Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

A Barefooted Dream

Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the dawn from on high will visit us
to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
(Luke 1: 78-79)

Seated comfortably in my dreamland movie theater, with
It's wide viewing screen above and ahead, I find myself
Admiring the image of a majestic stone church. It basks

Quiet, serene under a flawlessly beautiful Autumn sky; 
Ripening like wheat out on the Prairie. It's a remarkable 
Vista, stretched along an ancient brick paved Plaza.

Calling to mind, half remembered history lessons about 
Spain, the New World and bold, daring Conquistadors.
Suddenly, a man rushes toward me from the plaza.  His 

face, neck, arms, naturally tanned.  His jet-black hair, 
Mustache and tiny beard neatly trimmed.  Resembling 
For all the world, a courtly Spanish painter named Diego

Velázquez, or possibly one of those Conquistadors that 
sprang to mind just a moment ago.  He is soaked 
completely, from head to foot.  Anointed in oil, 

Grinning from ear-to-ear, rippling with excitement, he 
Chatters away en Español.  Scampering back and forth 
Along the cobblestones. Hopping about like a child.  

Repeating the same things again and again, and as if 
Swearing an Oath, stamps his foot on the Pavement.  
“Virgen!  Descalzos!”   Because this is a dream, I

Naturally comprehend the whole meaning of these 
Profound declarations. An encounter with the barefooted 
Virgin – renowned in this church for both favour and 

Flower – transformed him into this flurry of childlike 
Exuberance; melting away any armor he once might 
Have worn. Then, making a sweeping and gallant 

Gesture, motions for me to join him.  How can I refuse 
Such an invitation?  I need only step forward, and take
Hold of his hand to share in his irrepressible benediction.

Written by Hannah De Lisser

Barren Reaches

The Caribbean swayed back and forth nudging into wakefulness, 
Memories of a girl enveloped in the mist of youth.  Her life – 
One long embrace – an embrace, carrying her to tomorrow and
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, gently on a wisp to widespread beaches 

Where Sunshine and Promises greet with a Kiss. There she falls asleep  
As rain waters the earth and palm trees grow straight up, to a reachless 
Sky, sheltering her brow with their lofty branches. While she sleeps, 
Dreams become her life and on waking, finds her self – not a child.

All the Palms are gone and nothing but drifting sand stretches out and 
Away as Middays heat presses closer and closer. From behind tightly 
Clenched lids, her Spirit strains for relief and finds it in a Vision – 
Two beautiful eyes draw from her child heart – what she knows, 

Has known, wants to know more of – deeply – even if now be not a 
Season for such knowing. Yet mirrored in those eyes, as deep as the 
Crystal sea at sunset, burns the Reflection of ageless Light. She can 
Neither hold nor touch its source. Yet, thus stricken and prickled 

By what seems an endless solitude, the words of a Song she once 
Heard within the barren reaches of her dream-life return, and just 
Like silver playing its own melody, she prays –––––
“Where have you gone?  Leaving me bereft and utterly lonesome.”


And so it happened; 
––––– in waves of a cerulean tide –––––
Evening came and Morning followed.

Written by Hannah De Lisser

O Flame Divine, O Flame of Love

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

O flame divine, O flame of Love
You dance within my soul;
A life-force from above.

Your heart you open up to me
A piece to form the whole;
Secure enough to be.

O flame of Love, O flame divine
Ignite my heart anew
Un-burning fire so fine.

A new creation, I am now
A vessel of Yours too;
A molding—Unfolding
My mission You endow.

Surrounded by the darkness here
A cry within the deep;
Despairing—A tearing
The anguish sounds my ear.

The Lord He calls me forth once more
To aid His wounded sheep;
Healing—And revealing
His Light He wants to pour.

I come to Him with wax and wick
In contemplative dream;
Unify—One Reply
One Light will cure the sick.

My candle burns a flame of Love
A blood and water stream;

A remedy to all I meet
Awash in heavn'ly beam.

Written by Michelle Estep, OCDS

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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.