Monthly Archives: November 2012

TODAY IS THE FEAST OF ST. RAPHAEL KALINOWSKI, CARMELITE

“A Man Devoted to God”, Archbishop Karol Wojtyla

Sermon preached by Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of 15 November 1966 in Czerna, at the tomb of the Servant of God Raphael Kalinowski.

“Brought us all here today, the grace of baptism, which was a thousand years to bear fruit for our Polish land. This brings us grace at various places Polish soil. And although the year of the Millennium of the Baptism is coming to an end, yet it still can not keep up, to embrace all the different places where you have to God, especially in a festive way to sing the Te Deum Laudamus. Among those sites that make up the trail or the Millennium is a nationwide or Archdiocesan, fell out among the places we come to Czerna. I come here as we hear the bishops of Cracow, who had managed and bishops from Katowice, Silesia, who still are on the way due to adverse weather conditions and traffic. These conditions hindered them to arrive on time. We come here to meet with the ancient monastery, meet with the whole spirit of Caramel, to meet also with the People of God in these surroundings, and above all, we come to meet with one great spirit, next to which we can never go though, and particular, we can not go though the year of the Millennium of Polish Christianity. You know very well that this great spirit, of which I speak is the Servant of God Father Raphael Kalinowski, the father of Saint Raphael. Joseph, barefooted Carmelite, whose mortal remains rested here in Czerna, and the immortal soul and the whole person waiting for a special grace of God in the Church, namely, at the mercy of elevation to the altars of the beatification. Efforts underway for his beatification for a long time and constantly moving forward. About this beatification is praying the whole Polish Caramel and male and female, the enclosed and the outer, whose representatives we are here. About the beatification of the faithful to pray for the Archdiocese of Krakow, especially around here Czerna, where the oldest people can remember this remarkable monk, near Wadowice, where he also stayed in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, also in various other places, which reached fame and opinion of his sanctity. We pray often, and today we pray together, especially solemn, so that the Servant of God, our beloved countryman, was elevated to the altars as a blessed and holy, and to enlighten the whole people of God on Polish soil in the new faith of the Millennium.

It is a remarkable figure, you know well, because I certainly know of his life, so I will not remind him. But I want to say briefly what happened to his life once and for all expression, and in a sense a symbol.

When my dear, we walked to the monastery czerneńskiego here, on the outer wall of the monastery next to the father of Raphael’s portrait is the inscription: “In the evening of life you will think of love.” These words of Saint wrote. John of the Cross, co-founder of Caramel Reformed and those words certainly apply very well to the end of his life his father Raphael. In Czerna on the wall of the cloister deserve these words, so that they write: “At the end of life will you believe in love.” But in order to shed light beam of a lifetime, you would have to have a different view of the Scriptures. remove and recall. You’d have to say these words to remind of the Song of Songs, where it says: “Stronger than death is love.” And these words of Scripture. Old Testament could shed light beam for life father Raphael Kalinowski. “Stronger than death is love.” Because life is full of Raphael’s father’s great love, this kind of love that does not hesitate to stand face to face with death. Above all his life before he entered the Caramel, and it was quite late, around 40 years of age, was full of heroic love of earthly homeland. This was the period of the partitions. It was a time when our nation received independence, then they wanted to pick up the spirit. And the nation was against it, he defended himself, he would start to fight insurgents against the invaders. Especially against the invaders, who weighed the most on our fate, against Tsarist Russia. Jumped up to defend the nation of its existence: in 1830 in the November Uprising, started up in a much more difficult still opportunities in 1863 in the January Uprising.

That is an event closely associated with the person’s father Raphael Kalinowski. He was not only a member of this uprising, but he was one of the leaders. To the creation comes as an adult, having a highly qualified professional engineer and officer in the imperial army, which is able to manage the insurgent action, military action because of their preparation in this field. And so he went to battle insurgents while even the minister. This all together was a testimony to how much he loved his earthly homeland, how much he helped her in the struggle for existence and freedom, how much he was willing to stand face to face with death. Those decisions undertook as an adult with full awareness of the obligation. He knew that the establishment has a heavy task that is a matter of defeat, but he considered himself as his sacred duty, in order to this difficult task to lend a hand. “Strong as death is love.” At this point Father Raphael Kalinowski has proved that his love was strong as death – indeed stronger than death.

When the uprising ended, when he fell, was sentenced to death but later pardoned him, changed him the penalty of imprisonment, and after some time been sentenced to Siberia, and finally, when he returned to Lithuania to his, he had to go abroad Tsarist Russia.

This is his greatness of spirit and of this size, we can not forget the year of the Millennium of Polish Christianity. We can not forget the more that the size of its human, patriotic, this willingness to die for the love of the fatherland swam the deepest Christian mainstream that such a love of country, their own nation, dictated by a supernatural love of God, that light and motive for the love and sacrifice drew from the Gospel. Because even before the uprising, and before its participation in the uprising was a deeply religious man, a man of mature supernatural life. He was a saint and was regarded as a saint before he entered on this particular path of holiness to which God has called him, because after a long 40-year period of his life in the world.

When we look at his character and the character of his own age, very similar to his father, Raphael Kalinowski, namely, Brother Albert Chmielowski, the insurgent, the character of our countrymen who have so long been in the world, then comes to mind Vatican II Constitution on the Apostolate the laity.

I think that in these forms and many more can be found in the first Millennium, very mature specimens to illustrate the mission of the laity in the Church. But the Lord God in his ineffable providence led him to other roads, and even that was saved from death insurgents, who have been humanly ordained, even that must be understood as a particular finger of Divine Providence, which he pointed his way. Father Raphael before his name was Joseph. Before he found in himself the new appointment, the appointment of a perfect life on the road, the path of religious life, had put yet another merit of the first millennium of Polish Christianity – namely, was the tutor of Prince August Czartoryski and his pupil ago highest ideals instilled patriotic and Christian, because how can you know, that his pupil with the princely family of the young then joined the Salesians and at the meeting also died young, in the opinion of holiness, and today is one of those candidates for sainthood, which transmit the first millennium to another. A father was Raphael Caramel and the Caramel sought the implementation of this second task, which today for the second millennium of Polish Christianity scrawled his brothers near his grave on the outer wall of the monastery: “In the evening of life you will think of love.”

Homeland earth so loved that he chose for her cause death, and now the second time he had to choose death with eternal love of country, love of that which constitutes the first and most important commandment of the Gospel, which is, as it expresses St. Paul, the germ of perfection. It occurred to him to choose death for the love of God above all things, for God Himself. This love God above all things, love God for Himself made the walls of Caramel he chose and ordered him to be everything to leave these walls and His single, the Eternal Father and Redeemer Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to look for all the zeal of his deep soul. Because the religious life according to this notion that the Church has always had and which in themselves are renewed by the Second Vatican Council, is the consecration of the person, it is only human sacrifice to God. It is a sacrifice, an offering made up of all human beings as outside, and above all the inner being. The victim of mind and heart will be deposited in the spirit of faith. This sacrifice, as we know, connected with realization of the three evangelical counsels, namely, purity, virginity, poverty advice and counsel of obedience. These three evangelical counsels becomes a way of life of the monk, nun, become a way of life his father Raphael, barefoot Carmelite, and in this way to pursue his way of life in love. “Love is stronger than death.” Because in the religious life is something to death, not physical but spiritual. Such a man should die like the most to live in Christ – Mystical Body, and live for the victim and live hidden for others, for the people, for all humanity.

This is the first commandment: “Love God above all things” includes all other love, and all the higher. That is the most important commandment of love and fulfill my father understood Raphael Kalinowski, barefooted Carmelite. And he realized that the greatest commandment in the way religious vocation in a ruthless, uncompromising, sparing you the sacrifice of putting his whole self, every day and every night. Leading life umartwione, humble, raw, hidden by strict rules. And this is life as I mentioned, was a kind of spiritual death. And this life has led him to realize this truth of Scripture. “Stronger than for death is love” – ​​the second time. For the first time in the uprising in the love of country, and the second time in the Caramel in the love of God above all things. In this love was, and love of country and love of God and all that is called love towards people.

My dear. When today here on 15 November 1966 gathered in a relatively small number of such, although it is a very large group, taking into account weekday and such bad weather, so when we gather here in such a large group to consider the life and death, and above all holiness father Raphael Kalinowski, we do it only because we are passing from the first millennium a great good. That good name is a man devoted to God, the holy man, at our discretion.

It’s good is the largest and most important good of the Church and humanity. We are good in the first Millennium have developed in the year of the Millennium of the Baptism of the other Millennium somehow pass as a deposit to his father’s memory lasted Rafale and testified to this memory. Testified mainly to our younger generations, how deep you have to look at life, as you have to love the motherland and how much you love God and then all the people. “Stronger than death is love.” Why? Therefore, in the evening of life that we believe will be of love.

Here is a man who was ripe for death, for God’s court, the court of love. And we, who consider the history of man, his life and death, may we also follow his example matured throughout our lives to this court, which we believe will be of love. To the court which will judge us in the future, God Himself. Today we pass it as a living deposit, as a legacy to our new generation to become a life of their noble, dignified man, worthy of the Pole, and above all worthy of meeting with God face to face. Because that is our Polish call to the whole life sposobić, prepare. At the end will judge us with love and love us will think the same. Because God is love. To this truth, and with it the truth about God never faded among us and among the new generations in the next Millennium, let us pray about it is hot, because it is a matter of life and death matter to be or not be every man and the whole nation.

So let us today, brothers and sisters in the Carmelite church in Czerna, let us also his father’s grave and ask Raphael Kalinowski of the Triune God, so that our Te Deum – you, O God, we praise adopted as a prayer of thanksgiving and prayer as supplication.

I am very pleased that in this our czerneńskim monastery, the tomb of Raphael’s father, is involved neighborhood, our diocese, The Diocese of Katowice. This is not the fact that random and isolated, because for years they journey Czerna our brothers in the Diocese of Silesian Silesians, and bishops and priests. I am glad that he is among us, the Bishop of Katowice, despite the fact that this bad weather, despite the difficult weather and traffic that is also a representation of the brotherly people of God diocese. Together we will consider the life and death, Raphael’s father, together sing the Te Deum, together implore God to this great deposit, which left us with Raphael’s father, survived in the new Millennium, the glory of God and beneficial use.”

* * *

Text written to magnetic tape, unauthorized. First published in 1980 by Postulatorski Studies Center. Information Bulletin (Rome), No. 10, p. 180-185.


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Today is the Feast of All Carmelite Souls

by Fr. Emiel Abalahin, O.Carm.

The homes of most people do not consist of a mere wooden frame or a cement foundation; rather, they are constructed from a great variety of materials, and more often than not, the result of the participation of more than one or two people.  So, too, the Order of Carmel continues to grow and develop today because of the presence and contributions of all those who built upon its spiritual foundations, and not just its great saints.

On this commemoration of All Carmelite Souls, we call to mind all of these people and their part in the heritage that has been handed down to us.  These brothers and sisters of ours may not have been famous spiritual writers nor renowned for extraordinary experiences of prayer, but they made their mark on the Order and on each of us through their own efforts to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ in service to the Order and to the Church.  Whether as priests or brothers, nuns or sisters, consecrated lay or third order members, they brought the spirit of Carmel to their daily lives and to all those around them.  Others were not official members of the Order, but through their generosity of time, talent and support, encouraged us Carmelites to an ever-deeper fidelity to our vocation.

But this day is not simply a day for remembering.  It is also a day in which the Order prays especially for these souls in an act of faith that trusts in the mercy and promises of Jesus Christ himself, “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) who assures us that the will of the Father is that he should not lose anything of what he gave him, but that he should raise it on the last day (John 6:39).  Through our prayer, united to the intercession of Mary, we ask God to look upon our sisters and brothers in His infinite and great mercy (cf. Isaiah 55:7-11), and call them home.  At the same time, our supplications are also for our departed Carmelites, encouraging them to move toward God with great trust that what they believed in, experienced and lived for during their earthly lives will now come to be fully realized in the eternal Divine embrace.

For us, too, who remain in this earthly existence, this day serves as an important reminder that this terrestrial life is merely a passing moment, a brief sojourn towards a more vibrant and permanent reality.  This commemoration, therefore, is an invitation to prioritize our lives in such a way that reflects this future hope, letting go of all that makes us waste our time and efforts and prevents us from striving toward the goal of eternal life in God.  These faithfully departed souls for whom we pray help us to understand that we are not alone on this pilgrimage because they have also traveled this same path to eternity.

So let us remember and pray for our Carmelite dearly departed in a special way today, giving thanks for all that they have done, and praying that they may enjoy their eternal rest.  In doing so, we continue to participate in the building up of the household of God, this house of many mansions (John 12:4), of which our brothers and sisters, and we ourselves, are invited to one day claim as our eternal home.


Gathered together by the same love for Christ and homage toward his greatly loved Mother, the members of the Family of Carmel continue to love one another fraternally, whether they are committed in the struggle for Christ on this earth, or after this long earthly pilgrimage, they wait for the glorious vision of the Lord. This is why the whole Order, united in prayer, recommends to the mercy of God the deceased brothers and sisters so that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, pledge of sure hope and of joy, he may accept them among the glorious choirs of Saints.

Just as the love of Christ and the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought us together in a single family, fraternal charity unites those of us still striving to lead a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ in this world, and those already awaiting the vision of God in purgatory.  Today the whole Order commends our departed brothers and sisters to God’s mercy through the intercession of Our Lady, sure sign of hope and consolation, and begs for their admission to the courts of heaven.

When November 15 falls on a Sunday, the Commemoration is celebrated on the following day.

All as in the Breviary for November 2nd, Office of the Dead, except the following:

Prayer

Lord,
you are the glory of those who serve you.
Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters,
united in following Christ and his Mother
by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel .
In your mercy grant them everlasting sight of you
their Creator and Redeemer.
We ask this through our Lord.

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For the feast of All Carmelite Saints, November 14th

Carmelite Saints – Drink of the Stream

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Today is the Feast of All Saints of Carmel

“Like the prophet Elijah, all the Saints of Carmel have been shaped through a school of spiritual fire. They also intimated the example of Mary and made their truest expression in the experience of love and that love makes the history of the Order. They became a hymn of praise to offer to our God.”

We receive the great gift from our brothers and sisters who have consecrated their lives to God. They embraced the teachings of the Divine Master and lived their lives in “allegiance to Jesus Christ”. They gave themselves to the service of God in prayer, in evangelical self-denial, and in loving for souls. At times, they have shed their own blood to testify this love.

Who are the saints of Carmel? They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters. They are teachers and preachers, missionaries and martyrs who searched for the face of God among the people. They are nuns who have contributed to the growth of God’s people by their mystical experience and especially through their fervent prayer and contemplative life. They are religious, who showed us the face of Christ through their apostolate in hospitals or schools, especially in the mission lands. They are laity, who were able to embody the spirit of Carmel and lived that spirit in the midst of the people. Simon Stock, Andrew Corsini, Albert of Trapani, John of Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein, Titus Brandsma, Angelo Paoli and countless saints and blesseds of Carmel together with Mary, the Mother of Carmel, are now singing a song of praise to the Father in Heaven.

They can be great saints that the whole Church venerates and invokes in the liturgy, or they are humble saints, who are known and venerated by only a few outside the Order. But all of them, through their lives, have offered us a secret of holiness to become saints. They can teach us how to live virtues of hope, love and faith and how to make our daily commitment to God. And they show us how to dedicate their whole heart to Christ.

All Carmelite Saints let themselves be shaped according to the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who lived in intimacy with her Son. It is from her that they have learned to live in Christ and to live the love of Christ. From her they were inspired to consecrate their lives for the Church and for souls. In short, the life of the Virgin has an absolute importance in the experience of all the Carmelite Saints.

We pray that the example of these saints will continue to inspire holiness in a new generation of our brothers and sisters. Like them, we can live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve Him with a pure heart and a good conscience.  Like them, we can know how to devote ourselves day and night to the contemplation of the Word and to generous service for the humanity. Finally, we ask that the examples of Carmelite saints may impact us immensely and concretely and make us have a deeper love for Christ, for the Church and for the whole world.

(above from http://ocarm.org/en/content/liturgy/all-carmelite-saints-feast)

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Tomorrow is the Feast of All Carmelite Saints

“So I say now that all of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation. This explains our origin; we are the descendants of those who felt this call, of those holy fathers on Mount Carmel who in such great solitude and contempt for the world sought this treasure, this precious pearl of contemplation that we are speaking about.

Let us remember our holy forebears of the past, those hermits whose lives we aim to imitate. We must remember our real founders, those holy fathers whose descendants we are. It was by way of poverty and humility, we know, that they came to the enjoyment of God.

On the subject of the beginnings of Orders, I sometimes hear it said that the Lord gave greater graces to those saints who went before us because they were the foundations. Quite so, but we too must always bear in mind what it means to be foundations for those who will come later. For if those of us who are alive now have not fallen away from what they did in the past, and those who come after us do the same, the building will always stand firm. What use is it to me for the saints of the past to have been what they were, if I come along after them and behave so badly that I leave the building in ruins because of my bad habits?

For obviously those who come later don’t remember those who have died years before as clearly as they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is if I insist that I am not one of the first, and do not realize what a difference there is between my life and virtues, and the lives of those God has endowed with such graces!

Any of you who sees your Order falling away in any respect, must try to be the kind of stone the building can be rebuilt with—the Lord will help to rebuild it. For love of our Lord I beg them to remember how quickly everything comes to an end, and what a favor our Lord has done us in bringing us to this Order, and what a punishment anyone who starts any kind of relaxation will deserve. They must always look at the race we are descended from—that race of holy prophets. What numbers of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal.”

— From the works of Saint Teresa of Avila

All hail! you gentle dwellers
Of wilderness and cloister.
You won out over the wicked cunning
Of the raging forces darkness.

Jewels and treasures of gold,
High places of worldly honor,
The fleeting joys which the world offers
All these you trod underfoot.

Far from the affairs of men
The soul on fire with love fled away;
Joining the assembly of God’s chosen
Dwelt among heavenly things.

Wounded by love’s dart,
Teresa and Magdalen faint with love;
Cries the one: To suffer or to die!
To suffer, not to die! cries the other.

He who was called “Of the Cross”
Yearned to suffer and be despised.
In all things the Cross was his portion,
His honor, his comfort, his joy.

You who endured labors so great
And now share in the vision of God,
Prepare, w beg you, the same reward
For us who follow in your paths.

With the Father and the loving Spirit,
To you, Jesus, be glory
Who were born of the Virgin,
Beauty of Carmelites.

V. God is wonderful in his Saints.
R. And holy in all his works

All-powerful, merciful God, you give us joy each year in the commemoration of all the Saints of the Order of the most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. In your kindness grant to us this grace: by their merits, and with the help of their prayers, we may live for you alone, meditating always on your law, denying ourselves in all things, and so merit to join them in the happiness of eternal life. This we ask of you through our Lord.

— From the 1966 Discalced Carmelite Proper

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St. Teresa of Avila and the Carmelite vocation

The Carmelite Vocation ~ a talk given to young women interested in Carmel

The call to Carmel is a call to an extraordinary way of life… a sublime vocation, but it is offered to ordinary modern young Catholic women no different from yourselves. This call is a personal invitation from God Himself to a life of intimacy with Him through the complete gift of oneself.

We Discalced Carmelite Nuns are part of a worldwide religious family… a cloistered Order of women dedicated to the apostolate of prayer and penance at the very heart of the Church and of the world. Our history goes back to the 12th century… and, by tradition, even to Old Testament times and the prophets (particularly the great prophet Elijah), whose lives bore witness to the Presence of God among His people. The great Spanish mystic, St. Teresa of Avila, reformed the Order of Carmel in the 16th century (1562), setting up very much the same lifestyle our community follows today, together with more than 800 other Carmelite monasteries throughout the world… on every continent. Our tradition is ancient, but there is nothing old-fashioned about Carmel: our ministry, though still hidden, is as relevant to the times you live in as it ever was… our life of prayer for the Church, for the needs of the world, and for all the peoples of the earth.

Today’s world needs prayer. We pray especially for priests, for the missions, for the poor, the unemployed, the sick and suffering, the hungry; for all those who call or write us continually with their special needs and intentions. Our morning Mass and the seven times each day when we gather in Choir to chant the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, consisting of the psalms and readings from Scripture, are all a part of the Carmelite’s offering of praise to the Lord and intercession for His people. But the real heart of our life is contemplative prayer, the silent, loving person-to-Person relationship with Jesus Christ which makes of the one who prays herself an offering… a living prayer, that draws all that she is and does into Jesus’ saving work in a powerful and mysterious way. The life of Carmel is modeled on the life of Mary at Nazareth… the quiet, hidden, worshipful service of God and His Will in intimate union with Jesus… carrying out her unique role in the history of salvation.

Remaining in the Lord’s presence always, getting to be His close personal friend, is aided by the peaceful prayerful silence and solitude we find within our “cloister”, known as the Papal Enclosure. Once we enter, we do not leave the monastery grounds except for necessary medical care… nor does anyone else come inside the cloister except for necessary maintenance. But the walls, the grilles, the hiddenness do not cut us off from the sufferings of the world or mean that we fail to appreciate its good and beautiful values; rather our unique vantage point lets us penetrate into the very heart of things. We are free… free to reflect, to ponder life in the light of God’s Word, to concentrate on love. If by our Solemn Vows of poverty, chastity and obedience we give up good things like the right to marriage and a family of our own, to be independent and seek our own ambitions, to own property or to have a rewarding career in the world, it is only to free us to have and to do something even more rewarding.

The life St. Teresa set up for her daughters strikes a healthy balance between prayer, both personal and communal, and manual labor… our daily work; and between solitude and community life. She believed that the best training for generosity with the Lord Jesus in prayer is the generosity we practice in serving our sisters. We are like hermits, but we live in the context of community: we pray together, we take our meals together, and we recreate together each day in a true spirit of sisterly joy. We work in silence, but whatever we do… whether domestic duties such as cooking the meals, cleaning the monastery, doing the laundry, or preparing the chapel for worship; everything is a service of love. It makes us mindful of the needs of others and trains us in caring… and in the love and service of one another, striving to live faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ… for Him and in union with Him.

We find God’s Will in our Rule of life and the order of our day, in the directives of our superiors, in the “quiet whisper” of silent prayer in loving communion with our Blessed Lord… and living in God’s will means living in joy and peace of heart.

Community life is simple and happy. St. Teresa limited the number of nuns in each monastery to twenty-one, so that we might all be true friends and sisters. The particular monastery that we enter is where we are trained in our own Novitiate and where we remain for life. The sick and elderly are cared for right here in the monastery infirmary, and we do not transfer from one Carmel to another. So it is important that each of us gets to know herself and continually strives to become more Christlike in the daily pursuit of holiness and the practice of virtue, that we may become more selfless, humble, generous, and more loving and thoughtful toward others. The challenge is never-ending. It is indeed a spiritual adventure.

Yes, the ideals of Carmel are high, but the women the Lord calls to serve Him here are just like you. We have come from all parts of the country, from all kinds of backgrounds. Some of us went to Catholic schools and grew up around sisters, and perhaps felt from childhood that we wanted to give ourselves to Jesus in a special way. Others pursued studies or careers and only discovered later that the service they were called to render the world was to offer it to God and to dedicate their own lives completely to Him in prayer and penance for His people.

The world needs generous and courageous youth, ready and willing to commit their lives with joy and enthusiasm to serve without counting the cost… to live for others and to love without measure as Jesus said: “greater love than this no one has than to lay down one’s life for others…” If today you should hear His voice… calling you to this marvelous challenge, do not hesitate to “go for it”… to respond with all the love and daring of your young heart. Never doubt that Jesus means YOU, when you hear Him say… “Come, follow Me… and I will show you the fullness of life and joy in this journey of faith we make together… let us climb the mountain of Carmel to the very peak of fulfillment… complete UNION with GOD forever in the JOY of Eternal LIFE!”

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Reflections from Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity on the Carmelite Vocation

To live in the presence of God; that is surely an inheritance left to the children of Carmel by the prophet Elijah, who cried out in the fervor of his faith: “The God I serve is a living God”… A life of prayer is the essence of the Carmelite vocation; the heart to heart communion that never ends, because when one loves, one no longer belongs to oneself but to the Beloved, and so lives more in Him than in oneself. That is what life in Carmel means: to live in God, contemplating His goodness and beauty, and dedicated entirely to the fulfillment of His blessed Will. Then every immolation, every sacrifice becomes divine; through everything the soul sees Him whom she loves and everything leads her to Him… it is a continual communion. All day long she surrenders herself to Love, by doing the will of God, under His gaze, with Him, in Him, for Him alone.

This is the life of a Carmelite: to be a true contemplative, another Magdalene whom nothing can distract from the ‘one thing necessary’. I want to be an apostle from the depths of my beloved solitude in Carmel; I want to work for God’s glory and the good of all His people, especially His priests; and for that I must be full of Him. Then I should be all-powerful: a look, a wish, would become an irresistible prayer that could obtain everything one asks in the Name of Jesus. I want to remain like Mary Magdalene silent and adoring at the Master’s feet, asking Him to make the words of apostles bear fruit in souls.

As Our Lord dwells within us, His prayer is ours, and I want to share in it unceasingly, remaining like a little vessel at the spring, at the fountain of life, and so be able to communicate it to others by letting its floods of charity overflow.

How sublime is the Carmelite’s mission! She should be a mediatrix with Jesus Christ, and be for Him, as it were, another humanity in which He can perpetuate His life of reparation and sacrifice, of love and praise and adoration. She abides faithfully in prayerful silence and solitude so that the Most High God may be able to realize His desires in her, accomplishing His will in her as an instrument of His love and peace among His people.

So, on the mountain of Carmel, in silence, in solitude, in a prayer which is unceasing, for nothing can interrupt it, the Carmelite already lives as though in heaven: for God alone! The same God who will one day be her beatitude and will fulfill her desires in glory, is already giving Himself to her here on earth. He never leaves her, He dwells in the depths of her being, and more wonderful still, He and she are but one. And so she is hungry for silence and prayer that she may always listen to Him and penetrate more deeply into His infinite Being. She identifies herself with Him whom she loves, she finds Him everywhere. She sees Him shining through everything. She belongs to Him alone, and trusts completely in His loving and faithful providence. Is that not heaven on earth?

When you think of the life of the Carmelite, thank Him for the beautiful portion that is hers. What will it be like in heaven, if even here below He enters into such intimate union with those who love Him?

Here in Carmel, there is nothing, nothing but God. He is all, He suffices, and one lives for Him alone and for His glory… this life of prayer and contemplation, interceding always for His people before the Face of God…

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