Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Thérèse

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Zelie and Louis Martin


Night Owl

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
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'Flourish'

It was mid-morning as IScurried 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
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the Sixth (a Christmas poem)

Passively I accept these gloomydays attending another closing year.Trees, house tops, driveways andfootpaths, all gleam from a drenching rain that fell two days before.  It is atime of brightly yellowed trees;losing their glossy aging leavesthat litter boulevards pointing to woods and dark wind-torn fields.No one sees me here, shuttered behind weeping window panes– feeling a bit
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Unless

Like stacked bales of wool,thick walls of silenceform a barricade,keeping me safelywithin my cell,unless theyblock my way,banishing me,to the outside,alone with only a hungerto be within.Written by Tim Bete, OCDSTim is a Secular Discalced Carmelite from Dayton, OH
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Reflections on an analysis of The Spiritual Canticle

“A lyric creation by a poet does not necessarily show concern for the logical demands of a theologian.”— The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, p. 465Alone in his cramped prison cell,John of the Cross erupted witha melodic chorusof love so deep,his soul burst forth,filling his confinementwith dazzling light,his freedom gainedas he soared tothe One he loved.And as his soul exploded,his
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Sacramental River

“Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?”— Acts 8:37High on the shore,I heard the rapids call,boils and eddies and current strong,coaxing me to come closer;the river’s surface a deception,power and depth hidden below,so I was naive and unafraidas I gave myself over to it.Like a childin the waters of Baptism,I did not understand the river would require all;once surrendered,
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A Hummingbird Visits

Just beyond the clear clean glassarrives a blur of iridescent colours.Related and opposing,One to another. Orange,green, red, yellow, black.Standing there, all herattention taken up with a hovering bird.  Humming, amid the fireworks ofcascading Summer blooms.In a hushed trancethe swift, soft beating of tiny wings vibrate through the window.  Leaving hertransfixed – suspended.From
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Time Machine

“But if before heaven and earth there was no time, why is it demanded, what Thou then didst? For there was no ‘then,’ when there was no time.”  — The Confessions of St. AugustineIn the beginning,God created a time machine,so I couldtravel to a daywhen I love Himmore than Ilove myself.Years ticking by,seasons pulling me along,like a mother on a mission,holding her toddler’s hand,not
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Chasm

This poem is a response to the pervasive and wanton distractions that overrun our age; to which Christians are not entirely immune.   Our Carmelite vocation stands as a remedy to these distressing symptoms of Modernity; and humanity’s deepest longing for spiritual wholeness.chasmWoven into the summer’s heat a drowsy instance snaps, a crack of thunder – jarring –revealing the
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St. Teresa

“With anguish sharp and deep I cry: ‘I die because I do not die.’”— St. Teresa of AvilaHow is it that a versefrom poet’s handcan bridge the chasmfrom mind to soul?Like a bucket of waterthat primes a pump,bringing forth a prayerto quench my heart.Words I did not know were mineuntil you wrote them andput them into my mouth,connecting me to the Spirit’s wellspring,an aqueduct
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Your Eternal Sigh

An oak, large and bedewed clothed in the freshness of Spring glistens – a myriad flashes of light –your eternal gaze.In hidden knowledge you saw us;lowly, fallen, compost.  Even beforethe breath of your spoken Word,you could do naught but from theheart take breath and speakyour Mercy.In a movement of being – oh mystery of being –in that “act” of incarnate Wordborne aloft
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The Wooing

Entering the cave of my soul,clinging darkly to holy scripturespromise, saying you will come and make your dwelling with me.Idly, gently do I tampwispy thoughts away.Neither noise nor motion - you are here.My quietness hangs suspended, listening for your breathing;the breath of your nostrils……………with the breath of your mouth You breathe your warmth – on me – each hair of
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Thurible

Dimly-lit church,empty except for thestrong lingering scentof spicy-sweet smoke,from a funeralearlier in the day.Gray rising cloudsno longer visible,but their essenceleft behindalong with memoriesof a soulI did not know.Lives sputterand ignite,like aromatic crystalsheaped ontored-hot coals,souls billowingand ascendingtoward Heaven.Written by Time Bete, OCDSTim Bete is a Secular Discalced Carmelite
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Repayment

What will God findwhen He looks within,searching a soulemptied to make adwelling place for Him?He will see Himself,for that is all my soul can hold.And when He sees Himself,rejoicing at the Love He’s found —a Love that is also Him —how is it He will repay me,who am neither the seekernor the Lovebut only the containerin which He dwells?Without His blood,a chalice is but a cup,without His body,a
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God Whispers

When I told youMy love was so greatthat I wanted to spend eternity with you,I did not mean an eternity at some far-off time,as if eternity’s clock was wound by your death.​Eternity began the day I conceived your soul.​On that day,I blossomed within you, long before your birth,long before you first saw the world.​Yet you forget our eternity is well underway,squandering
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The Carmel, a poem by Tim Bete, OCDS

Introduction by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD        One might define poetry, very simply, as “structured speech”—meaning that, since it is speech, even when it is written it should normally be read aloud, or at least read to oneself by sounding the words clearly in one’s head.        Anyway, given that poetry is structured speech, how it is structured
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The Fledgling Poet

“The point of [a] poem [is] not only aesthetic enchantment but contemplation and dialogue.  Poetic experience, like religious experience, is an act of communion with the world.  A poem is religious not because its intent is religious but because it intends contact with human experience on the deepest level possible.”  “Poetry that is grounded in contemplation and dialogue gives
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The Thirteen

Behind St. Joseph’s walls, thirteen began,hidden from the world while saving it,hands raised in prayer, God heard themand gave them the better of the fight.​Behind closed doors, thirteen began,knowing God that He might be known,detached from that outsidethat the outsidemight be attached to Him.​Within their cells, thirteen began,patiently searching for the Lord,sacrificing all for Him who is
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Baking God

At the same lunch tablewhere she has eaten for 30 years,she unpacks a ham sandwichand thermos of coffee.A break from the linewhere she inspects small round disks of white and tan,bread destined to become God.Thankful for work, so contemplative,hours of placid meditation on tiny canvases, soon to be transformedinto the Lord Himself.The plant, her convent;production line, her cell;denim work shirt, her
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The Longest Road

“So he got up and went back to his father.”                               — Luke 15:20How many days did he walk,mulling over words he would sayto a father scorned and insulted,replaying scenarios in his mind.Still so focused on himself,all he could
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Mystery

With each insight You grantYour mystery grows largeruntil I know much more and yet much less about You.​Love’s enigmaerases the questionsmy mind once asked.​Being with You is enough;in silence is Your love.Written by Tim BeteTim Bete is a Secular Discalced Carmelite from Dayton, OH
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Magdalene's Mountain

Gazing on her face of tears,Repentance and reparation. Driven to penance and remorse. Unworthy and insignificantA little grain of wheat.What next? To the mountain.To the penitential ascent!In the distance so smallCloud covered seemingly accessible.At the foot too high--wonder!To ascend or not to ascend.'If the Saint draws you to the top, You will get there!' A whisper.The top,very dark cloud
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Mercy Healed Me

(written October 16, 2015 while at the 2015 Milwaukee National OCDS Congress during Adoration)Lord, thank you for your Mercy.You have felt my anguish and pain.The rejection and deception pierced my heartDown to the first thread of muscle.Pain seared through my calmness.Oh, how my heart ached for loss of my marriage.Death! The death of what was supposed to be. “Til death us do part” came way too
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Winter Evening

Star-filled sky,a tabernacle;moon glowinglike Sanctuary lamp,smell of melting waxand incensereplaced by pine mixedwith cold winter air.Dirt road covered by snow,crunching under foot,breaking the stillness,until I stopped.Motionless,ears cocked,there was no soundexcept darkness,and silent peace;the entire world’svastnessfrozen in time.At that moment,You pierced my heart,shattering the tabernacleof
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More About Clouds and Fog

One perpetual theme coursing through my life is that of living in a fog ~ that tendency of being what people call a daydreamer.  It is who I am and although I am now comfortable in this environment, it can have unintentional results.  All this interior dwelling does tend to annoy the spousal unit on occasion, especially when he realizes I haven’t heard anything he’s said to me for several
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Mist of the Mountains

Zosia – my Dragon Poet - small, pensive, sweet.Whose long ardent sighsrevive in me memories ofafternoon fog descendingon the mountain’s side. I a little girl with father and two brothers.Father clasps my little brother’s wrist as we four, stroll back to our holiday cottage.Both mother and sister attentive to our return.There everything in viewis shrouded  by clouds, asa mystical land comes
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Community

If God is my Alland he is with me ...why am I lonely?Why do I feel alone?Father.Son.Holy Ghost.Even those threeneed one anotherto be God!That is my answerto why I needto seek the companyof others in the race.But I must seekthat company,that holy communion,in him ...He must lead the way.It is in imitationof his perfect examplethat I seek others with whom to be myself. Each of us gives to the
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ABIDE

Abide, ABIDE–The tide of graceFlows fully in the spaceFreshly opened by the crushingof your heart.A part of you has died.Now, springs from His sideThe new life that shines more widelythan the death endured.Moored in Jesus, anchoredSo deeply, abide, that the waves crash, butDo not crush the hidden seed ofHis responding to your seeking.It was always first His voice that you had heard,But only now after
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Releasing the Dragon (Poet)

  Writing poetry or other forms of literary work for a Blog under a nom de plume is pretty much a necessity when dealing with feelings and expressions of a spiritual nature.  The biggest reason for remaining unknown is a fear of recognition – or more pertinent – the fear of speculation and judgement by those readers who may know you; or think they know you.  Then to a lesser degree
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Unnatural Joy

!!!????!!!!!!Wait.  What just happened?!!Darkness, quiet, emotions subdued,Stillness, waiting, a match sizzlesWood pops and hisses withLife and anticipation.Senses like a held breath,All quiet.Exult! You heavenly choirs Exult!Christ the Lord is risen, sound the trumpet of salvation!No. Wait. Slow down. I’m not ready.40 days? Chocolate, wine, Facebook?No! Let me do something worthy of this.No. 
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Something Old, Something New - Part I

        I've been mindful of making a special effort to carve out little spaces for a slower pace since the beginning of the year, and it has woven in easily with having to stay inside more due to colds, sinus, etc., which are quite improved now, thank you.        During the past month, then, I found myself being reminded of moments
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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 bellman.mary@gmail.com 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.