Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

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 a definitive gesture! It's as if He's letting us know: THIS is the place to go - My Heart - no doubt about it! You have arrived at THE place to be when you abide here in this garden, in this time of prayer.

          "I am the Vine, you are the branches" also came to mind. The "divine sap"... communion, union with Christ, bringing fruitfulness, seen or unseen.

Written by A Listening Heart

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. Augustine

In the beginning,
God created 
a time machine,
so I could
travel to a day
when I love Him
more than I
love myself.

Years ticking by,
seasons pulling me along,
like a mother on a mission,
holding her toddler’s hand,
not allowing the child
to linger
nor to move faster,
unable to alter life’s pace,
until the destination is reached.

Yet in each moment,
the opportunity for change,
in a time machine
spawned with universes
stitched together by grace,
creating hope for
a reversal of heart
or mind
or will,

granting movement
toward God,
a gift not even
the angels possess.

Written by Time Bete, OCDS
Tim Bete is a Secular Discalced Carmelite from Dayton, OH
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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.


Woven into the summer’s heat 
a drowsy instance snaps, a 
crack of thunder – jarring –
revealing the surface of her soul, 
gaping there – a tiny hole.

Lethargy wraps and winds around
the tip of an indexed finger 
reaching for the microscopic rift.  

Irreverent to her consent, it lifts 
hovers and spins, like cotton-candy 
floss, unraveling into an uncharted
cosmos, abruptly exploding the 
confines of a repressed universe.

Woefully lacking in equal measure
both compass and direction, 
ceases her probe, just as 
an angry wall-cloud passes.

– full length of days 
from Sunday to Sunday –  
she attends to her phone.
Wild bouts of slides, swipes and glides, 
bring forth a restive stream; one
flurried scene after scene. 

Its glassy void informs her palm, filling
space and devotion - hour after hour,
blotting at her vision of a vortexing fissure;
a blackness once into which she peered
– at a glance – the tornadic churning
of disconsolate cheer.

Within an errant breeze rests 
a still, small – mighty voice.
Our Loving Lord’s intent –  
stalwart in calling – hushes 
and whispers in veiled resident 
silence, patient to be heard.

Arms spread wide in affection
offering one discourse only;
fashioned upon His finely
sculpted breast.   At the center
– Creation's canvas –
fixed inside His heart 
where every tear, every care, 
every sin can be placed.

Washed– remedied – once and for all
by a shower of grace.  Needing no cloud
to form or scatter like rain.
Not fleeting nor dismissive
like a careless summer storm.

All she needs do, is put down 
the phone, turn out all sound,
arrest all her longings…
…let the earth quake, 
the wind howl,
lightning flash 
and thunder growl

Mercy will detain her ear 
as it drips and trails into
the cosmic breach, 
born of a one-sided life.

A Reflection: …sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts…for we should always be ready to share the hope we have within us...  1 Peter 3:15 

St Peter’s epistle deals with challenges early Christians faced.  One commentary puts it this way “The problem addressed would not be official persecution but the difficulty of living the Christian life in a hostile, secular environment that espoused different values and subjected the Christian minority to ridicule and oppression.” A relevant comparison to the 21st century.

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.