Carmelite Conversations
Reflections on Poverty presented by Deacon Russell Baldwin, OCDS

Reflections on Poverty presented by Deacon Russell Baldwin, OCDS

February 14, 2020

Material and spiritual attachments are BIG roadblocks to our growing union with the Lord. This presentation by Deacon Baldwin, himself a Secular Discalced Carmelite, helps one ponder how to live out the Evangelical Counsel of Poverty in one’s own life. In a way, it is even harder for Seculars as the temptations are greater since they live in the world and use material possessions daily. Deacon Baldwin refers to the “Four Degrees of Poverty” of St. Alphonsus Liguori from the book, The Spouse of Christ. This is a very helpful reflection, especially for anyone considering making a promise or vow of Evangelical Poverty.

 

Mary in Scripture presented by Chris Cotter, OCDS

Mary in Scripture presented by Chris Cotter, OCDS

February 14, 2020

For 2020, our OCDS Community in Dayton, Ohio, has the theme of "Mary, Our Mother” for all of our community presentations. This month’s presentation is on “Mary in Scripture.” There are some eye-opening analogies and topologies presented in this talk that will bolster the faith of many. Additionally, many scriptural passages are referenced for your benefit. The presentation is by Chris Cotter, OCDS. 

“Little Child of Our Mother Mary” by Frances Harry, OCDS

“Little Child of Our Mother Mary” by Frances Harry, OCDS

January 16, 2020

It’s no surprise to learn of the great devotion St. Therese of Lisieux had for our Mother Mary. She was immersed in Marian devotion from her birth, being born into a family that all loved Mary. The focus of this presentation is on four aspects of Therese’s love for Mary: 1) the Ordinary/Simple Mary, 2) the Healing Mother/Child of Mary, 3) Being Under the Mantle/Veil of Mary, and 4) Mary’s Maternal Love: More Mother than Queen. At the end of the reflection, Therese’s poem “Why I Love You, O Mary” (from “The Poetry of Saint Therese of Lisieux” translated by Donald Kinney, OCD; ICS Publications) is recited. Take time to ponder this poem. It summarizes Therese’s love for Mary!

“The Baptism of the Lord” by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

“The Baptism of the Lord” by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

January 16, 2020

This is a reflection given on the feast of the Baptism of our Lord that focuses on the sacrament of Baptism itself as well as our own Baptism in light of our vocation to Carmel.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity and prayer to the Trinity

St Elizabeth of the Trinity and prayer to the Trinity

December 18, 2019
What would it be like to fully experience the Trinity dwelling in you at all times.? What might it be like to live with continual spiritual guidance and direction, to experience rest and consolation, to know that you are confirmed in reality of an eternal destiny of unimaginable peace, and, most importantly, what would it be like to live in continual peace?
 
If any or all of these conditions of existence sound intriguing to you, then this specific podcast on the Prayer to the Trinity, of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is worth a listen. Here in this Carmelite Conversation, Mark and Frances walk you through Elizabeth's prayer to the Trinity, with assistance of a commentary on the prayer written by a Mother Amabel of the Heart of Jesus, a French Carmelite Nun.
 
There are a number of striking observations from the prayer, and also expanded upon in the commentary. The first is the call to become utterly forgetful of self. This is a message that often sounds strange to the modern generation, but it is a first prerequisite to anyone who desires to embark on the path to holiness and transformation in Christ. By beginning to place Christ first in our life, we will begin to understand how it is that He will be able to eventually take over our life and begin to literally live His life through us.
 
Another equally important requirement for us to begin to encounter the Trinity, is that we must be at peace in our own hearts and souls. This is not something we can achieve on our own, we must pray, indeed, we must plead with the Lord to give us this peace. For it is nothing other than the peace He promised us when He told His disciples He would give them a peace the world could not give. (John 14:27)
 
When we come to experience this peace, we need to be prepared to abandon everything in favor of remaining with the Lord, deep in the interior of our souls. We need to be prepared to offer Christ our very souls as His shelter, His place of repose and His dwelling place. He desires this from each of us.
 
We must also know that though we are powerless to offer ourselves in this way, we can rely on the fire of the Holy Spirit to prepare our souls for this coming, in exactly the same way the Holy Spirit prepared the Blessed Mother to both receive and later give birth to, or Incarnate Christ into the world through us.
 
Finally, we must learn to surrender ourselves to this complete absorption into the Three Persons of the Trinity, where we will discover infinite Solitude and the beginnings of an eternal Beatitude, which is nothing less than the promise of eternal life. 
 
If you are looking for a guide to this journey to the interior of your soul, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity and her powerful prayer, along with the commentary, are a very good place to look.

 

The link between contemplative prayer and poetry

The link between contemplative prayer and poetry

December 9, 2019

Frances Harry, OCDS, interviews poet Tim Bete, OCDS, about the link between contemplative prayer and poetry, including the "secret wisdom" discussed by St. John of the Cross the the concept of "creative intuition" discussed by Jacques Maritain.

Books of poetry by Tim BeteThe Raw Stillness of HeavenWanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

Primary source material: The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross (includes The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, The Spiritual Canticle, The Living Flame of Love, Letters, and The Minor Works) [Revised Edition]. ICS Publications.

The Range of Reason by Jacques Maritain
https://maritain.nd.edu/jmc/etext/range01.htm

 

How should we approach the poetry of St. John of the Cross?

How should we approach the poetry of St. John of the Cross?

December 9, 2019

Fraces Harry, OCDS, interviews poet Tim Bete, OCDS, about the poetry of St. John of the Cross. Below are resources and links to things mentioned in the podcast.

Books of poetry by Tim BeteThe Raw Stillness of HeavenWanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

Primary source material: The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross (includes The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, The Spiritual Canticle, The Living Flame of Love, Letters, and The Minor Works) [Revised Edition]. ICS Publications.

The Living Flame of Love by St. John of the Cross

1
O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

2
O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life
and pays every debt!
In killing you changed death to life.

3
O lamps of fire!
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.

4
How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

Spanish
1
¡Oh llama de amor viva,
que tiernamente hieres
de mi alma en el más profundo centro!
Pues ya no eres esquiva,
acaba ya, si quieres;
¡rompe la tela de este dulce encuentro!

2
¡Oh cauterio suave!
¡Oh regalada llaga!
¡Oh mano blanda! ¡Oh toque delicado,
que a vida eterna sabe,
y toda deuda paga!
Matando, muerte en vida la has trocado.

3
¡Oh lamparas de fuego,
en cuyos resplandores
las profundas cavernas del sentido,
que estaba oscuro y ciego,
con extraños primores
calor y luz dan junto a su Querido!

4
¡Cuán manso y amoroso
recuerdas en mi seno,
donde secretamente solo moras
y en tu aspirar sabroso,
de bien y gloria lleno,
cuán delicadamente me enamoras!

 

The Living Flame of Love in song

In Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjvx3dx8RNI

Living Flame of Love (Marcus Steer) Malone University Chamber Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLgA5cX0R0

Love's Living Flame sung by a choir (text by St. John of the Cross)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx6PP954Dh8

John Michael Talbot (song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFdI6JMQuqg

O Living Flame of Love (song by Karl Kohlhase)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOaE2U0xljQ

 

Fr. Bonaventure Sauer's talk about poetry

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxECpvpN_K6BU3U0cXRucDF2WDQ/view

 

 

 

On St. Joseph and his purity and humility, with Tammy Jetton, OCDS

On St. Joseph and his purity and humility, with Tammy Jetton, OCDS

December 9, 2019

Tammy Jetton, OCDS, gives a talk about St. Joseph during a meeting of the Dayton Secular Community's monthly meeting.

The language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin

The language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin

December 9, 2019

This is an episode in the monthly series of talks by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, a Secular Discalced Carmelite who gives a presentation to our Community in Dayton each month. These are recorded live during our Holy Hours. In this program, Deacon Baldwin discusses the language of God.

St. Teresa’s Devotion to St. Joseph presented by Chris Cotter, OCDS

St. Teresa’s Devotion to St. Joseph presented by Chris Cotter, OCDS

October 18, 2019

Reflecting on St. Teresa of Avila’s devotion to St. Joseph, we see that it comes from her own personal life experience and intercession with St. Joseph. This reflection is based on an except from St. Teresa’s: “The Book of Her Life.” Join in at the end by praying the Litany to St. Joseph.