Tuesday, October 15, 2013

St. Teresa of Avila and Our Lady

The French Carmelite Père Joseph de Saint Marie, OCD, in some of his conferences on St. Teresa and in his book Notre Dame du Mont-Carmel remarks about the fact that many of the significant events in St. Teresa's life happened on or around the feast of the Assumption. Her vision of hell, which inspired her to begin the monastic reform, occurred in the month of August, as did the foundation of St. Joseph's monastery in Avila. Two magnificent visions of Our Lady took place, in different years, on August 15. In her Life, St. Teresa describes the visions. Of the first one she writes:

...In a rapture there was pictured to me [Our Lady's] ascent into Heaven and the joy and solemnity with which she was received in the place where she now is. To explain how this happened would be impossible for me. Exceeding great was the glory which filled my spirit when it saw such glory. The fruits of the vision were wonderful and I was left with a great desire to serve Our Lady, because of her surpassing merits....
In the second apparition, which occurred on August 15, 1561, St. Teresa found herself transfigured, with Our Lady on her right and St. Joseph on her left. They clothed her in a mantle of great "whiteness and brightness," which meant she was "cleansed of [her] sins." According to St. Teresa's autobiography: "Our Lady suddenly took me by the hands and told me that I was giving her great pleasure by serving St. Joseph and that I might be sure that all I was trying to do about the convent would be accomplished and that both the Lord and they would be greatly served in it." Our Lady gave her a jeweled cross on a golden chain (similar to that of an abbess) signifying the saint's authority as a mother foundress. The vision left St. Teresa feeling "greatly comforted and full of peace." In such mystical experiences the strong Marian aspect of the Carmelite charism was once again emphasized, as a witness for those who would come after.

(All quotations from Msgr. Doheny's Selected Writings of St. Teresa)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Something is Happening

October 13 is a special anniversary. Terry Nelson has some prayerful observations:
The Holy Father will consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.  He is leading the Church in prayer and adoration.  Recall what happened in Syria after the vigil for peace.  Something is happening.

I think of the prayer of Esther...

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the Lord. Taking off her splendid garments, she put on garments of distress and mourning. In place of her precious ointments she covered her head with dirt and ashes. She afflicted her body severely; all her festive adornments were put aside, and her hair was wholly disheveled...
We have a Pope who set aside his splendid garments, the trappings of his office... who humbles himself in prayer before the Madonna.

Something is happening. (Read more.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Mystical Moment

The source of Our Holy Father's boldness and freedom. To quote:
Fr Rosica confirmed that, after accepting, the newly elected Pope was then led to the “Room of Tears” to the left of the main altar of the Sistine Chapel where he removed his cardinal’s robes and was vested with the simple white cassock (and chose to retain his black shoes and pectoral cross). He was then led out of the Sistine Chapel to the Pauline Chapel where a moment of prayer took place before proceeding to the loggia for the “Habemus Papam” before the eyes of the world.

It was in the Pauline chapel that the experience of prayer occurred. (Read more.)

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Dangers of Envy

Why we must avoid the trap of envy at all costs:
The sin of envy's effects can be seen in our every day lives - our bitterness towards a co-worker's promotion, our annoyance at another's stroke of "good luck" that we think is undeserved, a sense of self-justifying pride that we deserve what another has.  Here too, I like what St. John Chrysostom says - "And what, tell me, dost thou envy? That thy brother has received a spiritual gift? But from whom did he receive it, tell me; was it not from God? That means that thou art at enmity with Him Who gave to him."2

One needs to know that the disease of envy is harder to cure than any other.  I would say that someone striken by its poison is almost beyond healing."3 (St. John Cassian)  These words frighten at first, especially since I often succumb to the venom of envy myself. (Read more.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Church is a Hospital

Terry Nelson quotes The Little Flower:
From the life of St. Therese:

One day in the infirmary during her last illness, my sister called my attention to the soft, downy linens which the infirmarian, Sr. Stanislaus always had at hand for the benefit of her patients.  "Souls should be treated with the same tender care," Therese said, "but why is it that we forget this so frequently, and allow those about us to go on unnoticed in the endurance of sharp interior pain?  Shouldn't the spiritual needs of the soul be attended to with the same clarity, with the same delicate care we devote to our neighbor's bodily necessities?  For some souls are really sick; there are many weak souls on earth, and all souls without exception suffer at one time or other during life.  How tenderly we should not only love them but also show our love for them. - My Sister, St. Therese, By Celine Martin
(Read more.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

St. Joan and St.Thérèse



Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus had great devotion to St. Jeanne d'Arc. Here are the verses which she wrote and dramatized in honor of the Maid of Lorraine, with herself dressed as Jeanne. St.Thérèse wrote:

Thy Church, O conquering God! through all the earth,
Begs Thee to crown with the saint's royal crown,
A virgin, martyr, warrior, whose true worth
In heaven's high courts e'en now hath won renown.
Our tumults calm;
Her cause advance!
The halo and the palm
Give unto Jeanne of France!

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