Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

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Welcome to the Provincial Blog.


Here, we feature posts by our Friars and by other contributors from the Carmelite family. Our goal is to provide you with content relevant to Carmelite spirituality and life in the Province of St. Therese.

To learn more about the people behind this blog, visit the About Blog Central page.
To post a comment, just click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post or you can
send us an email to let us know what you think.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jul 03, 2020
Readings: 
1st Reading: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16
Resp. Psalm: Psalm 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
2nd Reading: Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42

God always knows what we need before we do. We read that the Prophet Elisha helped the family that provided for him. God is always willing to help us and especially those that provide for His Church and His ministers. He established His Church on earth to give us a home, a place of spiritual nourishment and refuge and protection from evil. Additionally the Church is to instruct and admonish all of us when necessary. We have the Holy Scriptures and the solemn teachings of our Church throughout the centuries to guide us through the perilous times today when the Truth is challenged and ridiculed.

It may be difficult to see but a great reward that God gives us is what St. Paul mentioned in the second reading. If we have been baptized in Christ then we can receive the graces that we need to begin to stop living sinful lives. Eventually we will be dead to sin so that while it may tempt us, it will not overcome us as in times prior.

Doing the things like those that are listed in the Gospel are what will facilitate the promises made to us by Jesus. He's shown us the way — let's keep on following.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Times

Jun 25, 2020
Readings: 
1st Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13 
Resp. Psalm: Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35
2nd Reading: Romans 5:12-15 
Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33 

The only truly just One is God. We know that when we are judged at the end of our lives, as St. John of the Cross tells us, it will be done in love. Times of examination can be scary, like going to the doctor, evaluations at school or at work, going to Confession. Part of the reason why is because we are not the one in control when we are being evaluated. It is not easy to put yourself into the hands of another. But if we really think about it, in life, we have little control. We have no control over the other millions of people on the planet, much less the people around us. We may even wonder what control we even have over ourselves.

God is the One who is truly Just and in control. If we are or feel out of control it is because we don't know Him well enough or don't trust Him. So, when get to know Him hopefully better and better as we live our lives throughout the years, that will go away. St Teresa Benedicta who was facing extermination by the Nazis was able to comfort the mothers and children around her even though she knew what was going to happen. The point is that God who sent the Holy Spirit to bring order from the chaos at the beginning of creation will do the same for us when we ask Him to and do things the way He asks. He gives us control over ourselves so that we sin less and become more like Him.

So as Jesus stated in today's Gospel, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. This means that we should fear and resist the devil who deceives and tempts souls into sin. No one can force us to sin. We ourselves are responsible for what we do. We must also remember that we must raise our children in the faith so that they can be properly responsible, too. This is why we need God to help us and defend us. It is so easy to fail without Him. God also brings good out of our failures if we love and trust Him. As St. Peter said, cast your cares on him because he cares for you.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Jun 12, 2020
Szymon Czechowicz / Public domain
Readings: 
1st Reading: Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
Resp. Psalm: Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55
2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel: John 3:16-18

God is Love. Jesus, God's only Son is Love and the Holy Spirit is Love. Jesus revealed to us while he was on earth that God is three in One. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Now in technical theological language, we say that the Holy Trinity is made up of three persons, but only one God (and Jesus is a Divine Person, while we are human persons). When we recite the Nicene Creed later on we confess: I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD. Now can we say that there are three parts to this one God? No. Can we say that God the Father is #1, God the Son is #2 and God the Holy Spirit is #3? Well, God the Father created the world, so He's got to be #1, right? God the Son lowered himself to become man and His Father sent Him, so he has got to be #2. Right? And God the Holy Spirit, well we can't even see Him, so he must be #3? No. We shouldn't even try.

When we try to make sense out of the Holy Trinity, we begin to talk gibberish. We cannot possibly explain to a logical, even human satisfaction that God is both Three and One. But our faith helps us to believe and our faith is a gift from God.

What DO we know about the Holy Trinity? Well, God the Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to save it and Jesus sent His Holy Spirit into the world after He ascended into Heaven. We know that the relationship between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is one of deep intense love, too magnanimous, too marvelous to describe or even comprehend; that the three persons of the Holy Trinity are absolutely madly in love with each other; and that, the Holy Trinity dwells in each and every one of us.

By reason of our existence, the Holy Trinity dwells in each and every one of us which is why Jesus could say whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to me. And, that we should also love one another as Jesus has loved us.

The greeting that can be used at the beginning of Mass "The GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH YOU ALL" tells us something about the Holy Trinity. Total revelation of the Trinity begins with the grace of Jesus which has announced the LOVE OF GOD the Father. This was done when God the Father sent Jesus to save us from our sins by dying on the Cross. But this would be too lofty too and incomprehensible for us to even grasp if we were not given the COMMUNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Because the Holy Spirit introduces us into the depths of God, which He alone knows. In Jesus's absence after his Ascension, we have the Holy Spirit, the Consoler to teach us. We shouldn't worry that we don't understand this completely, nobody does. We just need to believe. And the Holy Spirit will help each and everyone of us to believe when we ask for His help. But we must be ready when we ask -- help will come -- perhaps in a way we might not expect!

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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