Carmelite Conversations
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

June 7, 2019

June is the month the Church dedicates to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a very rich and powerful devotion, and one all Catholics should take the time to learn more about. In this conversation, Mark and Frances discuss the importance of devotion to the Sacred Heart and how it can serve as an avenue into deeper union with God. The discussion begins by discussing the image of the narrow door, found in Luke 13:24 (also in Matthew 7 where it is referred to as a gate). Then Mark and Frances explore the image of Christ as this door into the state of union with Lord. Jesus refers to Himself as the door through which the sheep must enter (John 10:7). The analogy to Christ's heart then is discussed from the perspective of our invitation to conform ourselves to the image of Christ, specifically, that our hearts are to love in exactly the same way as Christ loves us. For it is through our transformation in love that we will fulfill the entire purpose of our human existence. We were created in love, by love, that we might become love itself. The most necessary practice for us to dispose ourselves to this work of transformation, is to be before the Lord in prayer. It is in refusing to "conform ourselves to this world" (Romans 12:32), placing our greatest desire on the treasure that resides within our hearts, and focusing less and less on self, so that Christ might "increase in us" (John 3:30), that we will allow the Holy Spirit the room to work this transformation of our hearts into the Sacred Heart of our Savior. If you desire to draw rich spiritual fruit out of this devotion to the Sacred Heart, this conversation is a good place to start."

Two references:

The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr. John Crosiet S.J., Tan Publishers

Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr. Peter J. Arnoudt S.J., Tan Publishers

Tribute to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi for her Feast Day

Tribute to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi for her Feast Day

May 24, 2019

Carmel is privileged to have the “Refulgent Flower of Florence, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi” as a beacon of light of the love of God.  Though she was a mystic and stigmatic with many extraordinary supernatural gifts, it was her love of God and purity of soul that were the primary impetus for her canonization.  What was her motto?  What were her dying words?  What connection did she have with other “Flowers of Florence?”  These questions are answered as well as a sampling of some of her quotes and maxims for spiritual growth.  May she intercede for us all and enflame our love for God and souls.

 This was an impromptu podcast done by Frances Harry alone in honor of St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi.

“Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence.  One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear.”

~ St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi

A Journey to the Deep Interior of the Soul (part 2)

A Journey to the Deep Interior of the Soul (part 2)

April 18, 2019

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.

Short Takes: Holy Week Poems

Short Takes: Holy Week Poems

April 18, 2019

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.

 

 

A Journey to the Deep Interior of the Soul (part 1)

A Journey to the Deep Interior of the Soul (part 1)

April 12, 2019

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.

Catholic Poetry as a Spiritual Exercise with host Frances Harry, OCDS and Guest, Tim Bete, OCDS

Catholic Poetry as a Spiritual Exercise with host Frances Harry, OCDS and Guest, Tim Bete, OCDS

April 3, 2019

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.

Resources

The Faith of St. Joseph with host Frances Harry, OCDS and Guest, Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

The Faith of St. Joseph with host Frances Harry, OCDS and Guest, Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

March 25, 2019

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?

A Man of Few Words:  the Silence of St. Joseph with hosts Mark Danis, OCDS and Frances Harry, OCDS

A Man of Few Words:  the Silence of St. Joseph with hosts Mark Danis, OCDS and Frances Harry, OCDS

March 21, 2019

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

Testing and Discerning a Vocation to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites with Guest, Colleen Sollinger, OCDS

January 31, 2017

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.

RESOURCES:

 Books:

“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.

 Encyclical:

“Christifidelis Laici” by Pope John Paul II.

Document:

 “Ratio Institutionis” for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites at http://www.ocds.info/LegislativeDocuments/RatioInstitutionis.pdf

 

Fifteen Days of Prayer with Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene and the Child Jesus (part 2)

Fifteen Days of Prayer with Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene and the Child Jesus (part 2)

January 23, 2017

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.

RESOURCES:
Scripture:
Lk 23:46, Romans 8:20; Mt 5:3; Mk 10:45; Jn 13:8; 1 Jn 4:19; Acts 10:38

Books:
“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.