Sunday, April 27, 2008


In the meditation for the Fifth Sunday after Easter we continue to prepare ourselves for the coming feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. In the Gospel reading we have given perfect instruction on prayer. Jesus reveals the way of the most efficacious prayer to the Father- "If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you." What does it really mean, for practical instructions and explanations - Fr Goffine "Church year"
Our meditation on efficacious prayer maybe enriched when we look at the drawing of St Jerome absorbed in prayer.

PRESENCE OF GOD - O Jesus, make me understand that my prayer is of no avail unless it is made in Your Name; that my faith is vain unless I convert it into works.

1. In today's Gospel, taken again from the discourse of Jesus after the Last Supper (John 16:23-30), the Church continues to prepare us for the Ascension and Pentecost. "I came forth from the Father and am come into the world," Jesus said, "again I leave the world, and I go to the Father." Thus He announces His approaching Ascension. Having reached the end of His ministry on earth, Jesus presents it in synthesis as a long journey from the Father to the world and from the world to the Father. These words repeat the idea of the "pilgrimage", which every Christian should apply to his own life, considering it as "a night spent in a bad inn" (T.J. Way, 40), a "night" during which his heart is turned toward the radiant tomorrow of eternal life. "The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father." Jesus is now referring to Pentecost, to the intervention of the Holy Spirit by whom Jesus will enlighten his Apostles, giving them a clear understanding of the divine mysteries, so that the Father will no longer be unknown to them. All that we can study and learn about the things of God is a dead letter if the Holy Spirit does not enlighten us concerning them. Our need for Him is absolute; our desire for His coming should be unbounded.
Yet another subject is brought to our attention in today's Gospel. Jesus has spoken to the Apostles many times about prayer and the way they should pray; today He reveals the secret of efficacious prayer: "If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you." Jesus is going, but he leaves the Apostles an unfailing means of approach to the Father: to present themselves in His own Name, the Name of the God-Man who, because He sacrificed Himself for the glory of His Father and for our salvation, deserves to be "heard for His reverence" (Heb 5:7).

2. To pray "in the Name of Jesus" establishes the conviction that our prayers, as well as all our good work, have no value unless they are founded on the infinite merits of Jesus. We must be persuaded that, however much we do or pray, we are always "unprofitable servants" (Luke 17:10); we have no sufficiency in ourselves, but all our sufficiency comes from the Crucified. Consequently, the first condition of prayer made "in the Name of Jesus" is humility, an ever deeper and more realistic sense of our nothingness. It must be complemented by the second condition, a boundless confidence in the merits of Jesus, which surpass all our poverty, misery, necessities, needs. In view of Jesus' infinite merits, we can never ask too much in His Name; we can never be too bold in imploring the plenitude of divine grace for our souls, in aspiring to that sanctity which is hidden, perhaps, but genuine. There is no fault, no want of fidelity, no evil tendency, no sin, which, if sincerely detested, cannot be cleaned, purified, and pardoned b y the Blood of Jesus; there is no weakness which He cannot cure, strengthen, and transform. Moreover, there is no creature of good will, no matter how weak and insignificant, who, in the Name of Jesus, cannot aspire to sanctity.
However, in order to make our prayer effective, a third condition is required: our life must correspond to our prayer, our faith must be translated into good works. "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own delves. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was." This strong exhortation of St James, which is found in today's Epistle (1:22-27), is an urgent reminder of the practical character of the Christian life. Vain is our prayer, vain our confidence in God, if we do not add our generous efforts to perform all our duties, to live up to our high vocation. We can, and we should, hope for everything in the Name of Jesus, but He expects a constant effort on our part to be entirely faithful to Him.

.."What fault committed by man has not been expiated by the Son of God made man? What pride can be so immeasurably inflated, that it could not be brought down by such humility? Truly, O my God, if we were to weigh both the offenses committed by sinners, and the grace of God the Redeemer, we would find that the difference equaled not only the distance between east and west, bu the distance between hell and the highest heaven. O wonderful Creator of light, by the terrible sorrows of Your Son, pardon my sins! Grant, O God, that His goodness may overcome my wickedness, that His mildness may dominate my irascibility. May His humility make amends for my pride; His patience, for my impatience; His benignity, for my harshness; His obedience, for my disobedience; His tranquility, for my anxiety, His sweetness, for my bitterness; may His charity blot out my cruelty!" (St Augustine).

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Saturday, April 26, 2008


In this thoughtful meditation written by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, OCD, we can think upon the meaning of "Marian life" for Carmelites. Devotion to Mary is very proficient for spiritual progress which has ultimate goal in union with God and can be difficult for tertiaries living in the world and surrounded by so many distractions of everyday life. Mary can be our best example and helper in achieving the intimacy with the Divine. Recommended meditative reading.

PRESENCE OF GOD: O Mary, I wish to live with you as a child with its mother.

1. The high place which Mary, as the Mother of God, occupies in the work of our sanctification fully justifies our desire to live intimately with her. As children love to be near their mother, so we Christians want to live with Mary, and in order to do this, we resort to little means of keeping her in our thoughts. For instance we may have her picture before us and greet her affectionately every time we look at it. Then, with a glance of faith, we can go beyond the picture, and reach Mary living in glory, Mary who, by means of Beatific Vision, sees us, follows us, knows all our needs, and helps us with her maternal aid. By means of this our faith, our soul remains in continual contact with Mary. Spontanously throughout the the day, we increase our little pious practices in her honour, out prayers and ejaculations; all these combine to intensify our relations with Mary. Saturdays, the months of May, the several feasts of Mary are for us so many occasions of remembering her especially, of meditating on her prerogatives, contemplating her beauty, and continually increasing our love for her. In fact, it is impossible to bear the sweet picture of Mary in our mind and heart without feeling moved to love her and (...)by living like true children of hers. In this way the "Marian" life, or the life of intimacy with Mary may penetrate our spiritual life and may make us more faithful in the fulfillment of all our duties, for nothing can please Mary more than to see us accomplishing with love her Son's will. Furthermore, Christian life lived under Mary's maternal eye acquires that special gentleness and sweetness which arise spontaneously from the constant companionship of a most loving Mother who lavishes attention on us.

2. Another aspect of the Marian life is the imitation of Mary. Jesus alone is the "Way" that leads to the Father, He is the only model; but who is more like Jesus than Mary?Of whom more than of Mary can it be said that she has the same thoughts as Christ? "O Lady," exclaims St Bernard, "God lives in you and you live in Him. You clothe Him with the substance of your flesh, and He clothes you with the glory of His Majesty". While Jesus dwelt in the Virgin's pure womb, he clothed her with Himself, communicated His infinite perfections to her, filled her with His sentiments, desires, affections, and divine wishes; and Mary, who gave herself up entirely to His actions, was completely transformed into Him, so that she became a faithful copy of Him. The liturgy says that "Mary is the most perfect image of Christ, formed truly by the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, took full possession of Mary's pure, gentle soul, and traced in it, very delicately and perfectly, all the features and characteristics of the soul of Jesus. This is why we choose her for our model. We do not love Mary for herself alone, but because she is the Mother of Christ; likewise, we do not imitate Mary for herself, but for Christ, whose most faithful image she is. Jesus is the one Way which leads us to the Father, and Mary is the surest and easiest way to reach Jesus. By incarnating in Himself the perfections of the Father, Jesus made it possible for us to imitate them; by retracing Jesus' perfections in herself, Mary has made them more accessible to us, has brought them within our very reach. None can say as well as she: "Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor 4:16). Since Jesus came to us through Mary, it is wholly appropriate that we should go to Jesus through her. Since jesus came to us through Mary, it is wholly appropriate that we should go to Jesus through her.

"O my most sweet Mary, you call me and say to me: 'If anyone is a little one, let him come to me.' Children always have their mother's name on their lips, and they call her whenever that are in danger, fright, or difficulty. O sweet Mother, O loving Mother, you want me, like a little child, to call upon you always and to have unceasing recourse to you...Permit me then to invoke you constantly and to say: 'O Mother, loving Mother!' Your name consoles me, moves me tenderly, and reminds me of my obligation to love you. Your name encourages me to confide myself to you. 'My Mother,' thus I call you and thus I want to call you always. After God, you are my hope, my refuge, and my love in this vale of tears. O my sweet Lady and Mother! by the love you you show your children you ravish their hearts. Ravish also my poor heart! I truly want to love you,....but love makes a lover resemble the loved one....I know how different I am from you! Could this be a sign that I do not love you? You are so pure, and I am so impure! You are so humble, and I am so proud! You are do holy, and I am so wicked! But this is what you ought to do, O Mary, since you love me: make me like you. You have the power to change hearts; then take mine and transform it. Show all the world how great is your power in favour of those you love! Sanctify me and make me worthy of being your child" (St Alphonsus).

Credits: text from "Divine Intimacy" and the picture is by unknown artist, depicting crowned image of Mary with the Child and the Sun beneath her feet.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

The essence of Carmelite spirituality

A short fragment from the essay on Carmelite spirituality which gives as a very good summary of the subject. Good reading to those interested in spirituality of Carmel.

Carmelite spirituality .... needs a ... life sufficiently recollected to permit the soul to perceive the divine presence
"in the sound of a gentle breeze" (3 Kgs. 19: 12). In this perpetual return to solitude and recollection, this nostalgic call to detachment: "I will allure her, and will lead her into the wilderness; and I will speak to her heart" (Os. 2: 14), the Carmelite finds the very soul of his vocation. So he takes as guides those who have advanced along the paths of divine union and have tasted the sweetness of heavenly things; and he prays with Eliseus to his father Elias to grant him a double part of his spirit (4 Kgs. 2: 9).

Can we describe this spirit?
In spite of the mystery of its beginnings, on this point no hesitation is possible.
This spirit consists essentially in a longing for union with God. It will be objected that all spiritual men know this longing. This is true. Nevertheless at Carmel this aspiration has a quality of immediacy, an insistence on prompt realization that distinguishes the Order's religious attitude. Carmel makes contemplation its proper end and to attain this end it practices absolute detachment in relation to all demands, or at least to all temporal contingencies. Eminently theocentric, Carmel refers itself wholly to the living God: "As the Lord liveth the God of Israel, in whose sight I stand" (3 Kgs. 17: 1). From the earliest ages union with God has been its "raison d'etre" and its soul. No doubt it was "the anticipated dawn of the Savior's redemptive grace" that made this possible. No doubt, too, that it has benefited by the progress and development of revelation down the centuries. Nevertheless at Carmel from the beginning, union with God has been and continues to be central. Characterized by an awareness of the presence within man's heart of the very being of God, the spirit of Carmel also includes a sense of the sacred and a thirst for things divine. Progress in the experience of God only serves to deepen and develop this basic and truly essential element. Without it neither the wise nor the simple could enter into and intensify their relations with God. No matter how individual is this spirit and with what difficulty it is analyzed, this spirit is to be identified with the most authentic mysticism. At Carmel nothing imitative or esoteric is to be found and Carmelite tradition is singularly sober as to the content of spiritual experiences though their presence is frequently attested. Always objective, it merely affirms the possibility and the reality of direct contact with God and points out the necessity, if this is to be attained, of recourse to a particular kind of life - the eremitic life.

It assigns no date to its first manifestations but instead states forcefully that, granted certain conditions, it is possible for man truly to live the divine life. For this it suffices for him to realize in himself the climate of the original desert, and after withdrawing into this interior solitude,
"to hold himself in the presence of the living God". Than the light of truth will come to purify, enlighten and enkindlen his soul. Foundations are thus laid for a personal experience of God and the intimate relations that a creature may have with Him. Going back through the ages Carmel will never hesitate to recognize itself in the first hermit whom the Bible describes for us and to model its life on that of men vowed to the contemplation of divine things in silence and solitude.

Fragments from the essay "Carmelite Spirituality" by Fr PM de la Croix OCD. Fresco by Hendrick van der Broeck (Capella Sistina).

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

John 15:1-7.

I am the true vine: and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean, by reason of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me: and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you.

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I have just discovered Catholic Cartoon Blog (address in the Blogroll section), where Paul Nichols posted cartoon about 'pro-choice' infamous activist, Nancy Pelosi, meeting the Pope (!).

For those who do not keep the record, Nancy is a Democrat and the speaker of US House of Representatives. Not surprisingly, being Democrat, Pelosi supports the legality of abortion. She even voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and earlier attempts at similar bans. She voted in favor of the 1998 Abortion Funding Amendment, which allowed the use of district funds to promote abortion-related activities. She has also voted in favor of using federal funds to perform abortions in overseas military facilities, against parental notification when a minor is transported across state lines for an abortion, and in favor of providing funding for organizations working overseas that promote or perform abortions and abortion-related activities (details after Wikipedia). She needs A LOT of prayers that her blindness might be removed.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"And now I go to him that sent me "(John 16:5)

God gave us a gift of free will therefore we can chose the ways to follow in our lives. However, are we sure the ways we choose lead us to God and eternal salvation? Are our ways similar to those chosen by Christ? He said: "I go to the Father" (John 16:16). Can we follow Christ in this modern world so faithless and full of distractions? It can be done by fulfilling our temporal and spiritual duties as diligently and faithfully as we can: "For thou shalt eat the labours of thy hands: blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee" (Ps 128:2). We come closer to Christ by participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He always waits for us there, hidden in the Tabernaculum. We can tell Him all our troubles, problems and wants. He already invited us: "Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you" (Matt 11:28). Our Lord longs for these visits. We also follow Him by visiting the sick and lonely, remembering the words: "I was.. sick, and you visited me" (Matt 25:36). We come closer to God when we contemplate the perfect beauty of Creation, the beauty of the forest, the sea, the blue of the sky, the vastness of planes. In this way we acknowledge His omnipotence and omnipresence: "Who is ignorant that the hand of the Lord hath made all these things? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the spirit of all flesh of man"(Job 12:7-9). Meditating on the work of God's hands we lift ourselves up to the Creator, to the Heavenly Father who created all these wonders for us: "All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever" (Daniel 3:57). Let us follow the ways of Christ and we could say with Him: "I go to the Father" (John 16:16)

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fourth Sunday After Easter

The fourth Sunday after Easter is the Sunday of Justice, interior and social. The Holy Spirit descends upon us with His seven Gifts at our Confirmation (symbolized by the Dove). He puts before us the imitation of Christ's sinless example, since "the prince of this world" had tried to confuse and even destroy the correct ideas of right and wrong. Hence we may now sing "a new canticle", because God "hath revealed His justice" (Introit). The Epistle and Offertory extol the gifts of interior "justice", and make us realize that only God can "make (all) of one will". How do we react in thoughts to this twofold standard of "justice" revealed by the "Spirit of truth"? When men fail to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice", then the social envy, lack of social justice, discontent, greed, lack of charity become widespread in private and public life. Growing spiritual depression caused by separation from God by sins is the root of all temporal misery. Only our Lord, by the example of His Human Life and the strength of His Divine Grace can supply the ideals and incentive necessary to realize the principles of social justice and charity. Our Catholic faith is the most precious inheritance, our "pearl of great price", something more precious than all the honours and riches of this world. By living up to the dictates of our faith we shall obtain peace and contentment of soul in this world and eternal happiness in the life to come. More emphasis should be placed both by prayer and action, on protecting family life and on restoring God to our work, schools and learning.

(James 1:17‑21)

Dearly beloved, Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger: for the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Of all the gifts that come from God, the most excellent is the gospel and regeneration in baptism, by which He has made us His children and heirs of heaven.

How great is this honor, and how earnestly we should endeavor to preserve it! To hear the word of God, when preached to us in sermons, will aid our endeavors. The admonition of the apostle to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, contains true wisdom, for: In the multitude of words there shall not want sin; but he that refraineth his lips is most wise (Prov. 10:19).

Aid me, O Lord, to preserve the dignity received in baptism, grant me a great love for Thy divine word, and strengthen me to subdue my tongue and to use it only for Thy glory.

GOSPEL (John 16:5‑14)
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: I go to him that sent me: and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou?

But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you.

And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in me: and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see me no longer: and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the, Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak, and the things that are to come he shall show you. He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

As the disciples, in their grief at Christ's going to His passion and death, after the accomplishment of which He was to return to His Father, never once asked Him: "Whither goest Thou?" many Christians, because of their attachment to this world and its pleasures, never ask themselves: "Whither am I going, whither leads my way? By my sinful life I am perhaps going towards hell, or will my little fervor for the right, my lukewarm prayers take me to heaven?" Ask yourself in all earnestness, dear Christian, whither leads the way you are going? Is it the right path? If not, retrace your steps, and follow Jesus who by suffering and death entered heaven.

Why could the Paraclete not come before the Ascension of Christ?
Because the work of Redemption had first to be completed, Christ had to die, reconcile man to God, and enter into His glory, before the Spirit of truth and filial adoption could abide in man in the fulness of grace. From this we may learn that we must purify our hearts, and be reconciled to God, if we wish to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

How will the Holy Ghost convince the world of sin, of justice and of judgment?
He will convince the world, that is, the Jews and Gentiles, of sin, by showing them through the preaching, the sanctity and the miracles of the apostles, as well as by gradual inward enlightenment, the grievous sins which they have committed by their infidelity and their vices; of justice, by unveiling their error, and showing them that Christ whom they unjustly rejected, is the fountain of justice; of judgment, by showing them their condemnation in their prince and head, the devil, whom they served. This prince is now driven from idols and from the bodies of men, and his kingdom is destroyed in the name of Jesus by the apostles.

Why did not Christ tell His apostles all He had to tell them?
Because they could not yet comprehend, and keep it in their memory; because they were still too weak, and too much attached to Jewish customs, and also because they were depressed; He therefore promised them the Holy Ghost, who would fit them for it by His enlightenment, and would teach them all truth.

How does the Holy Ghost teach all truth?
By guiding the Church, that is, its infallible administration, by His light to the knowledge of the truth necessary for the salvation of souls, preserving it from error; and by advancing those members of the Church who seek His light and place no obstacle in its way, in the necessary knowledge of truth.

What is meant by: He shall not speak of himself, but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak?
That the Holy Ghost will teach us only that which He has heard from all eternity from the Father and Son; His teaching will, therefore, perfectly agree with Christ's teachings, for the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son and is equal God to them, and that which He teaches is also their doctrine, which is expressed in the words: He shall receive of mine.

Ah, my Lord and my God! direct my feet in the way of Thy commandments and preserve my heart pure from sin, that the Holy Spirit may find nothing in me deserving of reproach, that He may teach me all truth, and lead me to Thee, the eternal Truth, in heaven. Amen.

Picture credits: Johann Weigel (St James), Benezzo Gozzoli (Baptism of St Augustine), Jerome Nadal's Bible - unknown illustrator

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday - Day of Our Lady

Let us try to imagine the scene of Jesus crucifixion. We can see those who loved Him most gathered under the Cross,

or watching from the distance, all in great sorrow.

His mother's heart bleeds with indescribable pain.

The last moments of our Lord's Passion slowly unravel before our eyes. Suddenly, we realise Jesus is whispering something. We come closer to be able to hear His words. He is giving to His mother and St John gentle command of mutual commitment. It is symbolic act, for St John represents all Catholics. Remarkably, John is the most beloved disciple of Jesus and very close to His mother. He comforts her right now at the foot of the Cross. Since that moment on Mary, mother of Jesus became our most blessed and beloved Mother, our Refuge, our Helper and Mediatrix of all Graces, our most faithful and successful intercessor and blessing to every Catholic soul. Thank you Lord for Your beloved Mother and our Mother. Do we love her and honour her enough? Do we always remember to give her thanks for favours, blessings, answered prayers, petitions granted through her intercession? Do we try to imitate her virtues, praying for the share of those we are in greatest want of? Let us pray to increase our trust and devotion to Our Lady.

John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother

and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother.

And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Pictures credit: Our Lady of Sorrows - miraculous crowned image of Our Lady from the Franciscan Church in Cracow, Poland. Other pictures are by James Tissot (Disciples watching crucifixion from afar, Our Lady sorrowing under the Cross), Bernard Plockharst (St John took her to his own), William Blake (Behold Thy Mother), Ary Scheffer (Three Marys) and Peter Muenster (Stabat Mater).

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me: (John 16: 16).

According to St Augustine our life is like a moment in comparison to eternity. Life, the greatest of God's gifts, must be spent worhily and in best disposition: "Use your time here on earth with your mind fixed on eternity". Time we spend on earth is particularly precious and short. St Bernard says there is nothing more valuable than time. Why? Because with time spent properly we can acquire the most precious treasure of eternal happiness purchased for us by the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is most prudent disposition to be determined not waste time given us, keeping in mind obvious truth the moment will come when: 'time shall be no longer' (Apocalypse 10:6). The best way to use our time efficiently is to keep away from any form of idleness, spiritual and corporal, carefully avoiding in particular so called 'hardworking idleness' - which is to keep away from doing useless projects or things nobody, nor God neither our superiors, would have us ever to do. It is important to spend as much time as possible with God and serving Him lovingly, that is our Christian obligation. We should spend our time avoiding sins, for through sin we become enemies of Him who is the author of life. Let us be careful not to find ourselves in the midst of those who " all the day idle"(Matt. 20:6), nor those who "are become unprofitable" (Ps 13:3). Let us do all we can not to be like the biblical servant who buried deeply his precious talent (Luke 19:20). Let us meditate on the price that must be paid for laziness:"For idleness has taught much evil" (Ecclus 33:29). Idleness is the source of many sins and comfortable cushion of satan! Nobody ever found peace in idleness. It is better to be a 'busy bee' rather than a 'lazy drone': "Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all man, but especially to those who are of the houshold of the faith" (Gal 6:10)

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Let us imagine we are sitting with Jesus and His disciples under the shadow of huge tree in the warm peaceful afternoon. Just like the scene created by James Tissot's in the little masterpiece below. We are all listening attentively to Our Lord words and He tells us how precious and important we are to the Father (the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows). All we need to do is to be faithful and live our faith.

Luke 12:2-8.
For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed: nor hidden that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers shall be preached on the housetops. And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you: Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Third Sunday after Easter

EPISTLE (1 Peter 2: 11-19)
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims to refrain yourselves from carnal desires, which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the Gen­tiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works which they shall, behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be, ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: Love the brotherhood: Fear God: Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thanks‑worthy, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

St. Peter here urges the Christians to regard themselves as strangers and pilgrims upon this earth, looking upon temporal goods only as borrowed things, to which they should not attach their hearts, for death will soon deprive them of all. He then admonishes them as Christians to live in a Christian manner, to edify and lead to truth the Gentiles who hated and calumniated them. This should especially be taken to heart by those Catholics who live among people of a different religion; for they can edify them by the faithful and diligent practice of their holy religion, and by a pure, moral life lead them to the truth; while by lukewarmness and an immoral life, they will only strengthen them in their error, and thus inure the Church. St. Peter also requires the Christians to obey the lawful authority, and therefore, to pay all duties and. taxes faithfully, because it is the will of God who has in: stituted lawful authority. Christ paid the customary tribute for Himself and Peter (Matt. 17: 26) and St. Paul expressly commands that toll and taxes should be paid to whomsoever they are due (Rom. 13: 7).

St. Peter finally advises servants to obey their masters whether these are good or bad, and by so doing be agreeable to God who will one day reward them.

Grant me the grace, O Jesus! to con­sider myself a pilgrim as long as I live and as such to use the temporal goods. Give me patience in adversities, and so strengthen me, that I may willingly obey the lawful authority, though its laws and regulations should come hard and its tribute press upon me.

GOSPEL (John 16: 16‑22)
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? We know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him, and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while and you shall see me. Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

What is the meaning of Christ's words: A little while and you shall not see me; and again a little while and you shall see me? St. Chrysostom applies these words, which Christ spoke to His apostles a few hours before His passion, to the time between the death of Jesus and His Resurrection; but St. Augustine, to the time between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and then to the Last judgment at the end of the world, and he adds: "This little while seems long to us living, but ended, we feel how short it is." In affliction we should console ourselves by reflecting, how soon it will terminate, and that it cannot be compared with the future glory, that is awaiting eternally in heaven him who patiently endures.

Why did our Saviour tell His disciples of their future joys and sufferings?
That they might the more easily bear the sufferings that were to come, because we can be prepared for suf­ferings which we know are pending; because He knew that their sufferings would be only slight and momentary in comparison with the everlasting joy which awaited them, like the pains of a woman in giving birth to a child which are great indeed, but short, and soon forgotten by the mother in joy at the birth of the child. "Tell me" says St. Chrysostom, "if you were elected king but were obliged to spend the night preceding your entrance into your capital city where you were to be crowned, if you were compelled to pass that night in much discomfort in a stable, would you not joyfully endure it in the expectation of your kingdom? And why should not we, in this valley of tears, willingly live through adversities, in expectation of one day obtaining the kingdom of heaven?"

Enlighten me, O Holy Spirit! that I may realize that this present life and all its hardships are but slight and momentary, and strengthen me that I may endure patiently the adversities of life in the hope of future heavenly joys.

You shall lament and weep (John 16: 20)
That Christian is, most foolish who fancies that the happiness of this world consists in honors, wealth, and pleasures, while Christ, the eternal Truth, teaches the contrary, promising eternal happiness to the poor and oppressed, and announcing eternal affliction and lamentation to those rich ones who have their comfort in this world. How much, then, are those to be pitied who as Christians believe, and yet live as if these truths were not for them, and who think only how they can spend their days in luxury, hoping at the same time to go to heaven where all the saints, even Christ the Son of God Himself, has entered only by crosses and sufferings.

O good Jesus! who hast revealed, that we can enter heaven only by many tribulations (Acts 14: 21) hast called them blessed who in this world are sad, oppressed, and persecuted, but patiently suffer, and who hast also taught us, that without the will of Thy Heavenly Father, not one hair of our head can perish: (Luke 21:18) I therefore submit entirely to Thy divine will, and beg Thy grace to endure all adversities for Thy sake, that after this life of misery I may enjoy eternal happiness with Thee in heaven.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Causa nostrae Laetitiae - ora pro nobis

Thou art the joy of Israel (Judith 15:10).
Joy is come to me from the holy One
(Bar 4:22).
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God
(Isa 56:10).
I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in God my Jesus
(Hab. 3:18).

"Joy be to thee always". Such was the salutation of the archangel Raphael to the elder Tobias, who answered: "What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?" The old man evidently thought, that without light joyousness was out of the question. And was not the whole world, more or less, sitting in darkness before the coming of our Lord? He is the light of the world, as He Himself has told us. Zachary praised God because the Orient had come from on high to enlighten them that sit in darkness; and holy Simeon sang his canticle of joy, because, as he said; 'My eyes have seen Thy salvation...A light to the revelation of the Gentiles". And this light, this joy, came to him in the arms of Mary. He, like the Magi, found the Child where we too shall ever find Him, "with Mary His Mother". She is the cause of our joy by giving us Jesus, our God and our all, source of all joy and gladness. Let us rejoice in Him. Gloom and sadness are only less evils than sin; let us cast them far from us. They are the results of sin, and often, too , the cause of it.
Let us cultivate joy, which enlarges the heart and makes us run, not lag and loiter, in the way of God's commandments. We cannot imagine anything like gloom and sadness about our Lady. She had many sorrows, it is true, but sorrow and sadness are two widely different things. Joy comes next to charity in the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which is the point worth noting. Our Lady in her Magnificat is overflowing with joy and gladness. "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour". She knows she is only creature; in comparison with Him, but an atom; yet she rejoices. We are often too inclined to talk as if our joy should spring from a consciousness of our perfection, as if we could not be joyous, because we are so miserably weak and faulty. But we must remember that holy joy has an infinite source which can never be exhausted. "I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in God my Jesus". Joy is catching; so if we cling to Mary and try to enter into the secrets of her heart, we shall find there an ever-abiding spring of happiness in the thought of God's goodness. Holy Scriptures tell us that: "The joyfulness of the heart is a never-failing source of holiness". How Mary would rejoice in all the manifestations of her divine Son's virtues! in His mercy, patience, humility and long suffering; in the institution of the Blessed Eucharist; in His resurrection and glorious ascension. Also she would find subject for joy in His power as shown forth in His creation - the sun, stars, etc. "Thou art the glory of Jerusalem; thou art the joy of Israel" (Judith 15). What joy our Lady brought to Elizabeth! As we said before, gladness is catching. If a mere smile of Mary's can, according to Dante, fill the whole court of heaven with rejoicing: "The lovely one of heaven smiled, and all carolled in their glee" (Paradiso), what must the effect have been when she was in a state of ecstatic joy and exultation, as at the time when she sang Magnificat? "She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy" (Ecclus 15). Her very presence caused the infant Baptist to leap with sheer gladness. Let us then copy our blessed Mother in this light-hearted joyousness in God's service, remembering we honour our good Master when we show a bright face in His service. "To indulge anxiety is to forget that He watches over us". Has not St Peter told us to cast all our care upon Him? Why then should we not be as happy as a child in its Father's arms? Let us beg our Lady to win for us this grace, and let us say with whole-hearted confidence: Dear God, I trust my all to Thee, Since Thou Thy loving watch o'er me Dost keep for evermore.

Cause of our joy, pray for us!

Description and picture credit: Virginia Kimball from University of Dayton (The Mary's Page, link in Rosary section on the sidebar), explains beautifully the spiritual meaning of the picture depicting 'Our Lady, cause of our joy' - Our Lady is presented as autonomous figure, possibly pregnant as seems to indicate the Visitation scene in the lower half of this illustration. The medallion with Our Lady is flanked by Judith with the head of Holofernes and Esther dancing and playing the tambourine. The captions invite celebration and joy (Esther 10:10 and Nehemiah 12:43). Separated by a bunch of musical instruments, the scene of the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth illustrates why Mary is cause of our joy. The moment Mary’s greeting sounded in Elizabeth’s ear, the baby leapt in her womb for joy (Luke 1:44). Mary’s role as announcer and cause of joy, the joy of redemption for all, is further visualized in two lateral scenes, one depicting the souls in purgatory, the other a group of Old Testament figures (among them Moses and David) awaiting the Messiah. "Our sadness will be changed into joy," says the lemma, meaning that there is hope for all who believe in the Good News made flesh in Mary, the cause of our joy.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Confession of Peter

Beautiful reading today, Peter confesses Divinity of Christ and Our Lord gives him charge over His flock.

Matthew 16:13-19
And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi:

and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?

Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Pictures credit: Alexander Bida, Vasiliy Polenov, James Tissot and unknown illustrator.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

I invite all visitors to my blog for virtual pilgrimage to visit places dear and sacred to Christians in the Holy Land including the Cenacle, the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemani, the Golghota (The Holy Sepulchre Church) for Eastertide meditation and reflection during the next coming week.

With Jesus in Jerusalem

With Jesus at Passover in Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemani

Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives

The Cenacle - the place of Last Supper

Golgotha - place of the Skull

Site of the tomb of Christ

The empty tomb


Easter Meditations:

The News of the Ressurection of Chirst Jesus with fragments of the sermons of early Church Fathers and meditations from Don Schwager

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Good Shepherd Sunday

GOSPEL (John 10:14,15)
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth; and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he bath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

How has Christ proved Himself a good Shepherd?
By sacrificing His life even for His enemies, for those who did not yet love Him (1 John 4:10; Rom. 5:8) and could not reward Him. He has besides given Himself to us for our food.

How are we to know if we are among the sheep of Christ, that is, His chosen ones?
If we listen willingly to the voice of the Shepherd in sermons and instructions, in spiritual books and conversations; are obedient to it, and especially give ear and follow the rules of the Church through which the Good Shepherd speaks to us, (Luke 10:16) "for he," says St. Augustine, “who has not the Church for his mother, will not have God for his father;" if we gladly receive the food of the Good Shepherd, that is, His sacred Body and Blood in holy Communion; if we are patient and meek as a lamb, freely forgiving our enemies; if we love all men from our heart, do good to them, and seek to bring them to Jesus.

Who are the other sheep of Christ?
The Gentiles who were not of the fold of Israel, whom Christ sought to bring by His disciples, and now by their successors; into His fold. To these sheep we also belonged by our ancestors. O how grateful we should be to God, that He has brought us into the fold of His Church, and how diligently should we conduct ourselves as good sheep!

When will there be but one fold and one shepherd?
When, by the prayers of the Church and by her missionaries, all nations shall be converted to the only saving Church, constituting then one Church under one head. Let us pray that this may soon come to pass.

O Lord Jesus! Thou Good Shepherd who on the cross didst give Thy life for Thy sheep, grant us, we beseech Thee, by Thy death, the grace to be faithful to Thy voice and teachings like obedient lambs that we may one day be numbered among Thy chosen ones in heaven.

I lay down my life for my sheep (John 10:15).

What has Christ obtained for us by His death?
The remission of our sins, the grace to lead a life pleasing to God in this world, and eternal happiness in the next, for which we now firmly hope, with secure confidence may now expect, and most assuredly will obtain, if we do not fail on our part.

In what does eternal happiness consist?
In the beatific vision of God, which includes the most perfect love of Him, by which those who are saved become, as it were, one with Him, possessing in this union everything that they can possibly desire.

What are the necessary means of obtaining eternal happiness?
The grace of God, that is, His continual assistance; the practice of the three divine virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity; the keeping of God's commandments; the frequent use of the holy Sacraments, and constant prayer. These means must be diligently employed, for "God who", as St. Augustine says, created us without us, will not save us without us," that is, without our cooperation.

What may especially enable us to hope for eternal happiness?
The infinite mercy and goodness of God, who from all eternity has loved us more than an earthly mother, and. because of this love did not even spare His only-begotten Son, but gave Him up, for our sake, to the most bitter death. Will He then deny us heaven, He who in giving us His Son, has given us more than heaven itself? The fidelity of God: He has so often promised us eternal happiness, and in so many texts of Scripture so clearly explained that He wishes us to be saved, that He must keep His promise, for He is eternal truth and cannot deceive (Heb 6:18). He says not yes today, and no tomorrow, there is no change in Him, nor shadow of alteration (James 1:17). The omnipotence of God, who can do all that He pleases, whom no one can oppose or prevent from doing what He will; if we have confidence in a rich and honest man who assures us he will assist us in need, how much more should we hope in the goodness, fidelity, and omnipotence of God!

When should we make an act of Hope?
As soon as we come to the use of reason and, are sufficiently instructed concerning this virtue and its motives; in time of trouble or of severe temptation against this virtue; when receiving the holy Sacraments; every morning and evening, and especially at the hour of death.

The same thing is to be observed in regard to acts of Faith and Love.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008


Brothers of our Lady
Directed to Christ and oriented to Him, Carmel is also directed to Mary and oriented to her. "Completely Marian", "Totus marianus est," Carmelite authors like to repeat throughout the centuries, and of all their titles none is dearer to the sons of Elias than that of Brothers of our Lady. It is historically certain that the first hermits who retired to Mount Carmel in 1150 made their center a chapel consecrated to our Lady and from the time of Saint Brocard, the first Prior General, the Carmelites were called Brothers of our Lady of Mount Carmel. So devotion to our Lady is seen to be one of their distinctive signs. "Despite its historical inexactitudes "L'Institution des premiers moines" shows that the Order isdominated by the two great figures which represent, on different levels, its ideal: "Elias and our Lady" [1]. No need to follow the example of medieval Carmelite authors, in particular Bostius, and multiply the subtle and often forced resemblances between Elias and our Lady. The origin of these resemblances is to be found in a mystical interpretation of the scene in the book of Kings where on the heights of Carmel, at the prophet's prayer, a little cloud, about as big as the palm of a man's hand, rises out of the sea, melts into rain and fructifies the parched land: this is the image of the Virgin who was to give the Savior to mankind (3 Kings 18: 44). Nor is it necessary to do what Baconthorp did about 1330 and seek to establish close parallels between the life led by the Carmelite and the life of our Lady. "We have chosen a Rule", he said, "in which many points are similar to the life led by the Blessed Virgin Mary". If this be so, why does this Rule never once mention our Lady's name? Nor is the name of Elias found in its pages (in fact no reference is made to the fountain of Elias in the primitive texts). Nevertheless it is certain, as the Order's many authors and documents repeat, Carmel belongs to Elias and to our Lady. "Marianus et Elianus Ordo Carmeli", is the way it is expressed in the Mirror of the Carmelites, or the History of the Order of Elias of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.

At Carmel what is true of our Lady is also true of our Lord. Contemplative life advances by assimilation and union, much more than by images, examples and models. Preserving all due proportion, what we have said of Christ we repeat about Mary. If the Carmelite does not strive to imitate Mary's life, he does find himself quite naturally in deep harmony with her soul, and it is in this sense that he may be said to lead a "Mary-form" life. Our Lady is for him not only the Mother of Christ and his own mother. She also represents and expresses the soul's essential attitude before God. Mary not only sums up the whole Old Testament, she represents all mankind. She is its soul athirst for God, longing for Him, hoping for Him. All her strength and all her faculties are turned toward Him so that she may receive Him and fully live by Him. Our Lady is also the place of the divine response, of the divine coming. In her, mankind becomes conscious of God's desire and His fully efficacious will to communicate Himself to man. Mary is the place of this meeting; better still, she is the temple in which is consummated God's espousals with man, the hidden sanctuary in which the Spouse is united with the bride, the desert which flowers at the breath of God. Our Lady is pure reference to God and to the life of God in the sense in which Eliseus said to Elias: "As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth". From the moment of her immaculate conception Mary's soul had no other life than God, no other end than to know Him and to love Him purely and without any admixture and to allow Him to accomplish in her His designs of love. Carmel finds in Mary the fullness of the spirit which is its own: her beauty is without spot, her purity is absolute. As Isaias says: "The beauty of Carmel will be given you" (35: 2). Reciprocally, Mary's soul is connected with Carmel. She is a daughter of David according to the flesh, the daughter of the prophets and the daughter of Elias according to the spirit. In biblical times souls sought to make the perfect response that Mary was to give to the Word of God which (Luke 2: 19) and on which she "she pondered in her heart""meditated day and night". They longed for the ardent zeal with which she was aflame under the action of the Spirit of God. But her virginal maternity made this predestined daughter of Carmel a queen and raised her to a place of sovereignty among her brethren. For this reason, Carmel will live Mary and will breathe Mary with a movement as natural and as spontaneous as it is willed and conscious. To advance along this path the Carmelite has but to intensify his Marian attitude of virginal simplicity and pure reference to God. At Carmel, God is the object but the soul will become more and more Mary. So the reason why the Rule does not mention our Lady is clear. Carmel seeks to gaze upon God and love Him with mind and heart. What Mary represents is the soul itself. As the soul is united to Christ, so Carmel is hidden in Mary. Mary is, beyond any doubt, for Carmel the infinitely admirable and lovable Mother, the all-merciful Mother, but deeper than this, she is the one who was chosen and formed by God to be the Mother of the Savior; she is the purest, highest and most perfect expression of the soul that is open to the divine action and lives in Mary's light and in Mary's love. She is, par excellence, the contemplative soul. This mystic and filial intuition is to be confirmed in the centuries that were to come. In a critical hour, our Lady herself answered the trusting, insistent prayer of Saint Simon Stock. She appeared to him, holding in her hand the scapular of the Order, and said: "This is the privilege that I give you and all Carmel's children. Whoever dies clothed with this habit will be saved" [2]. In this way she extended, in visible fashion, her special protection over the Order which has always called itself her own. Mary was to intervene in the lives of Carmel's saints. Saint Albert of Sicily, Saint Andrew Corsini, Saint Peter Thomas, Saint Teresa, Saint John of the Cross, and in our own days Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus were favored with our Lady's visible protection. It seems as if at Carmel there can be no great servant of God who has not been sustained and guided by Mary.

Similarly, Carmel's authors multiply works which tighten the already close bonds between Carmel and our Lady. The Order was founded for the veneration of the Blessed Virgin. The Rule was formulated in connection with her life and virtues [3]. In one sense, the objectivity and value of these connections matter little. It is certain that between the time of the Rule and the Reform, "the idea of our Lady taken as model greatly gained in precision... and it becomes clear that Carmel was established for her honor". Was it not normal and at the same time the manifestation of an altogether filial spirit for Carmel to give the Blessed Virgin Mary honor that expressed something of her own intimate fervor. "The first hermits of Carmel considered Carmelite life as existence equally dedicated to the service of the Lord God and of His Mother, the Virgin Mary. Better than all the legends, this expression permits us to understand the flowering of Marian piety at Carmel and the true meaning of later official texts which affirmed that the Order of Carmel is dedicated from its beginning to the honor of our Lady."[4] Carmel sees in her the "soul" in the presence of God. Her purity and simplicity are ravishing. She is the soul whom God has completely and absolutely unified. In her is admirably made manifest: the omnipotence of the Spirit, the origin of contemplation, the origin of the apostolate. Through Mary Carmel perceives the ideal toward which it is drawn and which attracts it. This is a life of unity in God, of union with Christ, of efficacious and salvific charity toward men. Of course, for Carmel as for every Christian soul, Mary is above all, the Mother. "She is more mother than queen", affirms Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus. But she is also something more. She is "the beauty of Carmel". What does that mean? Under this mysterious title, Carmel tries to express something of what she means to the Order: a brightness of eternal light, she in whom God allows Himself to be contemplated and cherished, she in whom "the divine light knows no shadow". Now we understand why, at Carmel, at least for certain souls, Mary is intimately associated in the very practice of contemplation. In her the Lord has done great things. The purity and transparency of her soul enables us to see God at work in her and to contemplate in her a reflection of the divine Beauty. This soul, so transparent, is, we know, that of our mother. Her mission is to form us to live a life of union with God such as she enjoyed. How could our path not lead us to her? So we see that at Carmel there has always been a contemplative way on which union with Mary, far from being an obstacle, or even a detour, is envisaged as an essential condition of advance to the highest mystical life. "The soul discovers that Marian contemplation does not lead her away from adhesion to or immediate union with the Sovereign Good and the simple essence of God considered in itself. On the contrary the soul finds herself attracted to God with greater facility and is held by Him with greater stability.... All this is effected in the soul by one and the same Spirit, the author of this Marian life which leads finally to a perfectly mystical life."[5]

1. FRANCOIS DE SAINTE-MARIE, "La Regle du Carmel et son esprit," Edition
du Seuil, 1949, p. 112.
2. Viridarium in "Speculum Carm.," 599.
4. ELISEE DE LA NATIVITE, O.C.D.: "La vie mariale au Carmel," "Maria,"
II, p. 839, Beaucheane.
5. MICHEL DE SAINT-AUGUSTIN: "La vie Marieforme."

Credits: fragments taken from the essay on "Carmelite Spirituality" by Fr Paul Marie de la Croix, OCD - link on the sidebar in Carmelitana section
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