Thursday, December 24, 2015



During this Christmas season I was thinking of the hymn, "O Holy Night" and it reminded me of St. John of the Cross and the lines in his writing we as Carmelites are so familiar with: O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn!Yes, the night of our dear Savior's birth is a night filled with light, joy, and hope. A night in our salvation history that is filled with loveliness!

This theme of finding joy amid the darkness of our spiritual quest, in faith, for union with Christ, is a theme that is found throughout the writings of our Carmelite doctors of the church and our Carmelite saints.  It is a theme that we can find throughout the writings of any saint.  Sometimes we want to avoid the darkness in our life, we want 
to avoid the cross, but if we truly long to be one with Jesus, we must embrace the cross, and even die to ourselves each day in a spirit of joy and rejoicing amid this journey of faith that is walked in darkness.

Our Savior came into this world in darkness, in poverty, in humility, in love. Let us follow him from birth to death in order to experience the resurrection and life with Him for all eternity, for this is our calling as Carmelites. 

As Carmelites, we experience the "radiant darkness" in our lives of quiet prayer in faith on behalf of the church. This radiant darkness of Christ in our life is a stumbling block to the world who find a false light and joy in the attachment of created things. 

Let us give thanks to God that he has called us to Carmel. Let us pray for each other that we always follow Christ, even in our darkest moments of trial and temptation. We will never be led astray if we follow the Crucified and Risen Savior who is the light of the world.

View previous posts of "Three Words of Wisdom"

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Photo: R. Massaro Regina Health Center, Richfield, Ohio

From the Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila):

(Speaking of her great illness)

...only the Lord can know the unbearable torments I suffered within myself: my tongue, bitten to pieces, my throat unable to let even water pass down--from not having swallowed anything and from the great weakness that oppressed me; everything seeming to be disjointed; the greatest confusion in my head; all shrivelled and drawn together in a ball. The result of the torments of those four days was that I was unable to stir, not an arm or a foot, neither hand nor head, unable to move as though I were dead; only one finger on my right hand it seemed I was able to move. Since there was no way of touching me, because I was so bruised that I couldn't endure it, they moved me about in a sheet...This lasted until Easter...the pains often stopped, and I considered myself already well...although the quartan fevers that remained with their accompanying severe chills were so harsh that I found them unbearable; the lack of appetite was very great.

Right away I was in a hurry to return to the convent...the state of my weakness was indescribable, for I was then only bones. I may add that the above condition lasted more than eight months. The paralysis, although it gradually got better, lasted almost three years. When I began to go about on hands and knees, I praised God...It seems to me that all my longing to be cured was that I might remain alone in prayer as was my custom, for in the infirmary the suitable means for this was lacking. I went to confession very often. I spoke much about God in such a way that I was edifying to everyone, and they were amazed at the patience the Lord gave me. For if this patience had not come from the hand of His Majesty, it seemed it would have been impossible to suffer so much with so great contentment.

The Book of her Life, Chap. 6, No. 1-2.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Photo: R. Massaro-Carmelite Monastery-Cleveland, Ohio
Carmelite Feast Day: St. John of the Cross-Dec. 14
Happy Feast Day to all Carmelites!

Song of the soul that rejoices 
in knowing God through faith.
A poem by St. John of the Cross

That eternal spring is hidden,
for I know well where it has its rise,
although it is night.

I do not know its origin, nor has it one,
but I know that every origin has come from it,
although it is night.

I know that nothing else is so beautiful,
and that the heavens and the earth drink there,
although it is night.

I know well that it is bottomless
and no one is able to cross it,
although it is night.

Its clarity is never darkened,
and I know that every light has come from it,
although it is night.

I know that its streams are so brimming
they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth,
although it is night.

I know well the stream that flows from this spring
is mighty in compass and power,
although it is night.

I know the stream proceeding from these two,
that neither of them in fact precedes it,
although it is  night.

This eternal spring is hidden 
in the living bread for our life's sake,
although it is night.

It is here calling out to creatures;
and they satisfy their thirst,
although in darkness,
although it is night.

This living spring that I long for,
I see in this bread of life,
although it is night.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Divine Mercy Litany

Photo: R. Massaro-St. Stephen Church Cleveland, Ohio

Divine Mercy, gushing forth from the bosom of the Father, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of God,

 I trust in You
Divine Mercy, incomprehensible mystery, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, fountain gushing forth from the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, unfathomed by any intellect, human or angelic,

 I trust in You
Divine Mercy, from which wells forth all life and happiness,

 I trust in You
Divine Mercy, better than the heavens,

 I trust in You
Divine Mercy, source of miracles and wonders, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, encompassing the whole universe, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, descending to earth in the Person of the Incarnate Word, 

I trust in You
Divine Mercy, which flowed out from the open wound of the Heart of Jesus,

I trust in You

Peace be with you!