Monday, November 7, 2011

Blessed Francisco Palau y Quer

A saint with a passion for the Church.
In 1860-61 he (Bl. Francisco Palau) founded the Congregations of the Carmelite Brothers and Sisters in Balearic Islands. In 1867 the Apostolic Commissary of the Discalced Carmelites of Spain appointed Fr. Francisco to be the Director of the Tertiaries of the Order and in 1872 he wrote the Rules and Constitutions of the Tertiary Order.

His spiritual life centered on the Church as a "loved person", a Mystical Body, but also a Mystical Person with whom he could relate. No where in Christian history do we have anyone else with this Church-centered mysticism. He sees the personality of the Church is mystical and the living reality of the Church is an unfathomable mystery. One of the aspects of this mystery is the joining of Her visible structures with the supreme reality of love among men and their love of Christ in the Holy Spirit, Who gives Her life and gathers Her into unity. He teaches that Christ and mankind cannot be separated from each other and he sees the Church as The Whole Christ, The Mystical Christ. This is a bountiful topic for meditation that can bring us a deeper love of, and Obedience to, the Church.

His second original intuition for the spiritual life, and later corresponded with Vatican II, is that to think of Our Blessed Mother independently of the framework of the Church would distort her person and her mission. Mary is the perfect model of the Church's holiness and purity and the mirror in which all the perfections of the Church are reflected.

Our beloved brother in Carmel left us with an indispensable condition for keeping our apostolic service free from purely human interest and professional attitudes. He taught that supernatural motivation nourished by prayer is required. And he stressed that prayer and the theological virtues are the double cornerstone of the spiritual life, but it cannot endure without a constant attitude of self-denial. This is shared from his personal experiences.

Bl. Palau enlarged the spirituality of the Teresian Carmel. He challenges us to press on tirelessly whenever love may call us in the service of our brothers and sisters and of the Church. He says, "I live and will live for the Church; I live and will die for her." 
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