Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

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Art for Living and Praying

I’ve been reflecting on my upbringing – how I was raised – the culture, family and experiences that shaped how I grew up.  It was idyllic up to a certain point, and then after that certain point, everything changed.  I was not equipped to handle what occurred and became a sort of child hermit.  Emotional faults were entrenched into my psyche while I built up a
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Lent has begun: Mission—be filled with the Holy Spirit

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The Church

The narthex, the nave, the steeple,the transept, the columns, the corbel,the buttress, the portal, the plaster,the gold, the marble, the silver.The Stations of the Crosscarved in Paris and shippedin the hold of a schooneron its way to Boston.The bond stone, the bed joints, the mortar,the granite, the weep holes, the stretcher.The Irish mason who atehis lunch sitting on scaffolding,legs dangling in
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Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Elijah

"Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God." (Ps 92:13)Celebrating both the Solemnities of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and of Elijah - within four days' time - springs forth an image of what they share on the most hidden to manifest levels.Reading the above verse from Psalm 92, on the day before Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I was struck by the invisible but essential aspect
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Journaling in the Chapel

While in the Chapel after Mass this morning, a feeling of warmth came over me. Like being warmed by a heat, a magnificent flame, I began to think what a gift it was to be here in the presence of my Creator and His faithful Missionary Carmelites of St Teresa. Talking to God, I asked, why do you love me? Why have you given me such a wonderful environment to grow in Carmelite spirituality?
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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
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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 –
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The "Place" to Be

          This morning brought a return to a sense of focus, in trying to rebound after days on the road. As I started my walk at the Rosary Garden, what riveted my eyes was the Sacred Heart statue at its entrance.           What especially caught my attention was the figure of Jesus pointing to his Heart. It's such
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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
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Love in a Battle-field

What is love?  Not an original question surely, yet I do still ask myself this question.  What does love look like?  As a Catholic, my mind immediately turns to the crucifix; THE image of perfect love.  Jesus, the son of God, nailed to an instrument of torture upon which he died to procure the salvation of my soul and that of all mankind.  Gazing upon a crucifix is an opportunity
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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
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Be Not Afraid!

The air, the airwaves, the papers are filled withfearful voices proclaiming doom in one form or another.It seems to me a squandering of the soul to worry about,to make anxious provisions for, some possible dangerwhich could happen in the future, but which is not now a reality. Listening to doomsayers, giving ear to loud voices proclaiming(but not apparently having prophetic authority to proclaim) doom,and
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The Little Way of Environmental Healing

We are faced with enormous environmental problems that harm people, and destroy property and wildlife. Everyone needs to help solve these.St. Therese of the Child Jesus teaches us the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood. She felt she could not perform the big mortifications of the saints. We also feel we cannot go back to a lifestyle without cars and modern conveniences. St. Therese, though, was determined
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Pilgrimage in One

My husband Bruce and I made a family visit in September to New Jersey and Philadelphia. I always like to make a Pilgrimage when I travel; so, we chose to attend Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. This was a week before Pope Francis would arrive to celebrate Mass for the World Meeting of Families. On September 19, these Meetings on the Family were due to convene in a couple
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Courage of Conviction

One of my favorite things about our holy mother, Teresa of Jesus, is her willingness to say the hard things,without fear of whatever her day’s “media coverage” will be reporting and mis-representing. Our holy father Pope Francis shares that courage of conviction. When he dares to offer consolation to his priests and bishops, in the face of the ongoing scandals of sexual abuse of children
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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
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The Love of Silence

When a person places them self in an attitude of stillness and quiet, a whole new world opens up to them.  They tend to experience their surroundings in a different way; they become more present in space and time.  This has been my personal experience throughout my life.  This attitude of silence has been crucial to my health this past half century; ranking just above a natural thirst
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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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Pondering these Things in my Heart

    Years ago, I found a Christmas card at a local card store with this image of the Sacred Family, by Batoni, and right there in the store went to contemplating!       I was struck almost immediately by St. Joseph's pensive posture as he sat in the shadows observing Mary with Baby Jesus, the maternal-infant interaction and mutually responsive love.      
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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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The words to hymns so often get lost in the singing

 Some of our best prayers are found in ‘little hymns’ that go unnoticed, get little acclaim. one, often sung at Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours:Lord Jesus, once you spoke to menUpon the mountain, in the plain;O help us listen now, as then,And wonder at your words again.We all have secret fears to face,Our minds and motives to amend;We seek your truth, we need your grace,Our
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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.