Sunday, June 22, 2014


St. Teresa was born on March 28, 1515. The Carmelite Order is preparing to celebrate the centenary of her birth in 2015.  Enjoy this virtual tour of three important sites in the life of St. Teresa:

1.  The monastery that has been erected on the site of the house of her birth.

2.  St. Joseph Monastery, St. Teresa's first foundation in 1562.

3.  Carmelite Monastery at Alba de Tormes-Teresa died here in 1582.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Feast Days of Our Lady


Photo: R. Massaro-Walsh University Canton, Ohio

  The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an authentic expression of Byzantine art from ancient times. The gold background represents the Kingdom of God and the gold shining through the clothing reflects deification. The icon invites us to become sharers in this glory. The persons portrayed are: the Mother of God, Jesus Christ, the Archangel Michael, and the Archangel Gabriel. Mary's head is tilted with maternal affection toward the Christ Child on her left arm. Mary's eyes are not fixed on her Child or on the instruments of the Passion which the two angels hold out to Christ. Rather, she gazes toward those who are looking at the icon. With eyes and attitude of sorrow and love she invites all to consider Our Savior.

    The Christ Child has the appearance of apprehension when presented with the instruments of His Passion. In His mother, he finds the greatest comfort and tenderness. In his haste to run into her protective arms, He almost loses one of his tiny sandals thereby signifying to us that we should hasten to seek her loving assistance in our troubles. Christ's fingers hold his Mother's right hand, yet they rest quite loosely there. In this lies another lesson. Through the protection of His Most Holy Mother, Our Lord grew to His adulthood and initiated His Saving Work. As she protected Him, she prays for us still to Her Divine Son!

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you. Amen (Then say three Hail Marys).

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meditation on a passage from the Book of Lamentations

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, June 13, 2014

Prayer to St. Anthony

St. Anthony of Padua-The "Wonder Worker"

Photo:R.Massaro (C)2013SpiritSinging

St. Anthony Shrine Canfield, Ohio

Doctor of the Church (Evangelical Doctor)
(August 15, 1195-June 13, 1231)
Other Titles: Ark of the Testament
                    Hammer of Heretics
                     Professor of Miracles

St. Anthony's Sermon to the fish:

...He was striving hard to eradicate the errors from that city, and to bring back the heretics to the true fold: but although they were convinced by his arguments, and at the same time confused, they still remained obstinate, and, proudly despising his doctrines, did not want to hear him. The saint did not lose courage, but armed with faith and full of zeal for the Church of God, and for the salvation of those unhappy people, he went toward the place where the river Marecchia flows into the sea, and here, after having called men to hear him, at the same time called the fishes, addressing them thus: "Come, O fishes of the sea and of the river, to hear the divine Word, which perfidious and obstinate men despise to hear."

No sooner had he addressed them than fishes of every kind appeared in large numbers with their heads out of the water. It really was a grand sight to see them disposed in such beautiful order, according to their species, quality and size, the smaller ones near the shore and the larger ones at a greater distance, and they remained immovable, as if they were waiting to hear the divine Word. The saint, seeing them thus gathered, began his sermon. He explained to them, by passages of the Sacred Scriptures, the many benefits which they had received from their Creator. He said that He had assigned to them as their habitation the vast and noble element of water; that He had prepared for them in the water places to take refuge from tempests and other dangers; that He had made the water clear and transparent, in order that they might be able to see where to go; that He had provided for them the necessary food for their nourishment; that in the universal deluge He had preserved them from perishing, and distinguished them also by various privileges; since Jonah, being thrown into the sea, was saved by a fish, so that he should execute the command of God to preach to the Ninivites; that Jesus Christ proved his poverty and that of St. Peter by paying tribute to Caesar with a piece of money found in the mouth of a fish; that He partook of fish before entering into heaven, to show by it His resurrection and his true humanity. For these and many other things he impressed on them the necessity of thanking their celestial Benefactor.

As if gifted with understanding they applauded the holy preacher by bending their heads, seeming to approve what he was saying, as as if they knew the obligations they were under for the benefits they had received from God' and they did not go away until the saint gave them his blessing.


Litany of the Lost

Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
For those of us who have lost...
  • our health,
  • our peace of mind,
  • our housing,
  • our financial security,
  • a loved one,
  • our dreams,
  • our talents,
  • our initial zeal,
  • our sobriety,
  • our faith,
  • our self-respect,
  • our perspective,
  • our innocence,
  • our independence,
  • peace within our families,
  • civil peace,
  • our trust in others,
  • our virtue,
  • our home
Lamb of God,
You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Let us pray,
All loving God,
You have given us St. Anthony,
the patron of the lost,
as an intercessor of those
who are in need of your mercy.
Listen to his voice,
as he calls out to You
on our behalf,
and grant those things
which will help us grow
in Your love.
We ask this
through Christ our Lord.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Monday, June 9, 2014

Spiritual Life Dictionary


Ah!  Sweet solitude!  Does the very sound of this word evoke images of a quiet place? Perhaps it's a quiet place near restful waters. Perhaps it's a place sitting quietly in the shade of a large oak tree, where you hear a lone bird chirping in the trees as a gentle breeze rustles the leaves.

Are you a person that longs for solitude?  Or are you a person who is content with the many noisy distractions the world has to offer? Distractions that drown out the voice of God; a quiet voice that is only found in prayer and solitude. Oh yes, we can hear the Lord speak to us in other persons and events, but do you desire to be alone with the Bridegroom of your soul?

The Secular Carmelite is called to solitude each day by seeking the face of the Lord in quiet prayer. Our Rule states that we should:

Practice mental prayer for at least 30 minutes each day
 in an atmosphere of interior silence and solitude.

We all lead busy lives.  I think of the young moms in our community who must find true solitude a precious gift that is hard to come by.  Yet, they are committed and determined to be faithful to a life of prayer that they are being called to as Carmelites. 

St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) teaches us that true solitude is a place within the heart that is found when we continually practice the presence of God. It is a disposition of the soul that is united to the Beloved even in the midst of one's daily activities.  It is the marriage of Martha and Mary, the active and contemplative aspects of our being. It is the union of the heart and body in active service while contemplating the Beloved as we respond in charity to the task at hand.

Solitude of heart is a peaceful state of soul that is not easily flustered or irritated when things don't go as planned. Solitude of heart is like a peaceful river, it is God's love, the Spirit, that flows in and out and through the people and circumstances we encounter each day.

The world is fearful of solitude. Society keeps offering us more distractions with the constant advancement of technology. It's a challenge to "unplug" in today's world.  I'm wondering if there are any true ascetics left in the world?  An ascetic for our modern times. A person who can go "out into the desert" without  a phone or tablet and be content.  

I'm wondering if there is anyone among us that have the heart of a true ascetic? I'm wondering if there is any among us that has the heart of a saint of the "old school."  Our world is changing, perhaps sainthood, in some respects, is changing. I guess I'm yearning for the John the Baptists of the world to cry out-not only "repent" but "unplug," "shutdown," "turn off." "Be still and know I am God!"

The Secular Carmelite is called to be a witness in the world of God's love. We are called to follow in the footsteps of the holy Prophet, Elijah, who encountered God in a tiny whispering sound that spoke directly to his heart.  The Carmelite must be true to the "old school" of sanctity. He must, by obedience, and with courage, go into that foreign land of solitude-the quiet of his heart and witness to the world, that "God lives in whose presence I stand..."  

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds