreads the illusion that we will find joy in created things and glorifying our self. But for those of us who try to live the life of prayer, the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the illusions of the world. The authentic life of prayer inspires us to perform acts of charity, to somehow, in some way, with our whole being, express our love for God and neighbor.

Why do we refer to the fruits as virtues?
The fruits are any virtuous deeds in which one delights.
St. Thomas Aquinas

Let's listen to Fr. Tanquerey in his work The Spiritual Life describe this holy process of performing virtuous deeds:
When a soul corresponds faithfully to the actual graces which set in motion the virtues and the gifts, it performs acts of virtue, at first imperfectly and with difficulty, then more perfectly and with greater relish, so that the heart is filled with holy joy.

Mary's hymn of joy: The Magnificat.

True joy, that we participate in with the Holy Spirit, flows from the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Someday, when you think of it and you are praying before a crucifix, pray the Magnificat. If you are a brave soul, sing the Magnificat. It's a glorious song of salvation joy! We can picture Mary at the foot of the Cross, her whole being stilled by sorrow and grief, yet her Magnificat was not a one-time event. Her hymn is sung throughout time and eternity because of her yes and because of Our Lord's yes to the Father to accept the Cross. We find perfect joy when we are in union with the Will of the Father. As Christians, our joy stems from our hope in Jesus Christ, who has opened the gates of holiness to each of us who accept him and strive to do his will.

A Carmelite who experienced true interior joy of soul was St.Teresa of the Andes. Her individual charism was "God is my joy!"

I am the happiest person on earth. I desire nothing more because my entire being has been seized by God who is Love. It is a joy that communicates itself, that offers itself, that communicates joy. Oh, if for just one instant, you could feel yourself filled with the happiness I feel! (Letters, n. 96)

We can read what depth of Joy wrought by the Holy Spirit she experienced. A joy so deep that it overflowed into her "feelings" (senses).

St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes experienced this joy that stemmed from her desire to live always at the heights of Calvary. She said she must remain there "every moment of my crucified life" (Letters, n. 89).

The Church's Hymn of Joy: The Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.

We are singing the first stanza, if you will, in the Church's hymn of joy: the birth of our Lord.
Our Lady's fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of her womb, the holy Christ Child is the Father's precious gift to mankind. May we echo the Church's hymn of joy this Christmas season as we welcome the Christ child into our heart.

We know that pure joy is not a feeling. It is a state of being. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that keeps on giving. For if it is an authentic gift in us, it will be contagious and spread like a holy fire among those we come in contact with. Let us pray that we give the Holy Spirit full reign to sing a hymn of joy in our soul.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday of Our Lady

Photo: R. Massaro
St. Peter Church Millersburg, Ohio

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, April 27, 2012

Edith's mother was terminally ill and questioning her daughter's "desertion" from Judaism. Edith reflects on this period of her life:

I was never able to make Mother comprehend either my conversion or my entrance into the Order...And so, once more, she is suffering greatly because of our separation, and I am unable to say anything that will comfort her..."no one but the Lord himself knows what is happening in her soul."

Edith's mother died on September 14, 1936. September 14 is the feast of the Trimph of the Cross and the day that Carmelite nuns annually renew their vows. Edith said afterwards, As I was standing in my place in choir waiting to renew my vows my mother was beside me. I felt her presence quite distinctly. This was believable, given the special bond of love between them and Edith's intuitive power which was now developing in a mystical direction.
From Edith Stein, by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (1891-1942)

Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany, on October 12, 1891, the youngest of seven children in a prominent Jewish family. Edith abandoned Judaism as early as 1904, becoming a self-proclaimed atheist. Arduously seeking truth, she entered the University of Gottingen. There she earned a doctorate in 1916 and emerged as one of Europe’s brightest philosophers. One of her primary endeavors was to examine phenomenology from the perspective of Thomistic thought, part of her growing interest in the Catholic teachings. Propelled by her reading of the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, she was baptized on January 1, 1922. In 1934, she entered the Carmelite Order. But in 1938 she was moved from her monastery in Germany into another Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands to escaped mounting Nazi oppression. She was arrested in 1942 as part of the order by Hitler to liquidate all non-Aryan Catholics and was taken to Auschwitz, on August 9 or 10, 1942. There she died in the gas chambers. Pope John Paul II canonized her on October 11, 1998.

A Carmelite Monastery had been founded at Auschwitz, but because of the controversy surrounding the  monastery , the nuns relocated by order of Pope John Paul II. 

 Also in Germany, there is a Carmelite monastery on the grounds of the former concentration camp: Dachau
Here is a link with photos:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday of Our Lady

There is one art in which we shall be learners until the end. It is the art of prayer The apostles had heard the Master speak of prayer; they had seen him in prayer; and yet close even as they were to him they had to ask, "Lord, teach us to pray." There was no refusing their request.

Prayer starts with presence. The lover is content in the presence of the beloved. It is enough to have the beloved before his eyes, words are not important. Thus prayer began for this child, St. Bernadette with an overpowering sense of the Presence which lifted her soul out of this world. And for long that Presence was silent; but she was utterly content simply to see the Lady.

How perfect a teacher was Mary. Step by step she taught the child that for prayers she needed help. She could not raise her arm till the Lady helped her. Prayer needs preparation. Only at the end of a careful preparation did the child learn her name. She was taught to imitate and repeat. She fingered her beads, and at the end of the decade she and the Lady together recited the Gloria. Here was prayer at its highest; the perfect duet: the Mother of God joined her voice, uniting her heart with a pure child of earth, proclaiming a song of praise to the Holy Trinity that must have delighted the heart of God.
From Pilgrims with Mary by John Moloney P.P.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


St. Francis Xavier Church
Malvern, Ohio
Diocese of Youngstown

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012