Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

Carmel Is to Me

Carmel is a garden where
“The Lord can take His walk”—
With many terraces sporting
Countless species and every type
Of flower, tree, bush, plant,
And grass, all in varied climes—

With some places favoring
Beautiful blooms and flourishing
Vegetation; others wasteland,
With bare dirt and jutting rock, yet
Beautiful in the eye of the beholder,
Their beloved.  Some receive

Too much sun and not enough
Rain, so that the flora pales,
And seems dead.  But when
The autumn rains return,
It takes to itself again the
Emerald glory that it once had.

Everywhere is found crops
Bearing abundant fruit,
Alongside weeds, also abundant.

May the Lord of the harvest,
With His merciful glance,
Transform us all a hundred-,
Sixty-, thirty-, even tenfold.
As once Abraham interceded
For Sodom, may he intercede
For this Garden of Carmel.

Written by Cindy Slieger, OCDS
Cindy is a Secular Discalced Carmelite in the Seattle, WA area.

Prayer – a response

The very act of assent
      to begin
                  set aside
                              take part
                                         is Prayer.

Choosing attention to deepest silence,

      wrapped within.
      Recited words−formulae or ritual−
      become “what we ourselves can do.”

      Attending, The once-spoken Word
      rung like a Great bell.
      It’s single, ever-present Peal

moves without changing−encompassing everything.
      Deafness itself, drowns within.
      This! is “what happens to us.”

Note:  A response to ‘Noontime: Sext: ~ The Angelus’

Written by Hannah De Lisser


In the Drink

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139:7, 9-10)

In the Drink ~


You who tried teaching me to swim, held me close 
basking and sea bathing.
How small my arms were, clasped tightly under your chin against the star-blue eddies.

Was it salt, sunlight, or buoyant effervescences?  For I 
took to all three without knowing such longings.  And like one beguiled by
friendly spirits, let trust weave itself into the coverlet of my heart.  

Thus entranced, your 
buttressing arms fell away as we plunged headlong
into wind-torn sea adventures.  

Your muscle-oared frame moved – sure timbered, sea worthy – with
breath shattering nimbleness.
How swiftly we sailed!  How sweetly we unfurled into water assault!

Skimming – – – – 
Riding carnival waves!  Each wave
glistening with laughter, drenching with delight!


Something like silver petals glide 
back and forth across this turquoise tide. Drowsy waves tug at my
feet, pulling them deeper and deeper

into warm sand.  But I pay no heed to the fluid murmuring.  Off in the distance,
ponderous storm clouds loom above coral banks, their heavy winds
fracturing – darkening – the placid surface.

Beckoning from the [deep] mystic blue waters where twice before, I drowned–almost–You 
taught my heart to spill entreaties in
borrowed island verse—my own sedentary silence 

submerged in a tide no name can employ. 

Forged through fissures of fine salt, 
[unheard, unseen] You’ve poured yourself into empty, 
burning arms.  

Arms that once embraced, and can no longer 
wrap themselves ‘round, 
nor cling to things—or persons gone forever.


I stand at this shores edge, bathed in bright youthful memories.
Memories that form and reveal a fragile nature. Yes. 
This way of communion between us

is Your gift, and I should—tremble inwardly at such knowledge.
Instead, I spend my portion recklessly, with 
abandon, much as little children do 

with their Father.

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.