Sunday, July 29, 2012



In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune.
                                Excerpt from Psalm 90

In these trying times, it may difficult for one to find joy in life.  As Christians, this gift is the hallmark of our response of accepting God's gift of our salvation: Jesus Christ.  Do you find your joy in God alone? Or does it depend on the circumstances of the day-if things are going well?

As Secular Carmelites, we can ask ourselves, am I a joyful person? Do I find a positive outlook on challenging situations?  Or, do I always find the negative in people and situations?  If our prayer life is authentic, the grace of God changes us into peaceful and happy and joyful people, despite the problems we are facing. 

St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) had a famous saying.  She stated, "I would run a hundred miles from a sour-faced saint."  Wow!  Maybe we should be more observant in our daily life.  Do people want to run the other way when they see us?  Or, do we welcome loved ones and strangers with a smile?  I know when I am having a difficult day, sometimes just a smile from a stranger lifts my spirit.  Sometimes, that little gift from God is all it takes to "balance our affliction."

Detachment from worldly pleasures can also bring us joy.  St. John of the Cross teaches us that beginners find it hard to wean themselves from the pleasure of the senses.  This, as we know, can be a life-long battle.  But we may ask ourselves if we have been following a life of prayer for a number of years, have we truly begun to detach ourselves from the pleasure of the senses? Do we become irritable when we fast and pray?

St. Therese was not a sour-faced saint

We know that the saints gave up sleep and fasted.  When was the last time we gave up a little sleep in order to pray?  When was the last time (outside of Lent) that we gave up a favorite food or pastime? We want to become saints, but the time is now, not tomorrow.  The saints became saints, not because they were faithful to disciplines of the flesh, but because they were faithful to prayer.  Prayer leads to the life of virtue.  It makes us holy people.  Who are holy people?  The people who respond in love to their neighbor and who remain joyful about it! 

The saints were great evangelizers, maybe not in giving sermons publicly, but their lives were an open book of the Gospels.  We can't evangelize if we are unhappy people, for people will not be spiritually attracted to us. Let us pray, that through our life of prayer and service, God transforms us into living charity and joy, a reflection of the kingdom.

God certainly does give us joy to balance the afflictions of daily life.  We only need to look around us.  The gift of life and the beauty of nature is all around us.  The joy and consolation we receive in the Holy Eucharist and the Sacraments is overwhelming when we think about it.  We can experience great joy in remembering that God has given us the angels and the saints to help us on our journey, and, most importantly, he has given us his blessed Mother to be our Mother! What great joy to know that she loves us and prays for us!

Our Lady: Mother of the Church
cares for each member

Where do you find your joy that God has given you to balance your purification in this life?  Look for this joy.  Some days it may be harder to see than others, but if we have the gift of faith, we know that God has not left us orphans.  He remains with us.

Let us be instruments of God's joy.  Let us bring joy to others to balance their affliction, especially to those who are sad and lonely and find life burdensome.

...You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackloth and clothed me with gladness.
Psalm 30

The joy in giving oneself to God alone: Carmelite Nuns in Italy

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, July 23, 2012



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

Sunday, July 22, 2012



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, July 21, 2012



“Queen of prophets” is one of the titles of our Lady in the Litany of Loreto. For many Catholics calling Mary “queen of prophets” is a reminder that the prophets of the Old Testament looked ahead to the Mother of the Messiah as well as the Messiah himself. In early Christian understanding, however, our Lady was herself also regarded as a prophet. There had been no prophets in Israel for some centuries before Christ, and the revival of prophecy was expected as a sign of the coming of messianic times. The gift of prophecy was given Mary of Nazareth in her role of preparing for the Messiah; that she is a prophet is part of the Gospel portrait of the Virgin Mother of Jesus.

The famous early author, St. Irenaeus, born in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), who became bishop of Lyons in France (died about 202) wrote that in her Magnificat Mary prophesied in the name of the Church. The word St. Irenaeus used for ‘prophesied’ is the same word used in the New Testament for ‘crying out in the power of the Holy Spirit’, as in St. Paul’s letters to the Romans (8,15) and to the Galatians (4, 6: ‘we cry out in the Spirit, Abba, Father’).

Other early writers considered Mary along with the Old Testament prophets; she was the greatest of the prophets because she prophesied the Savior, that is, she proclaimed the mystery of God’s becoming man. A friend of St. Ambrose, St. Gaudentius of Brescia (d. ab. 406) said that at Cana Mary asked for wine in the name of the Church, in the name of all mankind. The abundant wine Jesus provided for the wedding feast at Mary’s request, the best saved till the last, is a sign of the superabundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the young Church, the first Christians, at Pentecost. ‘Mary, queen of prophets, pray for us.’

Rev. Eamon R. Carroll, O. Carm. – Our Lady’s Digest, March-April 1978


To thee, O Queen of Prophets, foreseen by them, Mother of God and of His people, to thee we have recourse in our necessities, confident that as thou thyself art the fulfilment of prophecy, so thou wilt desire the fulfilment of thy own words, bringing, out of all generations, N_______, to call thee blessed. Say to all the erring for whom we beseech thee, and especially to N________, "Thy light has come." Say but one word to thy Son, and the glory of the Lord shall rise upon them, and the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and so they, wondering at the star, will follow into the house of bread, where, finding thy Child with thee, they will eat of the true bread and live forever, possessing joy and gladness, while sorrow and sadness will disappear. O thou who art omnipotent in prayer, at whose request thy Son worked his first miracle, beg Him to say: "I the Lord will do this suddenly in its time," and grant to those for whom we pray, that they may draw water with joy at the fountains of the Saviour. May it be granted to us all to be united with thee, O Mother, in singing thy Magnificat to Him thy Son, our Lord Jesus.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, July 20, 2012



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Servants of Mary
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Windsor, Ohio

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, July 16, 2012



Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Blessed Titus Brandsma, O. Carm
Priest and Martyr

Born at Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy and of the history of mysticism in the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he also served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors; in 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by John Paul II on November 3, 1985.

From his writings:

Jesus called himself the head of the Mystical Body, of which we are the members. He is the vine, we are the branches. He laid himself in the winepress and himself trod it. He handed us the wine so that, drinking it, we might lead his life, might share his suffering. Whoever wishes to do my will, let him daily take up his cross. Whoever follows me has the light of life. I am the way, he said. I have given you an example, so that as I have done so you may do also...

Mary, who kept all God's words in her heart, in the fullness of grace granted her, understood the great value of suffering. while the apostles fled, she went out to meet the Savior on the way to Calvary and stood beneath the cross, in order to share his grief and shame to the end. And she carried him to the grave, firmly trusting that he would rise...

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The Sixth Decade Rosary
The Carmelite Rosary (Brigittine Rosary)

Photo: R. Massaro
Shrine: Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted
Youngstown, Ohio
The crowned Virgin at Lourdes, France wears a six-decade Rosary. There is a tradition in this region of France to pray this six-decade Rosary. The extra decade is to be recited on behalf of the Souls in Purgatory or in honour of the Immaculate Conception
Photo: R. Massaro
Crowned Virgin  Lourdes, France


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Spirit
Ormiston Australia

Click on photo to visit their website

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday of Our Lady

(Our Lady of Hope)

Prayer to Our Lady of Hope

O Mary, my Mother, I kneel before you with heavy heart. The burden of my sins oppresses me. The knowledge of my weakness discourages me. I am beset by fears and temptations of every sort. Yet I am so attached to the things of this world that instead of longing for Heaven I am filled with dread at the thought of death.

O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me in my distress. You are all-powerful with your Divine Son. He can refuse no request of your Immaculate Heart. Show yourself a true Mother to me by being my advocate before His throne. O Refuge of Sinners and Hope of the Hopeless, to whom shall I turn if not you?

Obtain for me, then, O Mother of Hope, the grace of true sorrow for my sins, the gift of perfect resignation to God's Holy Will, and the courage to take up my cross and follow Jesus. Beg of His Sacred Heart the special favor that I ask in this novena.

Read more about this apparition of Our Lady

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


St. Teresa of Avila Church
Sheffield Lake, Ohio

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, July 2, 2012

Carmelite Quote

St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila):

One day after Communion, His Majesty earnestly commanded me to strive for this new monastery with all my powers, and He made great promises that it would be founded and that He would be highly served in it. He said it should be called St. Joseph and that this saint would keep watch over us at one door, and our Lady at the other, that Christ would remain with us, and that it would be a star shining with great splendor.

From The Book of her Life

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds