Monthly Archives: March 2013

St. St. Teresa of the Andes Quote

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March 28, 2013 · 11:31 am

Quote from St. Francis de Sales for Holy Week

st francis de sales quote

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March 26, 2013 · 2:35 pm

Way of the Cross, written by a Carmelite Nun

The Way of the Cross written by one of the Carmelite nuns of Birkenhead, UK, their website is here at (http://www.carmelitesbirkenhead.org.uk/index.html)

They have a blog type News page where this Way of the Cross is taken from:  http://www.carmelitesbirkenhead.org.uk/wordpress/the-way-of-the-cross/

The Carmel of Birkenhead, UK, is a “sister” Carmel to mine, meaning they were founded by the same foundress, Mother Mary of Jesus and they have a lovely page dedicated to her. While I have not visited them, they seem to be very traditional and living the true life of St. Teresa of Avila. Unfortunately, many Carmels founded in the UK by Mother Mary of Jesus have “lost” their way, to say it nicely! – they became the lax/modern 1991s with modified habits, jean habits, inclusive language, breaking enclosure unnecessarily, reading bad books, etc.  Mother Mary of Jesus only founded the 1581 or 1990s Carmels and my Carmel, Sheffield is the only true 1990 Carmel left in the UK.  While not all 1991 Carmels are bad or lax, many are.  There are very good 1991 Carmels that in all ways seem to be 1990s.  I pray this Carmel is a good 1991 and by all appearances they seem to be.

way-of-the-crossWe invite you to meditate on the Stations of the Cross. These ‘Stations of the Cross’ are from our Chapel, and the Meditations we have used were written by one of the Sisters.

Many of you will be familiar with this traditional Catholic devotion practiced in Lent . The Stations of the Cross are a selection of fourteen short meditations depicting the Passion of Jesus, beginning with his sentencing to death by Pilate, and ending with Jesus’ burial in the tomb. If you were to go into any Catholic church you will find the Stations of the Cross on its walls.

Let us then walk with Mary, Mother of God, as she accompanies Jesus her Son, to the hill of Golgotha, and his crucifixion.

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows

We Adore you O Christ, and we Praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have Redeemed the World. 

Prayer

O most kind Jesus, because you are infinitely good and merciful, I repent for ever having offended you. I dedicate this journey to you, to honour and remember that painful journey you undertook for me, a sinner.

Through this journey I wish to purify my heart, and beg you that this devotional exercise may serve to obtain for me your mercy in this life, and eternal glory in the life to come.

Amen

 

The first Station of the Cross : Jesus is sentenced to death at the hands of Pilate

The first station  : Jesus is sentenced to death at the hands of Pilate

 

O Mary…

…you are there at the front of the jeering crowd, looking anxiously, helpless to protect your son from the false accusations being hurled at him. You see him bound tightly with ropes, silently listening to Pilate’s questions. You can sense the tension, the hatred, swelling up in the voices of the people standing all around you. “crucify him, crucify him” – the words pierce your heart. It is the beginning of His Passion, and yours too!

Say one:  Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

The second Station of the Cross : Jesus takes up His Cross

 The second station  : Jesus takes up His Cross

 

O Mary…

…Jesus is led away from Pilate’s court, and the Cross is placed on his shoulders, and you feel its weight. You wonder how your Son will manage, he is already so weak from the scourging, and this cross appears too heavy for him to bear. You long to help him, to rush towards Jesus, but the soldiers are all around, and eager to get this procession of death underway. You know in your heart Jesus would not wish it. The hardest thing in the world, is to watch those we love suffer. You therefore, must follow behind, and in doing so, open up the way for us to do the same.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

The third Station : Jesus falls the first time

The third station : Jesus falls the first time

 

O Mary…

…you cry out silently, “He has fallen”. Jesus lies for a moment, motionless beneath the wood of the cross, while you hold your breath.  Then he stirs and gets to his feet. The soldiers are so rough with him, forcing him to his feet. O that precious face, cut and bruised. You want to reach out and touch him, but the crowd presses all around you. Jesus staggers on. In a silent scream, coming from your heart, you call out to him: “I am here, I’ll never leave you”.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

The fourth Station : Jesus meets His Mother

The fourth Station : Jesus meets His Mother

 

O Mary…

…Jesus stops in front of you – your eyes meet. Such depth of Love. You do not say a word to each other, only heart to heart. In that glance of his, you understand perfectly what he is doing, and the ultimate price that must be paid for my sins, and the sins of this world. Jesus though, is still your son, your cherished little boy, and in his look, he asks you to repeat your ‘fiat’ of long ago. “Yes, let it be according to God’s will.”

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

The fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

The fifth station : Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

 

O Mary…

…the soldiers see how Jesus can’t go on without any help. so they enlist the help of a stranger. They force Simon from Cyrene to help Jesus carry his cross. For one brief moment Mary, your burden is lifted a little, that weight pressing on your heart. This act of a stranger, gives Jesus a chance to draw breath, to recover his strength a little.  Mary, I humbly ask you to obtain for me, the grace always, to be able to lighten the burden of others. To help my brothers and sisters carry their crosses in this life.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

The sixth station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

The sixth station : Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 

O Mary…

…in the midst of all this suffering, of all this hatred, and the noise of this hostile crowd, you see a woman quietly step out from the sidelines, and wipe your Son’s face with a cloth. Her movements are silent, dignified and tender. You, yourself Mary, have longed to do the same, but God has not permitted it. He wants you to remain helpless, to follow Jesus throughout this horrific journey. But this woman, stepping out from the crowd, wipes your Son’s face, and in so doing, brings comfort to you too. Mary, may I always do likewise, to those in need.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

The seventh station: Jesus falls the second time

The seventh station : Jesus falls the second time

 

O Mary…

…Jesus is much weaker now. Your instinct is to run towards him, but you cannot. The hatred coming from the crowd gathers momentum, as Jesus falls to the ground, and this pierces the depths of your heart. You desperately want these people to know why this is happening, that it is for them, that he is going through this torture. You want to plead with these people surrounding you, to tell them, that the very God who created them, lies helpless at their feet.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

the eight station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

the eight station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 

O Mary…

…you see a gathering of women. You recognize them, they are moved with grief and pity as they watch Jesus come towards them. These women too have sons. They witness your utter distress – but you Mary, fall silent behind your son. All their attention and sorrow must be directed to Jesus, not to you. What man can do to man, such is the horror that stirs the hearts of these women. And yet you Mary, understand that this Son of yours, is redeeming them as they bewail him!

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

the ninth station: Jesus falls the third time

the ninth station : Jesus falls the third time

 

O Mary…

…Jesus has reached the end, he cannot go on – and neither can you. You know it is time. The soldiers are irritated with this man constantly falling to the ground, but you understand God’s mercy. You know that even now, Jesus is teaching us to carry on through all the weaknesses and failures in our lives, to keep on going, even when we fall heavily into sin.

 

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

the tenth station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

the tenth station : Jesus is stripped of his clothes

 

O Mary…

…your sorrowful heart watches the soliders as they tear off the clothes from your Son’s body – His torn and broken body. He cannot stand, he is so weak, but nonetheless, he is cruelly handled by these soliders, who spare not even his dignity. You long for Jesus to notice you, so as to comfort him with your gaze. But your hearts are always fused together, he knows you are there, watching, and loving him. He knows you will stay with him right until the end.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

the eleventh station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

the eleventh station : Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

O Mary…

…each nail is a separate sword piercing your heart – how Simeon knew. You cannot shut out the noise of the hammer blows, each one making you shudder. The all merciful God wills it all. You Mary, who stand here, and watching men torture God, your Son, position yourself at the very heart of our Salvation. As a consequence, you feel each  hammered nail, as if it were being driven into your own flesh .

 

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

the twelve station: Jesus dies on the cross

the twelfth station : Jesus dies on the cross

O Mary…

…you realize now, as you look upon your dearest Son, Jesus, that you brought him into this world in exchange for the lives of us, poor sinners. He was never really yours entirely, and Jesus knows your loneliness as you stand beneath his cross. Your eyes search over his disfigured features, hoping to catch a glance from his eyes. Your heart breaking into a million pieces at the thought of losing him. As He speaks to you from the Cross, He gives you to John and me. You Mary, brought Jesus into the world for this, to save me, a poor sinner.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

The thirteenth station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

The thirteenth station : Jesus is taken down from the cross

 

O Mary…

…it is all finished, and Jesus is taken down from the Cross. Now you move forward and take him in your arms at last. He is your little boy again. You stroke his face, you kiss the hands that healed so often. You remind yourself, that it was you who gave God his human heart, which now beats no more. Meanwhile, your heart is breaking in two. The heavens have opened, you don’t notice John or Mary of Magdala. It is only you holding the broken body of Jesus, under a dark sky.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

 

The fourteenth station: Jesus is prepared for the tomb

The fourteenth station : Jesus is prepared for the tomb

O Mary…

…you help to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. You accompany John, and the remainder of Jesus’ followers, as they carry the broken body of your Son to the tomb. No one speaks, all are lost in grief. But they all look to you, they seek comfort in you, Mary. They need you to mother them now. You hold all of this in your heart, as thoughts return to your mind, of Joseph and you waiting those three days, before you found your little boy Jesus in the temple. Yes, Mary, you know the sorrow of waiting, but you also know that after three days, there will be joy again – there will be reunion.

Say one: Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

Lord, help us to accept the gift of salvation given to us by your Son’s Death and Resurrection. Make us proclaimers of His Resurrection in Christian joy and commitment, and grant that we may feel your presence beside us throughout each day. Make us your witnesses in the world. 

Through Christ Our Lord

Amen

Simon helping Jesus carry the cross

Simon from Cyrene helping Jesus carry the cross

Would YOU help Me carry the Cross? 

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Update to my debt so I can enter Carmel

Carmel of Sheffield, UK aerial

My Carmel, Carmel of Holy Spirit, Kirk Edge, Sheffield, UK

My debt is down to $2,000 and after this amount is gone I am Carmel bound!  Please pray God will send this amount through someone, somewhere, somehow!  I am hoping and praying I could enter sometime in April, after Easter, but this remaining debt is the barrier to the enclosure doors of Carmel opening to me!

Anyone who can help or knows of people who can, please do so and use the donate button on the top right of this blog.  I trust in Divine Providence, Our Lady and St. Joseph to free me of this debt so I can finally go to where God has called me for so long!  As St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross has said, “It always seemed to me that our Lord was keeping something for me in Carmel that I could find only there.”, I, too, feel the same and have for all my life it seems.  God doesn’t give us desires that He leaves unfulfilled so I will be in Carmel soon but how soon depends on God and who He works with to inspire to help me!

Please, anyone who can help me please do but also help others like Dyna who has gotten a grant from Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations and now only needs a little over $3,ooo for health insurance while she is a postulant in her order.  Her blog with her happy announcement is at http://dynasvocation.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/its-officially-official/ – with the great news of her grant and pending entrance.  Mater Ecclesiae is a great organization but they work only with student loans so they can’t help me.  See the other discerners I have listed on my blog to the right side bar as they, as do many others, need help.

God bless you all.  All my readers are in my prayers now and will be when I enter Carmel.

nuns in choir to see St. Therese's relics

Nuns of my Carmel at their choir grille at the visit when St. Therese’s relics visited them.

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Today is the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

quito1

Lord, Have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, Have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord, Have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us.
Christ,
graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the
Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have
mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Mother of
Sorrows, Pray for us.
Mother whose soul was pierced by the sword, Pray for us.
Mother who fled with Jesus
into Egypt, etc.
Mother who sought
Him sorrowing for three days,
Mother who saw Him scourged and crowned with
thorns,
Mother who stood by Him while He hung upon the Cross,
Mother who
received Him into thine arms when He was dead,
Mother who saw Him buried in
the tomb,

O Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Save us by thy prayers.
O Mary, comfort of
the sorrowful, Save us by thy prayers.

O Mary, help of the weak, etc.

O Mary, strength of the fearful,
O Mary, light of the despondent,

O Mary, nursing mother of the sick, O Mary, refuge of sinners,
Through
the bitter Passion of thy Son,
Through the piercing anguish of thy heart,

Through thy heavy weight of woe,
Through thy sadness and desolation,

Through thy maternal pity,
Through thy perfect resignation,
Through
thy meritorious prayers,
From immoderate sadness,
From a cowardly
spirit,
From an impatient temper,
From fretfulness and discontent,

From sullenness and gloom,
From despair and unbelief,
From final
impenitence,
We sinners, beseech thee, hear
us.
Preserve us from sudden death, we beseech thee, hear us.
Teach us how to
die, we beseech thee, hear us.

Succor us in our last agony, etc.

Guard us from the enemy,
Bring us to a happy end,
Gain for us the
gift of perseverance,
Aid us before the Judgment Seat,
Mother of God,

Mother, most sorrowful,
Mother, most desolate,

Lamb of God, Who
takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest
away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who
takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord,
have mercy.

V. Succor us, O Blessed Virgin Mary,
R. In every time, and in every place.

Let Us Pray .

O Lord
Jesus Christ, God and Man, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy dear Mother Mary,
whose soul the sword pierced in the hour of Thy Passion, may intercede for us,
now, and in the hour of our death, through Thine Own merits, O Saviour of the
world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, God, world
without end. R. Amen.

(This is from the wonderful blogger in Dallas, http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/today-is-the-commemoration-of-the-seven-sorrows-of-mary/)

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ROSARY OF ST. JOSEPH

good st. joseph

ROSARY OF ST. JOSEPH

 CRUCIFIX: The Creed – “I believe in God

LARGE BEAD: Our Father

3 SMALL BEADS: “Hail Joseph…”

LARGE BEAD: “Glory Be to the Father…”

CENTER PIECE MEDAL SAY TWICE – AT BEGINNING AND END OF ROSARY: Our Father

 MYSTERIES 1-5:

 The First Josephian Mystery: The Divine calling. [Mt. 1:24]
• Joseph answered God’s calling when he obeyed the angel’s message to take Mary as his spouse. Thank you Saint Joseph for having obeyed God’s messenger.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

 The Second Josephian Mystery: Protector of the innocent. [Mt. 1:19]
• Having learned of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph was not willing to expose her to public disgrace. He took her as his wife, this action avoiding a public scandal and the stoning of Mary that could have been applied according to the Jewish Laws. Thank you Joseph for protecting the mother of Jesus and mankind.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

The Third Josephian Mystery: The finding of a shelter. [Lk. 2:7]
• After asking for a room at the inn for the Virgin Mary who was with Child, Joseph had no choice but to accept a humble shelter where Jesus, the King of kings, was born. Oh Joseph, how heart broken you must have been when you could not find something worthy of Mary and her Child to be born.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”
The Fourth Josephian Mystery: The Guardian of the Child Jesus. [Mt. 1:16, 13:55]
• Joseph welcomed Jesus as his foster Son. With this decision came all the responsibilities related to being a loving and caring parent. Thank you Joseph for being a model to all the foster and adoptive parents who welcome children in their homes.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

The Fifth Josephian Mystery: Obedience to the Law; The circumcision of Jesus. [Lk. 2:21; Mt. 1:21]
• Joseph obeyed the Jewish tradition, that every male child be “marked in the flesh” as a son of Abraham, a keeper of the Lord’s covenant. On the eight day after his birth, the Child was officially given the Name of Jesus. “After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

MYSTERIES 6-10:

 The Sixth Josephian Mystery: Submission to Divine Guidance. [Mt. 2:14-7]
• The Flight to Egypt. As the Guardian of the Holy Family, Joseph saved his loved ones by fleeing to Egypt with Jesus and Mary. For Herod had ordered the murder of all the children age two and under in and around Bethlehem. Thank you Saint Joseph for protecting the Holy Family.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

The Seventh Josephian Mystery: The great anxiety. [Lk. 2:48]
• Returning home from the festival of the Passover in Jerusalem, Joseph, the head of the Holy Family, noticed after a day’s journey that Jesus was not around. He searched among relatives and friends. When he did not find Jesus, he returned to Jerusalem with Mary to look for Him. When Jesus was found in the Temple, Mary said to Him, “Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” [Lk. 2:48] One can only imagine what went through Joseph’s mind when his foster Child went missing.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

The Eight Josephian Mystery: Royalty without a crown. [Mt. 1:2-16; Lk. 1:27]
• Joseph was the son of Jacob, of the house of David. He was a descendant of a royal family. Joseph was a perfect example of royal humility. Nowhere in the Holy Bible do we find a reference to Joseph attempting to claim the royal crown that he rightfully deserved.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

 Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

The ninth Josephian Mystery: The restoration of God’s Kingdom on earth. [1 Sam. 8:6-7, 22; Jn. 12:12-9]
• Through Joseph, God was restored as true King on earth as He is in Heaven. Since the days of creation, God was the King of this world. In the days of Samuel, God’s people, wanting a human king, said, “Give us a king to govern over us.” In response to this, God said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you [Samuel], but they have rejected Me from being King over them. Consequently, God said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and set a king over them.” It was not until the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem that God, through Jesus, was reinstated as the King of this world. This fulfilled the prophecy, “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS:

Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

 The Tenth Josephian Mystery: The declaration of “Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Catholic Church.”
• In 1621, Pope Gregory XV declared the Feast of St. Joseph as a Feast of obligation. In 1726, Pope Benedict XIII inserted the name of Saint Joseph in the Litanies of the Saints. And finally, in December, 1870, according to the wish of the bishops and the faithful, Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph as the Patron of the Catholic Church.

 ON ALL 10 SMALL BEADS: 

Hail, Joseph, full of grace, The Lord is with thou. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed is your foster Child, Jesus. Holy Joseph, guardian of the Son of God, Pray for us sinners, Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 LARGE BEADS: “Glory Be To The Father…” then the “Our Father…”

AT END OF THE ROSARY THESE PRAYERS:

 Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love You with all my heart, Eternal Father, Divine Son, All powerful Spirit.


PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH

Glorious Saint Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ, to you I raise my heart and my hands
to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare.  I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor I now implore.

(Make your petition here…)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. O glorious Saint Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for Us. Saint Joseph, Patron of the Church, Pray for us. Saint Michael, the Archangel, Protect us.

 

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St. Teresa On What it Means To Be a Carmelite

teresa_avila11

“All of us who wear this holy Carmelite habit are called to prayer and contemplation. This is what we were founded for. We are descended from those holy fathers of ours on Mt. Carmel, those who went in search of that treasure – the priceless pearl we are talking about – in such solitude and with such contempt for the world.

We must remember those holy fathers of ours who have gone before us, the hermits whose lives we are trying 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 the 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 they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is to 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 the Lord has done 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 a number 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.”

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