January 15, 2022
The hidden power source behind our actions in fulfilling our mission as Secular Carmelites in the Church is THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! The Holy Spirit is involved in the Spiritual formation in the life of the Christian: He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He gives believers an inward assurance of salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who breathes life into the Church, and it is through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we deepen the intimacy of our relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit illumines the recollected intellect, and illumines it according to the mode of its recollection… Let us draw closer to the Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill our mission as lay Carmelites.
1. Catechism of the Catholic Church https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
2. New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07409a.htm
3. Profile of an OCDS by Father Aloysius Deeney, OCD https://www.ocdswashprov.org/profile-of-an-ocds
4. The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross The Living Flame of Love1, 3 and 1,19 Canticle 1,6. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, 2,29,6. ICS Publications.
5. The Interior Castle Study Edition (p. 32, 107, 276). ICS Publications.
6. USCCB online Bible for various scripture passages https://www.usccb.org/
7. EWTN Poem https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-of-the-holy-spirit-by-st-benedicta-of-the-cross-edith-stein-291
December 21, 2021
Praying the rosary is a Marian Devotion that many Catholics practice. As a Carmelite, it is a way of learning how to model Mary’s prayer life. In this presentation, our guest, Lynn Bete, a member of the Dayton Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, gives us a fresh perspective on how to live out our Carmelite vocation through the mysteries of the Rosary. She uses the Joyful Mysteries as an example. Prayer, Mission, and Union with God are the focal points. Carmelites would especially benefit from listening to this talk.
December 21, 2021
Advent is a beautiful time of reminding us to specifically prepare our hearts and wait with expectant hope and longing for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We look forward to His presence with great joy. It also tends to be a very busy time filled with special activities, tasks and opportunities that can really distract us. How might we approach all of this and still find God in all of it? Deacon Baldwin makes a very deep point that will benefit the soul wanting to prepare well for the Lord’s coming.
December 5, 2021
The visible material world is only part of God’s gracious creation. The spiritual reality of creation is often overlooked by people in general, however, anyone aspiring to grow in their relationship with God, does well to meditate on these spiritual realities. Deacon Baldwin discusses both describing their distinctness yet inseparability. He addresses who we are in God.
He proceeds to describe the commonality between the Holy Trinity, the 7th Mansion (as Carmelites know thru St. Teresa of Avila’s book, “Interior Castle”) and the Sacrament of Matrimony. His clear descriptions helps one understand with more clarity what this union entails. He references 1 Corinthians 13 to summarize his point.
November 21, 2021
Anyone familiar with the writings of St. Therese of the Child Jesus knows that she struggles in dealing with difficult people, both as a young child and as a religious sister. Importantly, she also triumphed in learning how to embrace difficult people. What practical tips would Therese tell us about living with difficult family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers?
November 21, 2021
God Feels Distant. How often have you felt that way or heard another person say that? How is this manifested? Is it normal in the spiritual life? How much are we attributing this to our feelings rather than our intellect? What are some examples of when this happens? How should we respond? What is the purpose of this in the spiritual life? These are some of the questions Deacon Baldwin answers in this presentation.
September 17, 2021
The Ratio Institutionis is a document found in The Book of Documents used in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites as found at www.ocdswashprov/store/book. It basically addresses how to put the Carmelite charism into practice in our daily lives. It guides us in living out our Carmelite calling.
The Ratio presents the purpose or philosophy behind a program of formation for the members of the OCDS. It is not the formation program itself, as far as which Saints to study or resources to use, but seeks to present the fundamental principles that guide the process of formation.
Colleen Sollinger, our presenter, explains what this document covers, how it applies to living out our Carmelite call through the human, Christian, and Carmelite perspectives, and also includes a section on discerning a call to the Secular Discalced Carmelite Order.
She offers a great, insightful analogy of hot to put this all together in our daily life that gives the whole document a fresh breath…of the Holy Spirit, no doubt. Living out the principles given in this Ratio helps set the tone for our life experiences, drawing us ever closer to Christ thru Mary, our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
September 17, 2021
What is “discernment”? That word is used frequently in Christian circles, especially in regard to answering the call to our vocation in life. Many souls have a fundamental misunderstanding of what discernment is. Deacon Baldwin clarifies what discernment is NOT, and what it IS.
He then clarifies our understanding of the Christian essence of discernment. He points out and explains how true discernment is a form of prayer. He then describes how true discernment helps us gain interior freedom. But what does this look like in our lives? And more importantly, what is the definitive end of discernment?
August 9, 2021
After being fully professed by making the Definitive Promise in the Order, a member may choose to discern whether he/she is being called to make a vow. What is a vow? How does a vow differ from a promise? What kind of vow can one make? How is a soul prepared for making the vow? What is involved? Who is eligible and what time frame is involved? Most importantly, why would a member want to make the vow? These are some of the questions that will be addressed by Colleen Sollinger, a member and the current Director of Formation for the community of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in Dayton. Even if you are not in the Order, by hearing this presentation, you may come to appreciate in a deeper way, the commitment others make by the vows.
August 9, 2021
Aug. 9th is the feast of St.Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka Edith Stein). Deacon Baldwin gives a short background on this wonderful Saint and then zeroes in on how she lived out the “love of the Cross.” What was that like? Who was she? What did she believe? How did love change her? She indeed made the supreme sacrifice of the Cross, dying at Auschwitz.