Monthly Archives: June 2012

Life at Kirk Edge Carmel – Postulant A’s Story Part I

Postulant A’s Experience

Generally the house was large. All the floors were bare wooden floorboards or tiles. The only chairs were for infirm and elderly sisters, everyone else sat on low wooden stools. The walls were uniform cream, but they had verses of writing written on the walls in various places, except in cells and the chapel. Some were Bible verses, but there were other quotations from the Rule, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, etc and other sources. One of the quotations on a cell wall read: “In Carmel and at the judgment, I am alone with God”.

The professed sister, assigned to make sure a postulant didn’t get lost for the first few days, was called an ‘Angel’.

Another custom is kneeling down on the floor (where ever you were) each time you talked to Mother, or if Mother spoke to you more than a ’quick word’. It isn’t because of her as a person, it was the recognition that she spoke in the place of Christ within the community, she was Christ to all the nuns. It also showed humility – a virtue a Carmelite cultivates to be humble like Christ. If a sister erred in some way, as a penance she would kneel down in front of Mother immediately and kiss the floor. It was a beautiful sight to see – there was much love and respect during this.

Though they are austere and follow St. Teresa’s rule stricter, they do have a kneeling option for sisters who can’t kneel long or at all or have bad backs and to prevent bad backs from kneeling upright on the floor. For the two hours of mental prayer, they kneel the first 5 minutes, then for the next 50 minutes they either kneel, use a prayer stool or the choir seat and then kneel the last 5 minutes – IF the sister can kneel that long (the 10 minutes), if not they would use the seat or prayer stool. Mother said that not being able to kneel for 2 hrs or even 10 minutes didn’t dismiss you from being a Carmelite if that is what God called you to be – after all He KNOWS if you can kneel or not and if He CALLS you to Carmel, He is aware of this! When they processed after Sext (Midday Office) to the refectory, I had to follow at a distance, so I couldn’t join in the psalm they were chanting on the way.

The morning and evening Angelus was done with the appropriate Divine Office in choir while the noon Angelus you also knelt down where ever you where – which often happened as we were washing-up in the kitchen (everyone lends a hand with dishes). As the Angelus is rung, everyone stops what they’re doing and kneels down where they are, in front of the sink, the draining board, cupboards, refectory, wherever. They say the Angelus to themselves, do the sign of the cross get up and carry on with whatever they were doing. At three o’clock, the time Our Lord died on the cross, the bell rings to remind the sisters and wherever a sister is or whatever she’s doing (workroom, classroom, corridor etc), she stops and does a double kneel i.e. you kneel down and bend over so your forehead is somewhere near your knees. You stay there and say a prayer or just unite yourself to the Lord for the duration of the chapel bell, then you get up and carry on as before!

If you were going to help with the dishes after a meal, you knelt in front of a statue of Mary and said a Hail Mary quietly, before going into the kitchen. I helped with the dishes after dinner and supper, but after breakfast I had to visit four different places in the convent.

We didn’t all go round in a group, but each sister had to visit certain places at some point during the day for short prayer. First, you went into the ante chapel, bowed, knelt down in front of the beautiful statue of Our Lady of Carmel with the baby Jesus and said a prayer (it wasn’t set as to what you said or how long it was, it was your personal prayer).

(The nuns have adoration for certain feast days)

Then you got up, bowed, went elsewhere and went to a little statue of St. Joseph bowed again, knelt down and said a prayer to him. The last two places I went to were upstairs where my cell was, but I think there were others elsewhere: one was a picture of Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila which you prayed to and the last was an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Our Lady of Perpetual Help to us in the USA).

You also knelt down and kiss the floor of the choir, when entering and leaving. You also kissed the floor when you said a short prayer before bed. You knelt down, said your prayer, kissed the floor, stood up, crossed yourself with holy water (everyone had a little container of holy water stoup on the wall and then you sprinkled a little holy water over your bed, switched the light off and went to sleep.

A straw mattress

The straw mattress, as I had been warned, was hard. But I also found that it was warm and actually comfortable. It was hard to sit on, but when you were actually lying on it, it was great! The bed was a little shorter and narrower than a normal bed. I had no problem with that, although a larger person might have found it cramped. There wasn’t a pillowcase on the pillow. On the four corners of the pillow there were straight pins (not safety pins) so you had to be careful not to sleep near the corners! Under the pillow you kept a cotton rectangle just a bit smaller than one side of the pillow. You pinned this to the pillow every night, and every morning you unpinned it, folded it up and put it back under the pillow. When you woke up in the morning, you knelt up on the bed and said a set prayer, dedicating your day to God.

In Habit

I wore a long, white veil. Apparently they were black at one stage, but Rev Mother didn’t like them black, so she told the ‘Habit Sister’ (in charge of clothing), to make me a white one. The veil I had was fixed to a headband which was also covered in the same white material, and it had two strings to tie it back with.

I also had a black cape that had buttons down the front and reached to the hips. You put your hands together underneath it, as sisters had their hands under their scapulars. The idea is the keep your hands still and out of sight in ‘recollected prayer position’, unless they’re being used in holding your books or working.

I was lent a long black underskirt and another long skirt to go over the top of it. I wore a long black skirt and over the waist-band of the over skirt I had a little pouch which acted as a sort of ‘outside pocket’. In this you kept a handkerchief, a little prayer book (for some extra prayers and graces said at certain times).

The Refectory

The refectory was a large rectangular room. It had benches to sit on which were arranged against the walls with large tables in front of them. While sitting on your bench you were not allowed to lean back against the walls (unless you had a problem or were elderly – but even the elderly nuns were so holy and for the love of God they always sat up!), the infirm sisters had chairs. Before beginning any meal, you made the sign of the cross over your bread and kissed it.

After Mass you had breakfast, which you went to informally. You hooked up your skirt and ate your breakfast standing up on the opposite side of the table from which you sat. After you had kissed your bread, you poured a little water into your bowl made the sign of the cross and drank it. Then you got your tea in your mug, there was sugar available for that if you wished. Also on the tea trolley was vitamin tablets and mineral supplements for the sisters to take. Each sister’s bread was already weighed and placed on her refectory place ready for her. It was one slice of brown bread (which was shop brought) and one very thick slice of white bread (which was home made). Also in your place, on a dish under a lid was some butter for the bread, except on Fridays where you ate your bread dry as a mortification. You could have as much water as you liked, but you had to eat all your bread. There wasn’t anything else to choose from, no cereals or jam, just bread, butter, tea and water. After breakfast, you put your unused butter on the side in the little pantry and washed up your mug and knife and returned them to your place. You then got another piece of bread from the basket, for use during dinner, bowed to the crucifix and left.

The Sisters processed to dinner after the little office of Sext, while reciting a psalm. Then there was a grace and responses said, after which the sisters went to their places and folded their long sleeves back. You didn’t tuck your skirt up because you were sitting for dinner and supper. The next part was to undo the safety pins on the corners of the over-sized serviette and I pinned it to the front of my cloak. I didn’t know what it was called, but it was a large rectangular piece of cotton. Each sister had a separate one which marked her place, like a personal tablecloth. On it was her mug, bowl, small plate and cutlery. The front of it was used as a napkin, in the middle of the week, you turned it round and used the other end for a napkin and on a certain day they were all changed. On fast days, you folded this napkin in half and replaced your things on it ready for the next meal, you also did that every day after dinner ready for supper. The food was good and there was also a separate tea-break in the afternoon, which you drank whilst standing up, like breakfast. Dinner (after Sext) was the main meal and supper was a lighter meal.

When you finished your soup or the food on your plate, you cut a piece of your bread and then wiped it round your bowl or plate, then ate it. When you had finished eating, you swept your breadcrumbs together with your hand and picked them up with your spoon or onto your finger and ate them. Then you put water into your little bowl (there was a different one for soup that appeared when needed), and washed with your fingers your spoon, knife and fork, then you drank the water, dried everything on a corner of your napkin after unpinning it from your front, made everything ready for the next meal, put your hands under your cloak and sat quietly, not leaning on the wall, to wait for closing grace. After grace, everyone went out and knelt in front of a statue of Mary to say a Hail Mary to themselves before the work of washing up, for which I was allowed to take my cloak off.

Nun’s Choir

One interesting thing I did experience there, was what they called the ‘Saturday Salve’. If it wasn’t a feast or other solemnity, Saturday Mass was in honour of Mary, but there was this extra part just before Vespers. I was given a lighted candle and stood in the dark at the end of the stalls, nearest to the grille. Then the sisters processed in carrying candles, sung a hymn to Mary (Salve Regina) then blew their candles out. Then the lights were switched on and we said Vespers. A nice little ceremony, I liked it.

The Rosary was said after Mass or after Tierce, depending on how long Mass took.

In chapel, the criss-cross grille was closest to the sanctuary, then there were heavy glass or plastic sliding doors, on the sisters side there were wooden shutters decorated with wooden crosses. With the shutters closed, the sisters chapel made a nice little prayer space all by itself.

They only opened the shutters and glass doors during Mass only so you could see and hear it being celebrated, through the grille. There was a little door to the side of the grille, usually kept locked, which opened to reveal a space to kneel and a small arched glassless window into the sanctuary, without a grille. To receive communion each sister knelt in this little space and received the wafer on her tongue. The chalice had been passed to a sister through this window before and was given to every sister in turn, before being returned through the window to the priest, to offer to the public in the main nave.

I didn’t go to all the Offices, but I was expecting to go to Compline, which in this convent isn’t the last Office of the day – Matins is the last Office. I like Compline, but I wasn’t to go to it. I was woken in time to go to Mass and was sent to bed after second recreation at about 7:45pm. But it took me a while to get to bed with such an odd, and time consuming routine.  After the Office of Readings every Friday, the nuns take the discipline.

(Postulant A’s story continued tomorrow)

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Happy feast day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Happy feast day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!

From the writings of St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Carmelite nun.

“You know, my God, that my one desire is to be a victim of Your Sacred Heart, wholly consumed as a holocaust in the fire of Your holy love. Your Heart will be the altar on which I shall be consumed by You, my dear Spouse, and You will be the Priest who will consume this victim by the fires of Your most Sacred Heart. But, O my God, how ashamed I am to see how guilty is this victim and how unworthy to have her sacrifice accepted by You! But I am confident that all will be consumed by this divine fire!
By offering my whole self to You, I understand that I am giving You my free will, so that henceforth, You alone will be the Master of my heart, and Your will alone will regulate my actions. Therefore, dispose of me always according to Your good pleasure; I am content with everything, since I wish to love You with a love that is patient, mortified, wholly abandoned to You, an active love, a strong, undivided love and, what is more important, a persevering love.” (St Teresa Margaret Redi)

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June 15, 2012 · 2:49 pm

EBAY – I am selling lots of items for raise money for my debt

Please stop buy, bid and win to help me out plus get some great things!  I have some relics (some prayer cards) of Sts. Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi, Colette of Corbie, Jane de Chantal, Francis de Sales, Blessed Marie Celine (Poor Clare Colettine), St.  Margaret Mary and St. Vincent de Paul and St. Pio.

On ebay, my member name is “carmel-bound”.  I just posted a few things just now but will continue daily with items that are religious (rosaries, relics, rosaries, statutes, etc) and non-religious (DVDs of movies, exercise, etc, books).

This link MAY bring you to my page that lists my items – I hope!  http://www.ebay.com/sch/carmel-bound/m.html?item=320924094262&sspagename=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649&_trksid=p4340.l2562

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Life in the Carmel of the Holy Spirit, Kirk Edge, Sheffield UK

Over several posts, I will post some of the life at the Sheffield Carmel in Kirk Edge in the UK where, please God, I will be going soon. These posts come from the sisters themselves told to me during my visit to them and from a few women I knew over the past few years who entered this Carmel and stayed for various length of times and who left finding either they had no vocation to Carmel or had a vocation elsewhere.

I will start the posts that come from my experience with a “My Story or Visit” or some such statement to signify what is mine.  After saying this, I will start something now to get going.  I will edit any personal things, names, etc. to protect my privacy, the previous women who were there and the sisters themselves.

————————

From My Visit:

I knew the moment I was in the driveway still in the taxi that I found my home, my Carmel! Just the SIGHT of the monastery! Then this knowledge grew in leaps and bounds when I met Mother in the parlor, entered their incredibly beautiful chapel, when I talked with all the sisters – except one sister who was in a wheelchair and couldn’t get up the stairs to the parlor. This is such a true, authentic and traditional Carmel – I expected St. Teresa of Avila to come to the parlor!

When Mother Mary first came to the parlor, she knelt down on the floor, sitting on her heels – she is over 80 yrs old!  They have no chairs in the parlor, just a prayer stool or one of those little wooden stools Carmels have with the slot in the top to carry it.  Younger or healthy nuns with good knees kneel/sit on the floor and the older or unhealthy knees can sit on the low stools.

The parlors have double grilles and also in the chapel.  They have 3 parlors.  The biggest is the St. Joseph parlor (picture below), the St. Teresa of Avila parlor (I saw one sister in here once when family came to see another sister in the St. Joseph parlor – and I forgot to take a picture of this parlor!  Then there is a third smaller parlor window in a small room that discerners ate their meals in (more on this and a picture too in a later post).   These three parlors have thick wooden doors closing them off on their side.

(above, St. Joseph’s parlor, 2nd floor)

(public chapel, nun’s choir grille to the left side wall)

(Our Lady’s altar – which is located to the right side of the main altar – I spent much time on their prieu dieu in front of Our Lady!)

The silence on the grounds, parts of the monastery I could be in and especially the chapel was incredible! As they are on the edge of the moors and inside the national park/reserve area, there can never be any construction to build anything near them.  Even outside there was no noise.  There was an occasional car sound driving by – barely audible that I heard at the Lodge where I stayed that is right near the road but even then, the silence and beauty of the surrounding land was breath taking!

(the Lodge from near the monastery)

The Lodge is a building that has 3 flats (apartments to us in the US).  One flat is a older couple who act as Externs and caretakers to the nuns for a reduced rental rate.  The husband created and maintained their website and did other chores while the wife did the shopping, brought the sisters to doctor’s appointments, picked up and brought discerners like myself to/from the train station we’d come in on from the nearby airport.   Another flat was rented to another couple and the third flat was saved for discerners to stay in (like me), visiting priests and for members of a sister’s family who came from far away.   From the window of this kitchen flat I could see the monastery chapel and part of the monastery (see the header picture at the top of my blog).  It was so beautiful during the day and especially at night when most nights there would be one of the windows lit with light.  I always wondered what room that window opened into.  Or was it a hallway?

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St. Maravillas of Jesus – short video

Short video on St. Maravillas of Jesus. Her feast day is December 11th.  I am blessed to be given her name as my religious name and her as my patron saint in Carmel.  My religious name on the day I enter Carmel in Kirk Edge will be “Sr. Mary Maravillas of Jesus and the Holy Face” – though for brevity sake I will be called Sr. Maravillas in the community.  My favorite saint and favorite devotion!

***VIDEO  CORRECTION!:  I noticed in the video when they say that St. Maravillas was influenced by the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, they showed the Carmelite saint, St. Teresa of the Andes!  This MAY be an error or not.  While there are no photographs of St. Teresa of Avila as she lived in the 1500s, there are paintings of her they could have used.  Why they used St. Teresa of the Andes I don’t know.  This is just a clarification in case there are any who think the photo IS St. Teresa of Avila!)***

The video also doesn’t mention that she founded and refounded (Carmels that were getting lax) with the true rule and constitutions of St. Teresa of Avila that she instituted when she founded HER Carmels.  These were the 1581 rule/constitutions – we know them as 1990 – and she helped Carmel weather and come through the crazy misunderstandings of Vatican II with the true and authentic Teresian Carmel.

From the “Meditations of Carmel” site:

María de las Maravillas was born in Madrid, Spain, on November 4, 1891, the fourth child of Luis and Cristina. At the time her father was the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See, and she grew up in a devout Catholic family.

María made a vow of chastity at the age of five and devoted herself to charitable work. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she felt called to become a Discalced Carmelite.

Her father, whom she had faithfully assisted when he became ill, died in 1913, and her mother was reluctant to accept her daughter’s decision to enter the Carmelite monastery. However, on October 12, 1919, María did enter the Discalced Carmelites in Madrid and made her simple vows on May 7, 1921.

Before her final profession on May 30, 1924, Sr María had already received a special call from God to found the Carmel of Cerro de los Ángeles, and the foundation was inaugurated in 1926 with three other Carmelites. This was the first of many Teresian Carmelite Monasteries that she would establish, according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites. María was not being called to found a new order or to “branch off” from the Discalced Carmelites – she herself was very careful in pointing this out; she only sought to live deeply and to transmit the spirit and ideals of her holy parents in Carmel, St Teresa and St John.

Her role as prioress would be permanent in the various monasteries she founded throughout her life, notwithstanding the natural aversion and sense of inadequacy she felt in accepting positions of responsibility. María’s spirit of obedience and love for the Church and for her Carmelite sisters, however, gave her the strength and diligence to carry out this duty with love.

The Spanish Civil War erupted in July of 1936 and the sisters at Cerro de los Angeles were arrested and lived for fourteen months in a small apartment under house arrest. Even amid enormous deprivation, Mother Maravillas instilled courage and happiness, always being an admirable example to her daughters.

But she also remained a mystery even to the nuns closest to her, since only her spiritual directors knew the “dark night of the soul” that she lived throughout her life, which kept her in profound spiritual aridity and trials, and made total faith and abandonment to the will of God her guide.

In the following years, foundations were established in other parts of Spain. From what I could tell on a time line on the internet, she found 11 new communities and was involved with restoring others damaged by the Civil War.

She distinguished herself by her faithfulness in fulfilling the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites and supported many charitable projects for the poor in Spain. She had a great enthusiasm for the charism of Carmel. By word and example she led a fervent contemplative life in service to the Mystical Body of Christ.

In order to unite the monasteries she had established and others associated with them, Mother Maravillas obtained approval in 1972 from the Holy See to found the Association of St Teresa. There are a total of 10 monasteries in the US and Canada that belong to this Association, one of those being our nuns here at St. Joseph. The intro about the Assoc. reads, “The St. Teresa Association is a group of monasteries of Discalced Carmelite Nuns formed in 1975 to strengthen one another in living our contemplative vocation in the Church. Membership is based on spiritual affinity rather than geographical boundaries, and we share a common desire to bear witness in these times to the charism and spirit of the Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns founded by St. Teresa of Avila in 1562.”

On December 8, 1974, Mother Maravillas was anointed and received Holy Communion. On December 11, surrounded by her community, she died in peace at the age of 84. As she died she kept repeating “What happiness to die a Carmelite!” A perfume of spice arose from her body.

She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 10, 1998 at St. Peter’s in Rome and canonized on May 4, 2003 in Madrid. Her feast day is Dec 11th, the anniversary of her entrance into eternity.

From the letters of St. Maravillas of Jesus, Virgin (Letters to her spiritual directors: 305, 254, 101, 458b)

Yesterday, Sunday, on climbing the stairs to go to the upper choir for the sung Mass, I was quite recollected, yet without any particular thought, when I heard clearly within me, “My delight is to be with the children of men.” These words which made a strong impression on me, I understood were not for me this time, but rather in the nature of a request the Lord was making me to offer the whole of myself to give Him these souls He so much desires. It is hard to explain, but I saw clearly, that a soul which sanctifies itself becomes fruitful in attracting souls to God. This so deeply moved me that I offered with my whole heart to the Lord all my sufferings of body and soul for this purpose, despite my poverty. It then seemed to me that this offering was right, but what was strictly important was to surrender myself, wholly and completely to the divine will, so that He could do what He desired in me and likewise I would accept the pain along with the pleasure. I seemed to understand that what pleased Him was not the greatest sacrifice but rather the exact and loving fulfillment in the least detail of that will. In this I understood many things I find hard to explain, and how He wished me to be very sensitive in this fulfillment, which would carry me a long way in self-sacrifice and love.

I offered myself in such a way that nothing would excuse me, not even hell, (if there you can love the Lord), but then I am so cowardly. The Lord will remedy that, since I can do no more than commit myself to Him in all my misery. I began experiencing this as a desire to commit myself for souls and to be faithful for this purpose: thinking about what He had done for them, it seemed He was saying to me I could not do much, but He could, with my help. On feeling this immense desire of the Lord for the salvation of souls, it seemed so amazing that nothing remained but to be committed to God so that He could carry out all His work in the soul and thus make it, despite its poverty, capable of giving Him what He desires. Each time it became clearer to my soul so that nothing of my own remained important, except that the Lord alone be glorified. What a treasure the Lord has given me in allowing me to live in Carmel! Here, everything is arranged with such simplicity, yet in such a way that, living it to the full, you can do everything. How can we live in the House of the Virgin, pleasing the Lord with her, yet not imitating her, as the Holy Mother desired? I felt that this is the Carmelite’s way, imitating Mary, how we must grow less, to be truly poor, self-sacrificing, humble, nothing. I felt quite deeply how Jesus gives us in His own life continual examples of sacrifice, of humiliation, of making ourselves small, yet we do not understand. I felt His mercy and zeal for souls in this way, that here is the strength that can take hold of our life through His mercy. By His grace, may I, who am so absolutely poor in everything, be well able to imitate Him in this with more ease than other creatures. I seemed also to understand that these lights were not given only for myself, but also for guiding my sisters. The sole thing I do, many times in the day, is to say to the Lord that I wish to live only to love Him and to please Him, that I desire all that He wishes in the way that He wills.

Prayer

Lord God,
Who drew St. Maria Maravillas of Jesus
into the secrets of the Heart of Your Son,
grant through her intercession and example,
that we may work together for the salvation of souls,
experiencing the delights of Your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, Who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Ghost one God for ever and ever.

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June 7, 2012 · 4:08 pm

June 7th, feast of Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew

June 7th, feast of Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew

Today, June 7th, is the feast day of Blessed Ann of Saint Bartholomew, Carmelite, secretary and close friend of St. Teresa of Avila.

Ana Garcia was born at Almendral, Castille, in 1549. In 1572 she made her profession as a Carmelite in the hands of St. Teresa, at St. Joseph’s, Avila. The saint later chose her as her companion and nurse, and she subsequently brought the Teresian spirit to France and Belgium, where she proved herself, like Teresa, a daughter of the Church in her great zeal for the salvation of souls. She died at Antwerp in 1626.

http://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/june-7-blessed-ann-of-saint-bartholomew/

A reading from the “Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” by Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew

According to St. Bernard it is the person who keeps silent and says nothing when things go wrong who is really humble. It is very virtuous, he says, to keep silent when people are talking about our true faults; but more perfect when we are slighted or accused without having committed any fault or sin. And though it is virtuous indeed to bear this in silence, it is more perfect still to want to be despised and thought mad and good-for-nothing, and to go on, as our Lord Jesus Christ did, wholeheartedly loving those who despise us.

If Jesus kept silent, it was not because He hated anyone. He was simply saying to His eternal Father what He said on the cross: ‘Lord, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ What infinite love burned in that sacred heart of yours, Lord Jesus! Without uttering a single word You spoke to us; without a word You worked the mysteries You came to accomplish– teaching virtue to the ignorant and blind.

What our Lord did was no small thing. Where should we get patience and humility and poverty and the other virtues, and how could we carry the cross for one another, if Christ had not taught us all this first, and given Himself as a living model of all perfection?

Blessed silence! In it You cry out and preach to the whole world by Your example. Volumes could be written about Your silence, Lord! There is more wisdom to be learned from it by those who love You than from books or study.

Our Lord became a spring for us, so that we should not die of thirst among all the miseries that surround us. How truly He said in the Gospel that He came to serve and not to be served! What tremendous goodness! Can we fail to be shamed by Your words and deeds, and the patience You show with us every day? How truly, again Lord, did You say: ‘Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.’

Where can we obtain this patience and humbleness of heart? Is there any way to achieve it except by taking it from Christ as He taught it to us with those other virtues we need–faith, hope and charity? Without faith we cannot follow that royal road of the divine mysteries. It is faith that opens our eyes and makes us see the truth; and where faith is wanting there is no light, and no way leading to goodness.

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June 7, 2012 · 1:26 pm

St. Anthony of Padua – feast day June 13th, day 3 of Novena

St. Anthony of Padua - feast day June 13th, day 3 of Novena

I’m a little late to post this buy I have been praying a 9 day novena to St. Anthony of Padua, Franciscan and miracle-worker, for help with my petitions, including this debt. The below prayer is usually not a 9 day novena prayer but for room sake I am putting this one in. There are many sites that have a true 9 day novena where there is a daily prayer said and then a different one for 9 days. But I am sure it doesn’t matter to St. Anthony!

Novena Prayer

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, you love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me (state request here). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the Saint of Miracles.
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
(Then say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)

“ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS”

A Sermon by St. Anthony of Padua (1,226)

The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: ” A law is laid upon the preacher to practice what he preaches. ” It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.

But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself!  For some men speak as their own character dictates, but steal the words of others and present them as their own and claim the credit for them. The Lord refers to such men and others like them in Jeremiah: So, then, I have quarrel with the prophets that steal my words from each other. I have a quarrel with the prophets, says the Lord, who have only to move their tongues to utter oracles. I have a quarrel with the prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, who recount them and lead my people astray with their lies and their pretensions. I certainly never sent them or commissioned them, and they serve no good purpose for this people, says the Lord.
We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner and by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith, so that our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendor of the saints an to look up to the triune God.

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June 6, 2012 · 6:37 pm