St. Maravillas of Jesus’ Advice to Aspirants and Novices in Carmel

St. maravillas with her dtrs

(St. Maravillas, small nun in the center, with her daughers)

Here are words of advise for those aspiring to Carmel: Mother Maravillas advised aspirants to Carmel “to live crucified with Christ” as their sole idea and goal of their religious life.  Anyone who builds her vocation on such a solid foundation cannot afterwards be deceived, and whoever embraces the life of Carmel with this spirit has advanced a great deal and is not likely to retreat before the sacrifices the life imposes.  When the first splinters of Christ’s Cross are felt, a novice will not be dismayed, since that is what she came to seek.  Neither will the renunciations or humiliations seem excessive because she entered Carmel determined to live with her eyes fixed on Christ Crucified, and in that way everything becomes slight.

This is something I really enjoyed also; concerning a novice who felt she did not have the strength to continue (from a letter Saint Maravillas wrote) : “Of course, if she came seeking happiness it cannot be. One must seek Christ and the imitation of Him. The life of Christ is not one of consolation but of the Cross, although in His infinitely merciful love, He may fill us with happiness in serving Him.”

I thought this one was very thought provoking because she says the importance of what it really means to sacrifice oneself and follow Him most closely by not seeking happiness and that if someone isn’t happy in religious life it doesn’t necessarily mean that its not for them, but that they have to strive more to die to yourself and in this way by seeking to become more like Him and to give ourselves more to Him by a life of sacrifice and that its in this sacrifice that we find our true joy. Also for the importance of living this life of self denial and sacrifice as the preparation for entrance and out here there are so many times we are able to practice these things especially in the world we live in today with so many distractions and things we can become attached to.

Here is another quote. “A Carmelite should place her happiness only in pleasing God and should accept the fact that her only suffering is in displeasing Him.”


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