Saturday, June 29, 2013



Photo: R. Massaro (C)2013SpiritSinging
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine
Euclid, Ohio

Approved Apparitions to Sr. Mary Ephrem Neuzil

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Photo: R. Massaro (c)2013SpiritSinging

Byzantine Cultural Center Clev. Oh.

In the news, or in personal conversations, I often hear the phrase, "They will have to answer to God," referring to people who commit crimes and seem to "get away with it." The people who make this statement seem to be seeking justice for a person or situation. Some people who make this statement claim they are seeking justice, but perhaps if we look deeper, this type of thinking can be nothing more than a mentality of revenge. 

Yes, of course, we will all be judged in the end.  But if we spend our lives thinking, "yeah, you'll get yours in the end for what you've done to me-"-this is not the heart of a merciful person.  A person who is filled with God's mercy for his neighbor would pray for his neighbor's conversion.  And this is where St. Therese's teaching on hidden spirituality comes into my thinking on this subject.

St. Therese teaches us to hide our works of mercy and charity so that they are only seen by our Father in heaven.  If someone wrongs us, why do we immediately have to tell someone about it? Why can't we keep these things hidden?-forever!  It is our weak human nature and our ego that we have to overcome to let go of the opportunities to let someone else know that we've been taken advantage of or wronged in some way. If we want to be perfect, we must follow St. Therese's way of spiritual childhood and die to ourselves in little ways. This can build up our strength in the virtues. So,when we have the opportunity to correct someone, follow the path of humility and let it go (unless it's of important nature and must be corrected). Let us give up our critical spirit that loves to point out the faults and failings of others. 

If someone said something hurtful to St. Therese, she wouldn't repeat it. She would keep it hidden in her heart.  We only have to see her imitation of Mary, our Mother, who kept ALL things hidden in her heart (Luke 2:19). 

 Jesus, tortured and crucified-hanging on the Cross showed the depth of the mercy of his Sacred Heart, asking the Father, "Forgive them, they know not what they do."  Are we able to imitate the heart of Jesus by being a living fountain of mercy, ready to forgive our neighbor? Are we able to pray the great prayer of  heart that has the purest of intentions?:  "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." Are we able to step out into the deep?, into the abyss of mystical charity, asking the Lord, "Please, do not even remember this when you judge them."

Recently, our Holy Father made the statement that "It is wrong to think that our enemies must go to hell."  Yes, this teaching is coming from the Holy Spirit through our Holy Father.  He went on to say, It’s so hard to forgive others, it is really difficult because we always have that regret inside,” he said.
“We think ‘you did this to me, you wait … I’ll repay him the favor.'”

Yes, we will all have to answer to God at the end of our life. But we won't have to answer for the actions of our neighbor, we will have to answer for our self.  As St. John of the Cross stated, "In the evening of life, we will be judged on love."  If we have been merciful, mercy will be shown to us. If we ask the Lord to forgive and forget the sins of those who wronged us, he will forget our sins-casting them into the ocean of his merciful love.

You have preserved my life from the pit of destruction, when you cast behind your back all my sins. 
(Isaiah 38:17)

St. Maria Goretti, whose feast day is fast-approaching on July 6, prayed for her killer on her deathbed, saying, " I forgive him and want him to be with me in paradise."  Let us strive to imitate the lives of the saints by forgiving and forgetting the sins of others. This is only possible by living a life of prayer and practicing the virtues, especially humility.  

Let us be ready to "answer to God" by saying, "Yes, Lord, I have sinned without number, please be merciful to me, a sinner."

Let us pray for each other.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fr. Augustine Mary (Hermann Cohen) Discalced Carmelite

(Translated by Google)

Born November 10, 1820 in a distinguished Jewish family of Hamburg (Germany), Hermann studied piano from the age of 4 and was soon recognized as a child prodigy. At age 12, he went to Paris to become a student and protégé of Franz Liszt. He then joined a brilliant Parisian circle attended including George Sand, Alfred de Musset and Marie d'Agoult. From 1842 to 1846, Hermann Cohen travels through Europe and made concerttours, while composing piano works.

In May, 1847, one day he led the choir at Saint-Valere, he felt touched by divine grace upon the elevation of the Blessed Sacrament. Hen then decided to convert to Catholicism. Hermann Cohen was baptized August 28, 1847. Converted under the influence of the Eucharist, he inaugurated and founded December 6, 1848, in the Parisian Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, nocturnal adoration. 

Thirty years later, December 6, 1878, he gave birth to the work of the Adoration of the Montmartre hill. September 30, 1849, he entered the novitiate of the Carmelites Broussey. He received the habit and the name Brother Augustine Mary of the Blessed Sacrament. He made his religious profession October 7, 1850 and wasordained a priest on April 19 of the following year.

Photo:R.Massaro (c)2013SpiritSinging
Father Hermann was the spiritual confidant of young and old alike, protector of Bernadette Soubirous at a time when it faced the onslaught of skeptics, a close friend of the holy Curé of Ars and Pope Pius IX. He also played a role in the founding of convents in Bagneres-de-Bigorre (1853), Lyon (1857), Tarasteix near Lourdes (1857) and London (1862), where he had become known for his career as an artist. He spent some years in England, at the request of Cardinal Wiseman and with the blessing of Pope Pius IX, in order to restore the Order of Carmel, disappeared from the Anglican Reformation. 

Photo:R.Massaro (C)2013SpiritSinging
In September 1870 occurs the Franco-Prussian War and the collapse of the French armies. Hermann, a German national, had to leave France and take refuge in Switzerland. It is proposed to become the chaplain of French prisoners at Spandau (near Berlin). On the occasion of an epidemic of smallpox, Hermann assists contaminated prisoners and in turn contracted the disease. January 19, 1871 on his door one last time communion. With the presence of his Savior, he rendered his soul to God in the singing of the Salve Regina.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, June 23, 2013



Recently, we studied the Foundations of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila). One of her foundations was at Valladolid, Spain in 1567 .   The monastery is still active and on the web. 


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Thursday, June 20, 2013



For September 14, 1939, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross--and at her Prioress's request--Edith wrote an expressive and challenging meditation for the community's biannual renewal of vows, an occasion she viewed as  "dreadfully serious business." 
Photo: R. Massaro (c)2013SpiritSinging
Banner displayed in Lourdes, France

More than ever the cross is a sign of contradiction. The followers of the Antichrist show it far more dishonor than did the Persians who stole it. They desecrate the images of the cross, and they make every effort to tear the cross out of the  hearts of Christians.  All too often they have succeeded even with those who, like us, once vowed to bear Christ's cross after him...Therefore, the Savior today looks at us, solemnly probing us, and asks each one of us: Will you remain faithful to the Crucified? Consider carefully! The world is in flames, the battle between Christ and the Antichrist has broken into the open. If you decide for Christ, it could cost you your life. Carefully consider what you promise...The world is in flames. The conflagration can also reach our house. But high above all flames towers the cross. They cannot consume it. It is the path from earth to heaven. It will lift one who embraces it in faith, love, and hope into the bosom of the Trinity.
Scaperlanda, Maria Ruiz. Edith Stein St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Huntington, Indiana:Our Sunday Visitor, 2001.Print.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

(Formerly a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland)

Photo: Courtesy of  the Diocese of Cleveland
The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites,Community of the Holy Family, pledge prayerful support for the ministry of  Bishop Walkowiak

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds



Photo: R. Massaro (C)2013Spirit Singing
Epiphany Cathedral Nashville, TN
This community website has numerous audio files on Carmelite spirituality. Please click here.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Carmelite Nuns of San Jose, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Don't forget to use your translate button: Portuguese to English

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, June 14, 2013



Photo: Courtesy of

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013



....Have you you only that one blessing, father? Bless me too! (Genesis 27:38) 

I recently found an old prayer pamphlet entitled "Bless Your Children" by Archabbot Ignatius. He describes the beautiful custom of the parental blessing. CLICK HERE to view the entire pamphlet. Here is an excerpt:

...Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
(Daniel 3:76)
Photo: R. Massaro (c)2013SpiritSinging

How to give the blessing
How is the parental blessing given?  It should be done in a simple but reverent manner. Place your hand on the head of the kneeling child. Say: " Bless you, my child, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." While saying this, make the sign of the Cross upon his or her forehead with the thumb of your right hand. If you bless all your children at once, simply extend your right hand over them all, and trace a Cross over them, while you pronounce the words.

The children may be in any position for the blessing, though kneeling is naturally more significant. The blessing need not be solemn, but it should be serious.

I hope young parents will welcome this happy privilege. I hope that the proud young father and the grateful young mother will lay hands of blessing upon their precious baby and continue the custom throughout their lives.

And what of the older families, where through ignorance of this sacramental custom,t he parental blessing has never been given? Older parents rather reluctantly make a change in their family life. But they will not refuse their blessing if their grown-up sons and daughters ask for it. Nor ought children hesitate in asking for a gift that surpasses all natural gifts that parents can give. Hopefully, some of these parent will offer a blessing to their children at leas on the major events of their lives.

Good fathers and mothers endure labor, fatigue, and pain to give their children natural gifts, life and life's necessities. Generously add to these bestowals the crowning gift-your blessing. It will help to sanctify all the rest.

St. Ambrose says: "You may not be rich, you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your childen; but one thing you can give them: the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich." May God doubly bless the parents who bless their children.

The Priestly Blessing of Moses (Genesis 6:22-26):

This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:

The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


From the "Living Flame of Love"

St. John explains how the soul called to union with God is purified through His love. John of the Cross uses the symbol of a flame to speak of God's love for the soul. Although this flame of purgation is painful, resembling the pain of the suffering souls in purgatory, at times, this pain is mixed with spiritual delight. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) teaches us in the sixth and seventh mansions of her Interior Castle that the devil is not capable of combining pain and spiritual delight.  He may give the soul a sense of delight, but in no way can he combine the two. This is a point of discernment for the soul experiencing this high level of purgation.

The soul, feeling that this living flame of love is vividly communicating to it every good, since this divine love carries all things with it, exclaims: "O living flame of love that tenderly wounds my soul." 

This flame of itself is extremely loving, and the will of itself is excessively dry and hard. When the flame tenderly and lovingly assails the will, hardness is felt beside the tenderness, and dryness beside the love...Because this flame is immense and far-reaching, and the will is narrow and restricted, the will feels its confinement and narrowness in the measure that the flame attacks it. It feels this until the flame, penetrating within it, enlarges, widen, and makes it capable of receiving the flame itself.

This flame previously oppressed the soul in an indescribable way, since contraries were battling contraries: God, who is all perfect, against all their imperfections of the soul. God does this so, by transforming the soul into himself, he might soften, pacify, and illumine it, as does fire when it penetrates the log of wood.

Not many people undergo so strong a purgation, only those whom God wishes to elevate to the highest degree of union. For he prepares individuals by a purification more or less severe in accordance with the degree to which he wishes to raise them, and also according to their impurity and imperfections.

This suffering resembles that of purgatory. Just as the spirits suffer purgation there so as to be able to see God through clear vision in the next life, souls in their own way suffer purgation here on earth so as to be able  to be transformed in him through love in this life.
The Living Flame of Love, Stanza I, No.17, 23-24. The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, June 3, 2013

A poem by Jessica Powers 
(Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD)

To Live with the Spirit

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener.
It is to keep the vigil of mystery,
earthless and still.
One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit,
strange as the wind's will.

The soul that walks where the wind of the Spirit blows
turns like a wandering weather-vane toward love.
It may lament like Job or Jeremiah,
echo the wounded hart, the mateless dove.
It may rejoice in spaciousness of meadow
that emulates the freedom of the sky.
Always it walks in waylessness, unknowing;
it has cast down forever from its hand
the compass of the whither and the why.

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a lover.
It is becoming love, and like to Him
toward Whom we strain with metaphors of creatures:
fire-sweep and water-rush and the wind's whim.
The soul is all activity, all silence;
and though it surges Godward to its goal,
it holds, as moving earth holds sleeping noonday,
the peace that is the listening of the soul.

Carmel of the Mother of God- Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds