Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

Listening from Exile



In You, darkness is not dark;
nor is your apparent absence a void.
You speak in silence, no matter
how the senses may fail or the will
languish.  One must keep vigil in
prayer; remain loving and attentive.


Listening from Exile

Evening light pours through the window,
dappling my prayer in soft shades of pink
and yellow before fading away. My heart
registers a rhythmic pulse, rising imperceptibly
like background music beneath the familiar
tick ticking away of another day.

Just outside my window, partially blocking a
view of the sky is an oak tree, indifferent to its
weather-beaten appearance - offering shelter to
all sorts of little creatures from twisty rough-hewn
limbs draped in tattered moss.

This is the hour Cardinals teach their
youngsters the art of concealment,
leaving the frightened chick clutching a
branch, for a moment or two of terror.
Brief lessons such as this, quickly teach the
little bird to listen for the discreet whistling
sounds from their parents, hiding nearby.

Coming then going quickly, a breeze
ripples through the tree like a sigh of relief.
And instinct closes my eyes in anticipation of
the Spirit – to pause if only for a moment
before journeying past.


Written by Hannah De Lisser
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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.