Friday, July 29, 2016


Photo: R. Massaro Lourdes, France

Mary's closing visit to Lourdes was on July 16th the feast which honors her under the title of Carmel. She came at sunset. Her choice of day must not have been an accident. the very name Carmel must have filled her with fond memories.

She would have remembered many a sunset when she and her Son rested their eyes on the beauty of that mountain as the day faded. In its pure and lonely grandeur it stood out of this world. It recalled memories of a great past. She would have known it as a place of prayer and silence and the witness of mighty battles in the plains below.

When she sang her Magnificat she was the meeting-place of two worlds, a world stretching back to Abraham and forward to generations yet unborn. She recalled the past mercies of the Lord; she foresaw the praise future ages would give her for the great things God had done in her.

And in a sense, Carmel linked two worlds, east and west, past and future. A mountain hallowed by prayer before she was born, a place that would do her honor from age to age. There are flowers on Mount Carmel when there are none elsewhere.

The Ascent of Mount Carmel is a well-worn path, traveled down through the centuries by countless members of the Order which glories in the title of Carmel who have been richly rewarded for the ardor of the ascent, for in their souls have blossomed flowers of holiness of rarest quality. In the majestic grandeur of the mountain of God they have lived through dark nights, and have seen glorious dawns.There in the silent companionship of Mary they have pondered the word and remained with her in prayer. They have enriched the Church with a shining example of silent worship, unending contemplation, and pure love. The beauty of Carmel might tempt us to follow them at least from afar. Any day, at any moment, we may go on pilgrimage to Carmel, we may climb the heights to pay her our tribute of praise and love. 

But before we start we have something to do. Before we ascend to honor her who had her roots in Jacob we must take the advice once given to Jacob before he ascended to Bethel. "Put away the foreign gods that are among you,, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. (Gen. 35,2) Three things to do. Put aside the gods made with hands, the worldly attachments which hold us in their spell; cleanse ourselves of the dross of this world; robe ourselves anew in the innocence of our baptismal garment, and then we will be capable of a new love, a new song that will have all the freshness and beauty of spring flowers on Carmel. Let St. John of the Cross lead us in this song for the ascent:

Let us rejoice, Beloved. And let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty, to the mountain and to the hill, to where the pure waters flows...There you will show me what my soul has been seeking.
Pilgrims With Mary by John Moloney P.P.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Elijah’s cup [Credit: Picture from the photographic archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York; Frank J. Darmstaedter]
Photo Source:
Photo: R. Massaro

Carmelite Saint of the Day: St. Elijah

Please enjoy this post from the archives in honor of St. Elijah, whose feast we, as Carmelites, celebrate today.

The prophet Elijah is a Saint who is venerated by Carmelites throughout the world.  We celebrate his feast day on July 20th. He's considered the father of Carmelite spirituality. From the Carmelite Proper:

The Prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who always lived in his presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervade its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal.

While doing research for another article, I discovered that the prophet Elijah plays a role in the Seder meal celebrated by the Jewish people.  During the meal, four cups of wine are at table, and a fifth is poured and set aside as "Elijah's Cup."  

What is so special about Elijah's Cup? And what is the meaning behind the ceremony of his cup and wine?  Jewish people believe that it is a symbol for when Elijah will usher in the age of the Messiah. Thus, at the end of every Seder meal, a child goes to the door to see if the prophet is there. If the prophet does not arrive, the disappointed family pours the wine back into the bottle.  

It's very interesting to note that the Jewish people use wine and the Cup of Elijah as a symbol of their future redemption.  In our Catholic faith, we know the importance of Holy Communion; The Lord's precious Body and Blood that feeds and nourishes us. On the night of the Last Supper Jesus instituted this most Blessed Sacrament: 

...He likewise took a cup, gave thanks and passed it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them: "This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out on behalf of many..."
(Mark 14:23-24)

In the Book of Kings, the prophet Elijah is brought food and drink to sustain him for his journey, a prefigurement of the Holy Eucharist:

...he lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and jug of water... 
(1 Kings 19:5-6)

Photo: R. Massaro Carmelite Monastery Niagara Falls, Canada

Each time we are at Mass, as the cup of the precious Blood of Jesus is raised, perhaps we could pray for the Jewish people. May they be given the gift of faith to believe that Yeshua, Jesus, is the Messiah of whom the prophets spoke.  Let us ask the intercession of the holy prophet Elijah to intercede for the Jewish people.  May they come to believe in Jesus, receive his body and blood, and experience the true and living God, as we do, as Catholics, at each Mass.  

Welcome to The Holy - Home

Dr. Brant Pitre
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
(click on photo)

Peace be with you, 
Rosemarie, OCDS 

the holy grail, the Lord's cup of his precious blood

Monday, July 18, 2016

Preparing for the Feast of St. Elijah on July 20.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Friday, July 15, 2016


Photo: R. Massaro-(C)2016 Spirit Singing Christ the Servant Parish Canton, Ohio

O God, our Father, hear us.
We plead before You, oh Sacred Heart of Jesus,
for all who tonight in this great city
stand in the most need of Your merciful love
and protection.

On souls beset by temptation, 
   have mercy.

On those who have fallen into sin,
   have mercy.

On those who are given up to
   worldliness and are forgetful of You,
   have mercy.

On those who are, at this moment, in danger
   of losing You forever,
   have mercy.
By Your agony, save them, Jesus.

On those who carry on wicked trades
   and profit by sin,
   have mercy.

On the victims of sin,
   have mercy.

On those indulging in sinful amusements,
   have mercy.

On all who are imperiling their souls by
   self-indulgence and luxury,
   have mercy.

On all frequenting haunts of sin,
   have mercy.
By Your scourging, save them, Jesus.

On all who are out tonight, the homeless, 
   the weary, the starving, those tempted to
   suicide, the intemperate, 
   have mercy.

On those who are out for sin,
   have mercy.

To those who are out to rescue others,
   grant them help and protection.

For those who work at night, the police,
   railwaymen, firemen, those engaged on the stage,
   soldiers and sailors, sentries on duty, editors
   and journalists,
   let Your Presence be with them, Jesus.

For the sick and suffering and all who
   are enduring any agony of mind and body,
   comfort them, Jesus.

For all undergoing surgery,
   strengthen them, Jesus, and help them
   in body and soul.

For the sleepless and lonely,
   be near them.

For those in anxiety, nervous or mental
   distress, calm them.

For the mentally ill, 
   keep them under Your protection.

For those who care for the mentally ill,
   make them tender-hearted and compassionate.

For night nurses,
   give faithfulness and sympathy.

For priests and doctors, called out this night,
   reward them.

By Your crown of thorns, 
   deliver them, Jesus.

For those who this night must suffer bereavement,
   visit and sustain them.

For those for whom this will be their last
   night on earth, deepen their contrition
   and receive their souls.

For those whom sudden death summons
   before Your judgment,
   have mercy.

For those dying alone without a priest or sacrament,
   have mercy.

For the dying who reject the ministry of
   Holy Church,
   have mercy.

On those dying unconscious,
   have mercy.

On the souls of unbelievers who are near death,
   have mercy.

On those who are trying to turn to You even
   in their last hour,
   have mercy.

For those who are afraid to die,
   turn their heaviness into joy.

For dying priests and religious,
   have mercy on them and receive them to Yourself.

For the faithful departed,
   grant them light and peace.

For ourselves in our last hour,
   grant the pardon of our sins, our negligence and
   our ignorance.
By Your holy death, deliver us all,
   O Jesus.

On behalf of those who have said no prayers today, let us say:
   Our Father...Hal Mary...

On behalf of those who neglect to praise God and thank Him, let us say:
   Blessed be God. Blessed be His holy name.

On behalf of those who blaspheme and neglect the Blessed Sacrament,
   let us say: Blessed, praised, worshiped and adored be
   Jesus Christ on His Throne of Glory and in the 
   Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar

From the Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia
Visit their website:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes

Photo: R. Massaro  Lourdes, France

Feast Day: July 13

Jesus alone is beautiful; he is my only joy. I call for him, I cry after him, I search for him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where he can find his rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that he may live in me.

Learn more about this saint:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Friday, July 8, 2016


Photo: R. Massaro St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio

From the Imitation of Christ:

Personal penitential practices are best done in private and not openly for others to see. Do not be more inclined to the devotion of your own choosing than to those that are of religious obligation. When you have faithfully fulfilled your obligation, then if there is time left, you may perform those devotions according to your inspiration.

The same pious practices are not practical for all; for one suits one person, while another suits someone else. Different exercises are required for different times; some being more applicable for holy days, other for ordinary days. Also, we need one kind in time of temptations and another in time of peace and quiet; one when we have devotion, another when devotion is withdrawn.

As the principal feasts occur we must renew our pious practices according to the spirit of the feast, fervently asking the Saints to help us. As the liturgical year unfolds, we should make our resolutions as if we were then to leave this world for the everlasting feast in heaven.

In this way, we ought to prepare ourselves at holy season, living more devoutly and performing our duties more exactly as if we were soon to go before God to receive the reward of our labors.

But if it be delayed, we can be sure that we were neither ready nor prepared for that glory which will be revealed to us in God's time. Let up prepare ourselves better for the appointed time.

As Secular Carmelites, let us prepare well for a principal feast day on July 16: Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel can be accessed through the link at the end of this post or referring to the sidebar of this website.  Let us be resolved to be more faithful to our Carmelite promises than we have been before. May the Holy Spirit renew in us the fervor to prepare well for the major feast days of the Church and of our Order.

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


First Day

Mary, welcoming model
Listening to the Word: The Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Reflection: The Gospels begin by presenting Mary as a woman who embraces God's plan. In an attitude of prayer, she listens, meditates, consents and answers "yes" to God who calls her. In a word she is welcoming. It is this welcoming that gives birth to Life in her. "And the Word was made flesh."
Prayer: Holy Mary, welcoming woman, lead us to imitate you so that every day we may give birth to Jesus in the situations of life where we find ourselves.

Holy Mary, welcoming woman, teach us to meditate the Word of God like you, so that at every moment of our lives we may welcome it and allow ourselves to be guided by it. 

Holy Mary, flower of Carmel, hear our pleading.

My commitment is to read a page of the Gospel and reflect on it to try and discover what God wishes of me in my daily life.
Flower of Carmel
Vine blossom-laden,
splendour of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden,
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,
whom no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
thy favours bestow,
Star of the sea.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, ocds

Friday, July 1, 2016


Photo: R. Massaro Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine Euclid, Ohio

From St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary:

Are you in the miserable state of sin? Then call on Mary and say to her: Ave, which means "I salute thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin" and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.

Are you groping in the darkness of ignorance and error? Go to Mary and say to her: Hail Mary: which means, "Hail thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice"--and she will give you some of her light.

Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means "Star of the Sea, the North Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life," and she will guide you to the harbor of eternal salvation.

Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also "Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with sharp pain in this world but which is now turned into a Sea of the Purest Joy in heaven," and she will turn your sorrow to joy and your afflictions into consolation.

Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honor the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her: Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and she will give you some of these graces.

Are you alone, having lost God's protection? Pray to Mary, and say: "The Lord is with thee--and this union is far nobler and more intimate than that which He has with saints and the just--because thou art one with Him...

Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the Living Bread which came down from heaven, and say to her: Blessed be the Fruit of thy womb Whom thou has conceived without the slightest loss of thy virginity.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS