Building upon last week’s conversation and using the spiritual navigational tools of 1) rest on the bosom of Jesus/in His Heart/in adoration; 2) embrace Jesus in the night via night vigils; 3) silence the faculties of the soul and listen interiorly to the Lord, Mark and Frances share a perspective on the actions of St. Peter during Holy Week and how that applies to the purification of the memory and the advancement of the soul in receiving God’s love. Mark also brings up a movie, called The Mission, which exemplifies the points we are trying to make. When seen through the eyes of both a Hermit and Crusader spirit, we see how important prayer is before action, which is also the call of Secular Discalced Carmelite.
In honor of National Poetry Month, and with Holy Week in mind, Frances recites two of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity’s poems: My Cruicified Love and The Carmelite. Both may be found in the book, Barb of Fire translated by Alan Bancroft, Gracewing Publications.
Purcahse the book, Barb of Fire, on Amazon.
The life of contemplation is itself a lifetime journey. Just as with any significant journey, and there is no more important journey then the journey to the interior of our soul, we must make preparations. We must understand the mode of transportation we will use for different parts of the journey, and we have a few means of navigation to ensure we stay on course, or that we are able to find our way back on course if we should become lost. Finally, we must be able to anticipate the obstacles that we may encounter along the way. In this first of a series of conversations, Mark and Frances discuss the work we must do in our prayer life to allow us to advance, and to make sure we can stay on the right path. Beginning with the very foundation of the Order of Carmel, they offer a series of practical tips and a narrative explanation of how the journey of faith, guided by contemplation, might play out in someone's life. This particular program is an excellent introduction to an understanding of how the memory can serve as an impediment to our progress in the life of prayer. More importantly, through the introduction of various means of navigation, they present solid advice on how on anyone can learn to avoid the obstacles along the journey.
Frances chats with Tim Bete, poet and Secular Carmelite, about the how poetry can increase your faith, its relationship to Scripture and what some of the Carmelite saints said about poetry. Tim is also poetry editor for the Catholic Poetry Room feature at IntegratedCatholicLife.org.
- Catholic Poetry Room @ IntegratedCatholicLife.org
- Tim's book, The Raw Still of Heaven at Amazon
- Some of Tim's poetry recommendations (this is always being updated)
- The Carmelite Poet & Contemplative Blog
- Other poems by Tim
- The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross (ICS Publications)
What do we know about St. Joseph from Scripture? What does Scripture tell us about his faith? Guest, Marika Zimmerman, shares about the virtue of faith and the importance of faith as well as applying it to the person of St. Joseph. We also discuss what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about faith and the characteristics of faith. How does the faith of St. Joseph apply to our times today? What can we learn from St. Joseph about faith that will help us now?
What were some of the most significant Biblical accounts in St. Joseph’s life? What do these accounts tell us about the silence of St. Joseph? What was the key to St. Joseph’s silent serenity? How does St. Joseph model asceticism and recollection for us today? What are some devotions that we could take up this Lenten season?
Testing and Discerning a Vocation to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites with Guest, Colleen Sollinger, OCDS
Who is called to be a Secular Discalced Carmelite? How do you distinguish between those who are called and those who are not called? What are some principles that you can use to discern the vocation to the OCDS? Guest, Colleen Sollinger, shares 6 distinct elements that, considered in totality, paint a good picture of a soul who is called to the Order of the Discalced Carmelite Seculars. Having been a formation facilitator for her community, she speaks from experience as well as from the guidance of Fr. Aloysius Deeney, OCD who has served as the General Delegate for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.
“Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites” by P. Aloysius Deeney, OCD; ICS Publications.
“Welcome to Carmel” by Michael D. Griffin, OCD, contributor and compiler; Teresian Charism Press.
“Christifidelis Laici” by Pope John Paul II.
“Ratio Institutionis” for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites at http://www.ocds.info/LegislativeDocuments/RatioInstitutionis.pdf
In this second part of the two part series titled, 'Fifteen Days of Prayer with Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene and the Child Jesus,' Mark and Frances explore more deeply the need for each of us, as we begin to make more progress in prayer, to begin to dispose ourselves more completely to the Lord's will. Our entire lives must become a total self-giving in exactly the same way as Christ gave Himself to His Father's will. This of course requires a great deal of confidence in God's faithfulness to His promise that He will always be with us, even if quite often His presence seems hidden. We must also begin to develop more intensely the virtue of Hope, which is often discovered in the midst of our spiritual poverty. Fr. Marie-Eugene teaches that we must become audacious in our trust, but we must also understand that God's action in our lives is to be found in the little, often monotonous events that make up our days. He also teaches that we draw strength from the realization that Christ is always with us, not only as our model, but also as our servant, as demonstrated by His willingness to wash the feet of His disciples. As one of the more outspoken proponents for our reliance on the Holy Spirit, Fr. Marie-Eugene advocates not only our need to pray to the Holy Spirit, but also to allow the Spirit to transform our prayer life from one of transforming ourselves, to one of transforming the world around us. Finally, as any good Carmelite, Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene strongly encourages us to rely on the intercession of the Blessed Mother. No matter where you find yourself in your prayer life today, this two part series will have something to offer you to help move to the next level of intimacy with our Lord.
Lk 23:46, Romans 8:20; Mt 5:3; Mk 10:45; Jn 13:8; 1 Jn 4:19; Acts 10:38
“Fifteen Days of Prayer with Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, Carmelite, Founder of Notre-Dame de Vie” by Roselyn Declare and Joelle Guichard; St. Paul’s.
Mark and Frances chat with Sally Read, author of the book, Night's Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story. Sally was staunchly atheist yet converted to Catholicism in the space of only nine months. In 2010, she was heralded as one of the bright young writers of the British poetry scene. Feminist and deeply anti-Catholic, she was writing a book about female sexuality when, during her research, she spoke with a Catholic priest. The interview led her on a dramatic spiritual quest that ended up at the Vatican itself, where she was received into the Catholic Church. All along the way, Carmelite saints influenced her conversion. Also joining the conversation is Tim Bete, another member of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Secular Carmelite Community.
Night's Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story by Sally Read
Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
St. Therese of Lisieux is a Giant Soul among the Saints being one of the Doctors of the Church. On this her birthday (Jan 2), Guest Marika Zimmerman and Host Frances Harry talk about her famous Christmas Conversion. We go into a great deal of in-depth discussion about this moment. What was the conversion all about? When did it occur? How did St. Therese describe this event about the “magic shoes” at Christmas? In what way can we peer into her mindset at this pivotal time? What were some of the results of the graces given? What are some of the lessons learned? How was the one-hour old Jesus magnified in the rest of her life? How may we imitate her trust and abandonment to the Lord?
“The Story of a Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux, Translated by John Clarke, OCD and Study Edition Prepared by Marc Foley, OCD; ICS Publications.
“Therese, the Little Child of God’s Mercy: Her Spiritual Itinerary in the Light of Her Autobiographical Manuscripts” by Angel de les Gavarres; ICS Publications.
“Everything is Grace: the Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux” by Joseph F. Schmidt, FSC; The Word Among Us Press.