Monday, June 25, 2007

Carmelite Podcast

Sharing a wonderful site - Meditations from Carmel. These meditations come directly from Carmelite Saints. The website is wonderful so please visit if you can. For some reason my computer just freezes when I visit so I have to stick with this particular feed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Be Ye Merciful

As I struggle with difficult feelings today, I searched for guidance and was lead to read the following from Divine Intimacy. If you are looking for wonderful material for mental prayer I highly recommend this book.

Jesus revealed to us the mystery of His heavenly Father's merciful love not only for our own consolation and personal benefit, not only to give us absolute confidence in God, but also to teach us to be merciful to our neighbor. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful" (Lk 6,36) Good attracts good, goodness engenders goodness, kindness inspires kindness; therefore, the more a soul penetrates the mystery of infinite mercy, the more it will be incited to emulate it. When we feel irritated with someone and little disposed to indulgence and pardon, we ought to plunge with all our strength into the consideration of the infinite mercy of God, in order to stifle all harshness, resentment, and anger in ourselves. If we had but the slightest experience of our own wretchedness, it would not be difficult for us to realize that there is no moment of our lives in which we do not need the mercy of God. Our merciful Father is so forbearing that He never casts us off despite all our falls, never reproaches us about the many times he has forgiven us, never refuses us His Paternal embrace of love and peace. Nothing softens a soul more, making it full of good will toward others, than this consideration. Oh! if others could see in our attitude toward them a reflection of God's infinite mercy! "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you" (Mt 5,44).

"Oh Lord, may the consideration of Your infinite mercy dilate my heart, that I may learn how to treat others mercifully."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father Corapi speaking at a Catholic men's conference

God Bless Father Corapi and all the men he inspired at his conference. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

From The Catechism on Prayer

This was in my mail this morning...loved it...especially "We must remember God more often than we draw breath"...

The Life Of Prayer "Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment. But we tend to forget him who is our life and our all. This is why the Fathers of the spiritual life in the Deuteronomic and prophetic traditions insist that prayer is a remembrance of God often awakened by the memory of the heart: 'We must remember God more often than we draw breath.' But we cannot pray 'at all times' if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. These are the special times of Christian prayer, both in intensity and duration.

The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer. Some are daily, such as morning and evening prayer, grace before and after meals, the Liturgy of the Hours. Sundays, centered on the Eucharist, are kept holy primarily by prayer. The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts are also basic rhythms of the Christian's life of prayer."

- from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2697, 2698

Enya - On My Way Home

Thursday, June 14, 2007

St. Anthony of Padua

Prayer for the Help of the Holy Spirit
O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind that I may remember, and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen.
Saint Anthony of Padua

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

From Divine Intimacy

A meditation....

The Virtues and the Gifts
1. St. Thomas teaches that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us as a help to the virtues: "dona sunt in adjutorium virtutum." This is a very meaningful expression: note that we receive the gifts to help the virtues, not to substitute for them. If the soul does its best, seriously applying itself to the practice of the virtues, the Holy Spirit, by means of the gifts, will complete the soul's work. To make the gifts operative then, personal activity and application are essential. The whole Catholic tradition places them at the starting point, for "if a soul is seeking God, its Beloved is seeking it much more...He attracts the soul and causes it to run after Him: (J.C. LF, 3, 28).

Although the assiduous practice of the virtues will not suffice to bring the soul to God, the manifestation of good will implied by this practice is very necessary. The sailor who is anxious to reach the port does not lazily wait for a favorable wind, but begins at once to row vigorously; similarly, the soul who seeks God, while waiting for Him to attract, it, does not abandon itself to indolence; on the contrary, it searches fervently on its own initiative: making efforts to overcome its faults, to be detached from creatures, to practice the virtues and to apply itself to interior recollection. The Holy Spirit perfects these efforts by activating His gifts. Thus we see how erroneous is the attitude of certain souls who remain too passive in the spiritual life, failing to exert their own initiative to advance in holiness and to meet God. These souls are wasting their time and easily exposing themselves to deception. It is necessary to take up the task vigorously, especially at the beginning of the spiritual life. Only by so doing can one hope to have the aid of the Holy Spirit.

"O Holy Spirit, You are the Font for which I sigh, the desire of my heart. You are the only real substance of my heart, and I cling to You with all my might!"

Catholic Carnival is up at...

Visit who is hosting the Catholic Carnival...looks like a good one.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, June 11

Memorial of St Barnabas, Apostle*
Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3; Psalm 97; Matthew 10:7-13
Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles recounts some of the work done by Barnabas in spreading the Gospel of Christ in various communities. The Gospel today sees Jesus sending out his apostles and telling him how they should act. We are called to be like Barnabas and to give our life to the service of God and to the Word.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Books, Books and more Books!

I have a terrible weakness...books! O.k., so it's not my only weakness (I love to collect Rosaries too!), and it could certainly be worse -- but my husband just rolls his eyes when he sees the postman coming with a package. Reading the book "An Infinity of Little Hours" by Nancy Klein Maguire, has inspired a deeper interest in the Carthusian spirituality. I'm hoping this reading will enrich my own journey for the contemplative life.

The postman will be bring me very soon...

The Cloud of Unknowing, by Anonymous and edited by William Johnston

The Meditations of Guigi I, Prior of the Charterhouse

And inspired by Barbara at Praying For Grace I ordered this beautiful journal to record my thoughts, prayers as well as my struggles. She has some beautiful Rosaries for sale too!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Catholic Carnival

The Catholic Carnival is up and running at Living Catholicism!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Reading List....

The next two books I'd like to read..

The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton
Cloud of Unknowing, by Anonymous

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Brown Scapular

One of the signs in the tradition of the Church from many centuries ago is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is a sign approved by the Church and accepted by the Carmelite Order as an external sign of love for Mary, of the trust her children have in her, and of commitment to live like her.

The word scapular indicates a form of clothing, which monks wore when they were working. With the passage of time, people began to give symbolic meaning to it: the cross to be borne every day as disciples and followers of Christ. In some religious orders, such as the Carmelites, the Scapular turned into a sign of their way of life. The Scapular came to symbolize the special dedication of Carmelites to Mary, the Mother of God, and to express trust in her motherly protection as well as the desire to be like her in her commitment to Christ and to others. Thus it became a sign of Mary.

In the Middle Ages many Christians wanted to be associated with the orders founded at that time: Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Carmelites. Groups of lay people began to emerge in associations such as confraternities and sodalities.

All the religious orders wanted to give these lay people a sign of affiliation and of participation in their spirit and apostolate. That sign was often a part of their habit: a cloak, a cord, a scapular.
Among the Carmelites, the stage came when a smaller version of the Scapular was accepted as the sign of belonging to the Order and an expression of its spirituality.

The Blessed Virgin teaches us:
*To be open to God, and to his will, shown to us in the events of our lives;
*To Listen to the Word of God in the Bible and in life, to believe in it and to put into practice its demands;
*To pray at all times, as a way of discovering the presence of God in all that is happening around us;
*To be involved with people, being attentive to their needs.

The Scapular finds its roots in the tradition of the Order, which has seen in it a sign of Mary’s motherly protection. It has therefore, a centuries old spiritual meaning approved by Church.
*It stands for a commitment to follow Jesus, like Mary, the perfect model of all the disciples of Christ. This commitment finds its origin in baptism by which we become children of God.
*It leads us into the community of Carmel, a community of religious men and women, which has existed in the Church for over eight centuries.
*It reminds us of the example of the saints of Carmel, with whom we establish a close bond as brothers and sisters to one another.
*It is an expression of our belief that we will meet God in eternal life, aided by the intercession and prayers of Mary.
The Carmelite Scapular is not:
*a magical charm to protect you
*an automatic guarantee of salvation
*an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life
It is a sign:
*which has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries;
*which stands for the decision to
*follow Jesus like Mary:
*be open to God and to his will
*be guided by faith, hope, and love
*to pray at all times
*to discover God present in all that happens around us.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Always a mom...

I had a very humbling experience yesterday....seeing my baby, tubes everywhere and in pain. I haven't felt pain in my soul like that since my middle daughter and her twin brother were born premature, and with all the complications that come with that. It just doesn't get any easier - no matter that she's 24 - she's still my baby and I wish I could have traded places with her. Before the surgery I asked our Heavenly Mother to keep her close and asked my Guardian Angel to please keep watch. All went well in repairing her lung but, as expected, the recovery is difficult and painful. It was an incredibly long day with the added complication of no bed in the particular ward they wanted her in. So she spent 12 hours in recovery - instead of the two or so that is usual. Luckily, we had sympathetic nurses who allowed us one at a time to visit and sit with her so she wasn't alone. Her husband called me a bit ago and said she had a restful night, Praise God!

I have a few things to do at home and then I'll head back to the hospital because, no matter how old they get....they still want Mom:-)