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The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality


The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality “What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7). These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8, a long time before John’s appearance we learn of another prophet,... Read More

Transfiguration and Religious Life


Transfiguration and Religious Life Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord “Those who allow themselves to be seized by this love cannot help but abandon everything to follow Him.” Saint John Paul II’s words have been a personal inspiration to me all throughout my religious life. My copy of Vita Consecrata has been read and re-read numerous times. It is there that he sets the Transfiguration... Read More

Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli – You Are Our Mother


 Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli – You Are Our Mother… Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli – You are our Mother Every year on July 16th, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful... Read More

Lord, Open My Lips


Lord, Open My Lips “Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) These words ring out in the chapel, breaking the silence of the early morning. It is still dark outside and our community of sisters, albeit still a bit bleary-eyed, has gathered to begin the day singing the Divine Office. The words of the psalms fill the air: “It is good to give thanks... Read More

The Meaning of Memorial Day

May 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Sacrifice


The Meaning of Memorial Day Many people are very free with their opinions about war, about whether or not we should fight this war or that, about where and how the military should be deployed or brought home.  In some countries, freely expressing these opinions could land you in jail or worse.  In America, our right to express them is protected by the highest law in our land.  In America, men and... Read More

Pray Always?

April 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Easter, Prayer


Pray Always? “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as in, all the time and everywhere. Impossible! Whenever the... Read More

Aggressive Tenderness: Mercy on the Move – Jubilee Year of Mercy!


Aggressive Tenderness: Mercy on the Move! Jubilee Year of Mercy   For several weeks, I have been pondering an unusual little phrase that I came across in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ [Evangelii Gaudium]. The words just jumped off the page. He writes, “Christian triumph is always a cross, yet a cross which is at the same time a victorious banner borne... Read More

Resurrection Moments


Resurrection Moments My grandmother, whom I affectionately called ‘Meme’ was filled with love. I grew especially close to her since, for the last twenty years of her life, she suffered from near-blindness. I helped her with her mail, her bookkeeping, and when I was old enough to drive, I took her shopping and to Mass. Our conversations were unforgettable, and she taught me so much in those formative... Read More

Aridity and Dryness in Prayer Series


A comprehensive listing of spiritual direction posts on this site regarding dryness in prayer, or aridity, and the difficulties this can cause with one’s prayer life. Some posts on the dark night which touch on dryness or aridity, are included as well.  Click on the titles of the post to access them. Adoration, Silence and the Lamp of Fire – Part II of II Aridity – Navigating the... Read More

When the Sun Rises in the Morning Sky – Final Hours of Advent

December 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Advent, Carmelite Sisters


When the Sun Rises in the Morning Sky… the Final Hours of Advent The Final Hours of Advent: Our city endured another power outage not too long ago. I remember it quite well because it happened in the middle of the night. The next morning – remember, we wake up way before the dawn – it was amazing to find ourselves in total darkness. Of course, we had placed flashlights and lanterns in appropriate... Read More

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