Abiding in God
July 14, 2017 | abiding in God, Carmelite spirituality, Christian faith, God, Jesus, reflection, Scriptures, St. Therese, the Little Flower
Not too long ago, I came out of Mass with 1 John 4:16 on my mind and heart: specifically, ". . . he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him."
What came through my mind was that the first part, abiding in God, being enveloped by him, is more often sweet, permeated with peace, and seems to happen more readily. God abiding in us brings the thought of being wounded, but in a welcoming way – not humanly so or something readily done, but more than worthwhile when recognized and embraced. It is more of a "journey" than the first dynamic. More than words can say, it is like a picture in my mind's eye, the end all and be all of being at home with God, and how it comes about and is experienced.
What struck me simultaneously was that since the first dynamic brings less challenge, so to speak, then one can turn to God fully as frequently as possible. This will help increase the welcoming that happens – God abiding in us. It is somewhat like the Little Flower's religious name: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. It conjures up an image of jumping into God's lap just like a child and, in so doing, opening the way for intimacy with Jesus and the fullness of who he is – his suffering Face driving home the depth of love. It is like our efforts to abide in God "sets the stage" or prepares us for him to abide in us, and yet it happens at the same time. He abides in us to deepen our desire to abide in him. Neither drops off – abiding in God, and he in us. They both remain, abiding to bring more life, both integral to love.
Written by A Listening Heart
July 14, 2017 | Carmelite spirituality, friendship, God, imagery, night, owl, poetry, reflection, spiritual gifts
It’s Two o’clock and the house tucks
itself in, settling for the night. The old wood
creaking, sighing, purring itself to sleep.
Tonight, I am its sentinel.
Between solitude and sleep, two fatigues
push and pull me down a valley of purple haze
while fragments and dried feathers snap,
scrape and break against my cheeks. Here bare
knuckled skin brush away a flow of tears.
Peering over the window ledge, past a manse
of murky oaks and pines, a scroll of scattered
words try to work free from their tussle of cares.
Shaking my head from side to side might
wrench me free from damp and achy thoughts…
Something outside not far off, advances.
It presses through the dusty panes. “Whoo,
Who- Hoo- Ho-ooo” rising. And falling…
It nudges, repeats, trails off… as if awaiting
response. It’s been a dozen years since the evening
I strolled along the patchy banks of a rivulet
where he flew – gliding – above my head.
In that first fail swoop – he signed and invited –
establishing an immediate, unlikely friendship.
Many say that Owls are Wise. Have any yet dared
tell of their secretive social wiles? Aha! ‘Tis now
my turn to speak through this shapeless vale,
crafted and cared for by the Maker and Giver
of such dear - such precious gifts.
He, who sealed my heart allows its surrender.
“Good Night. Good Owl. Good Night.”
Written by Hannah De Lisser
April 28, 2017 | Carmelite spirituality, contemplative prayer, faith, God's presence, humility, perseverance, poetry
It was mid-morning as I
Scurried about the house.
Make the bed. Sweep the floor.
Oh look at those books open, on
The desk – need to read those.
What is the office calling for?
I feel His gaze rest on my wrist.
His curved fingers reaching
proposing to lead me in a Feather step.
And I glide, free-spinning deftly -
avoiding both gaze and intended-terruption.
But why? It’s now late,
and the evening's light dim.
My jumbled thoughts swirl with
many do’s and don’ts.
Where now is His touch?
That gentle hand?
That trysting gaze?
Here am I – and where is He?
light the evening flame and
- set these clouds ablaze -
Soften the stiffness of a day
between dawn and sunset.
adorn my gaze where
both – mind and heart –
yield to your presence.
For now – it is night.
Written by Hannah De Lisser
Other Blogs by Secular Discalced Carmelites:
- Bethany Hang Out – a blog by Shawn Chapman, OCDS. Shawn is a member of the Austin community of Secular Discalced Carmelites. She also writes regularly for ATX Catholic online.
- Elizabeth Explores Writing – a blog by Elizabeth Ogilvie, OCDS. Elizabeth is a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.
- Gray Rising – a blog by Tim Bete, OCDS. Tim is a member of the community of the Secular Discalced Carmelites in Dayton, OH.
- Hearth Cake and a Jug of Water – Mary Bellman, a member of the Dallas OCDS community, sends out a daily Carmelite quotation by e-mail. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added on her mailing list and receive these Carmelite quotations.
- Illumina, Domine – a blog by Pat Enk, a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.