Saturday, August 31, 2013


Photo: R. Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Rosary Basilica Lourdes, France


My child, how pleased I am with your desires! For zeal for God's glory must always mark the true Christian.

It is as necessary for a Christian as the love from which it springs.

Many consider it a mark of apostolic men alone; in fact, however, it must characterize every state. All Christians are obliged to win hearts to God through good example and appropriate advice, through words of comfort to the afflicted, and above all, through prayer.

Frequently the conversion of a sinner is due to the sighs a zealous soul, unknown to the world, raises to God in solitude.

At certain moments of fervor you long to be among the pagans and to be toiling for their conversion. Holy desires, yes, but necessarily ineffective! You are looking far off for something quite near you.

Your duty is to glorify God by consoling the poor, instructing the ignorant, raising your children as pious Christians, fulfilling the obligations of your state, and leading others to fulfill theirs.

Think of your neighbor's salvation and bear always in mind that for his sake Jesus gave his life.

Many Christians will be punished for having neglected the good they could have done and for not having prevented the sins of others when they could have.

If you love the Lord, my child, you cannot better prove your love than by making others bless and love Him.

God has so few good servants! Give him the joy, not only of being glorified in you, but also seeing you use all the means your circumstances offer to glorify Him.
The Imitation of Mary, Bk. 3, Chap. 14, Pg. 244

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, August 24, 2013



Photo: R. Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Sorrowful Mother Shrine, Bellevue, Ohio

Prayers to Our Lady Health of the Sick:

Our Lady, Health of the Sick,
I look to you for the comfort of a mother's love,
I pray to you on behalf of those who are suffering
and for my own healing needs.

your love strengthens me
and brings me peace.

Our Lady, Health of the Sick,
embrace all who are emotionally and physically ill
that they may return to good health
under your tender care.
And please intercede for my very special needs
(mention your needs here).

your love strengthens me
and brings me peace.

A Prayer for the Sick and Afflicted
From the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio

Dearest Mary, Mother of Consolation, please join your prayers to my own. Look upon my difficulties with love and help me to understand and accept them.

Loving Mother, Health of the Sick, I grow so impatient. There are many days when I grow so weary of this affliction. Many are the times when, in my heart, I cry out to God and ask Him, Why me? What did I do to deserve this distress?

At times, Mary, the pain and hurt invade my very spirit, placing a veil between my God and myself. Please help me to overcome these days, Mary. In your gentle kindness, help me to see and feel the unending love of God, which I know is always there.

You accepted and lived the will of Our Father in your life. Help me to accept the Father’s will for me, for I know that in His will is love.

Dear Mother of Consolation, help me by your prayers to be freed from this affliction if it be God’s will. Above all else, teach me to accept my difficulty and to see in this a deepening union with your Son, through His cross, that blessed sign of His special love for me. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, August 21, 2013



Photo: R. Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Sorrowful Mother Shrine Bellevue, Ohio

Do these words look familiar?  I've read the Psalms many, many times, but for some reason, never took note of Psalm 150's introductory phrase: "Final Doxology with Full Orchestra." (NAB)  "Orchestra" seems like such a modern day term, doesn't it?  After researching the word, I find that it has a Greek derivation. It is from the term, orcheisthai, meaning "to dance."

The footnote for the Psalm states: "As a grand finale, the psalmist calls upon all the musical instruments of the temple service to join in the praise of the Lord; thus, the psalm serves as the closing doxology (hymn of praise to God), not only to the Fifth Book of the Psalms, but to the whole Psalter."

There is much spiritual symbolism in the orchestra. To being with, the musicians must follow the musical score, just as we in the Catholic Church must follow the teaching of the Magesterium.  We know that problems arise when individuals want to interpret Scripture for themselves and follow their own teaching. Think of the problems this would present if a musician strayed from the piece at hand and began playing his own composition. Probably pretty painful to the ear, drawing attention to the offender, and disturbing the peace of everyone!

Next, imagine in your mind, the conductor, standing on his platform, with baton in hand, or just using his hands in grand gestures to mark time and instruct each section of the orchestra. He's got a pretty tough job if no one pays attention to him. Perhaps he needs to slow the tempo or inspire them to play with more emotion. We can liken the conductor to the spiritual director who helps us keep the harmony in our spiritual life. He's the one who keeps reminding us about the piece we are to play (God's will) instead of straying from the score at hand to "play our own song."

If you've ever sung in a choir or played in a band, you know that one of the keys to harmony and unity in a musical setting is to listen to each other. The choir's goal is to sing as one voice. It's very noticeable when there are one or two people who want to sing louder than everyone in order to be noticed. So, I believe it takes great humility to sing in a choir or play in an orchestra.  You have to be docile to the leadership of the conductor. You have to do what everyone else is doing; playing the score, playing as one, not standing out from the crowd (unless it's the time and place for your solo). 

The example above is the same principle for us during Mass. Consider the new responses and gestures of the revised Roman Missal that were recently put into place.  Did you hear grumbling from people?  "I'm not going to say that, I'm going to say what I've always said." And other similar responses. It takes humility to do what everyone else is doing at Mass. It seems most people don't understand that unity in our responses and gestures at Mass create "one voice" and "one body", reflecting the unity in the people of God that is pleasing to the Lord.

So, the next time you go to a concert or view one online, look at the spiritual symbolism displayed. Or as one priest I know would say, "Look at the world through contemplative eyes."  See the conductor as the Holy Spirit leading and sanctifying the people of God. We must be docile to his direction. We must pay attention to him and listen to his promptings. He provides the grace so that we can practice virtue and lead holy and peaceful lives. Lives in which we are at peace with God and our neighbor. This creates a holy hymn of praise to God: with full orchestra!  

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, August 19, 2013


(click on photo)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Our Lady of the Pillar

Our Lady of the Pillar: Photo from Wikipedia

After the death of Jesus, his apostles sought to spread the message of the good news all over the world. According to church tradition, the apostle Thomas made it all the way to India, and Saint James (the brother of John) is said to have traveled to Saragossa, Spain.

Around A.D. 40 James had become deeply discouraged. He felt that his mission was not progressing in the way that he'd hoped. One day he was preaching beside the Ebro River when the Virgin Mary, flanked by angels, appeared to him and gave him a statue of herself and a six-foot-tall pillar made of jasper wood. Her gift came with directions as to how the statue and pillar were to be used. 


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, August 16, 2013


Bl. Maria Sagrario of St. Alphonsus Ganzaga

Photo courtesy of
Blessed Maria Sagrario of St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born in   Lillo, Spain, January 8,1881, to Ricardo Moragas and Isabel Cantarero, the third of four children. 

Following in her father's footsteps, she became a student of pharmacy, excelling in this field, and became one of the first women in Spain to become a pharmacist.  Although she had excellent prospects in pharmacy, and much ability, she eventually discerned a call to the religious life, and after some necessary delay to aid her family she was admitted as a postulant to the Carmel of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid, in 1915. 

From her writings:

"May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from
 his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. 
However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his.

If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything."

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, August 12, 2013


Before the XV century, the shield appearing on the acts of the general Chapters consisted of an image of the Virgin dressed in the habit of Carmel, the white mantle was opened out, held by Our Lady's own hands and sheltered under it were Carmelites who looked up to her with their hands joined in prayer. Read more...

Learn more about the Carmelite Coat of Arms and the 
Rule of St. Albert

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, August 10, 2013



Photo: R. Massaro (C)2013SpiritSinging
Chapel at Walsh University Canton, Ohio

There are three sources for our knowledge of and devotion to Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners:

St. John Bosco was given a vision wherein it was revealed that Our Lady is the resort of sinners and also the Lady of the Blessed Eucharist. Read more...

From Johnnette Benkovic at Women of Grace:

No title has drawn so many to the feet of Mary than that of Refuge of Sinners.Dating back to the time of St. Germanus of Constantinople in the 8th century, this title is associated with the image of Mary as the New Eve. Read more...

To Mary, Refuge of Sinners

Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by 
the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, August 9, 2013


St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Edith Stein)

The year 1933 was designated by the Church as a Holy Year to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ. During Mass on the First Friday of April that year, Edith discusses further her awareness that she was to carry the cross for her Jewish people. "I talked with the Savior and told Him that I knew that it was His cross that was now being placed upon the Jewish people; that most of them did not understand this, but that those who did, would have to take it up willingly in the name of all. I would do that. He should only show me how. At the end of the service I was certain that I had been heard. But what this carrying of the cross was to consist in, that I did not yet know."
(Selected Writitngs, 17).

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, August 5, 2013



Photo: R.Massaro (C)2013SpiritSinging
Our Lady of the Elms Convent Akron, Ohio

Friendship plays an important role in the writings of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila).  She desired to make foundations of monasteries, so that she could gain more good friends for Jesus Christ. She exhorted her nuns to be good friends of Jesus. She speaks of true friendship in her writings as "spiritual love."

St. Teresa also warned of the dangers of excess love in friendships. "Particular friendships" in the convent were prohibited.  These were friendships in which a nun sought the company of another, excluding the other sisters.  The nuns were not to greet each other with terms of endearment, such as, " dear, and "sweetheart." St. Teresa instructed her sisters to save these terms of affection for the Beloved, Our Lord.

Speaking of true friendship, St. Teresa describes the person who possesses this gift:

I say once again that spiritual love seems to be imitating that love which the good lover Jesus had for us...These lovers cannot in their hearts be insincere with those they love; if they see them deviate from the path or commit some faults they immediately tell them about it. They cannot help but do so...nor are they going to flatter or hide anything from the other, either that other person mends his ways or the friendship is broken...

When you know some person like this, Sisters, let the Mother prioress diligently strive that he speak with you. Love such persons as much as you like. They must be few, but the Lord does desire that it be known when someone has reached perfection...

This spiritual love is the kind of love I would desire us to have. Even though in the beginning it is not so perfect, the Lord will gradually perfect it. 
The Way of Perfection, Chap. 7, No. 4-5.

Perhaps many people will remember St. Teresa's famous line which illustrates the intimate friendship she enjoyed with the Lord. After she fell in a mud pond, Jesus spoke to her and said, "That is how I treat all my friends." She responded with her wonderful sense of humor, "Perhaps that is why you have so few!"  

Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey, in his classic work, The Spiritual Life, speaks about the Sanctification of Friendship:

Friendship can become a means of sanctification or a serious obstacle to perfection accordingly as it is supernatural or merely natural and sentimental in character.

Three important advantages of true friendship, especially for the priest in the ministry:

1.  A friend is a protection for virtue...We need an equal to whom we can speak with perfect freedom. If we do not find such a one, we are liable to be betrayed into indiscreet disclosures to persons unworthy of our trust...

2.  A friend is also a sympathetic counsellor to whom we willingly bring our doubts and offer our difficulties in order that he may help us to reach a solution. He is likewise a mentor, prudent and devoted, who observing our ways and aware of what is said of us, will tell us the truth and save us from many an act of imprudence.

3.  Lastly, a friend is a comforter who will listen with sympathy to the story of our sorrows, and who will find in his heart words of comfort and encouragement.
The Spiritual Life, Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey, Pg. 285-287.

St. Teresa teaches us that prayer is a conversation between friends, between our soul and the One whom we know loves us, Jesus Christ.  He is our true friend. He is the one who never disappoints or fails us. Let us place all of our trust in him.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, August 3, 2013


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

The Official Website of the Sanctuary of Lourdes

The 69th Official Cure of Lourdes-Danila Castelli

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds