Carmelite Conversations
Provoking Contemplation

Provoking Contemplation

January 26, 2016
This program originally aired on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. During this conversation Mark and Frances first discuss the event of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. What is most striking about this event is the presence of the unbearable light that Paul cannot view with his human eye. Instead, Paul is gifted with spiritual vision and provided an encounter with Christ that, in some way, we are all called to. We are called to this light because we are all called to ever deepening levels of conversion. The conversation then moves on to look in detail at our individual call to a contemplative encounter with Christ. For this conversation Mark and Frances are using a book entitled "Contemplative Provocations" by a Fr. Donald Haggerty. Fr. Haggerty gives due credit to St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross for many of the insights he shares in this series of reflections. This first in a series of discussions on this book focuses on how and why God often conceals Himself when we seek Him in contemplative prayer. Mark and Frances also discuss how we must continue to respond in faith to these early and often confusing first stages on contemplative prayer.
 
RESOURCES
Books:
“Contemplative Provocations: Brief, Concentrated Obersvations on Aspects of a Life with God” by Fr. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press.
 
“The Practice of Contemplation According to John of the Cross” by James W. Kinn, ICS Publications.
A Call to Carmel as an OCDS with Colleen Sollinger, OCDS

A Call to Carmel as an OCDS with Colleen Sollinger, OCDS

January 19, 2016
OCDS stands for Order of Carmel Discalced Seculars. Many have never heard of this 3rd part of the Order of Carmel. Guest, Colleen Sollinger, a professed Secular Discalced Carmelite, answers lots of questions on this topic. What is an OCDS? What kind of people are attracted to and suited for the OCDS? What happens at their meetings? How do you discern if you are being called to Carmel? What is required? This program sheds light on what one might expect when making their first visit to an OCDS meeting.
 
RESOURCES
Books:
“Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites” by Fr. P. Aloysius Deeney, OCD
 
“Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition” by Paul-Marie of the Cross, OCD
 
“The Springs of Carmel” by Peter Slattery
 
“Climbing the Mountain: the Carmelite Journey” by Johan Bergstron-Allen, T.O.C.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him

January 12, 2016
With these words St. Paul is intending to encourage and lift the spirits of the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:9) to whom he is writing in this letter from the New Testament. In this uplifting conversation about reflecting on the Glory of Heaven, Mark and Frances discuss what so many of the Saints have written and spoken about the remarkable joy that awaits us in our final home. After a brief explanation of the various definitions of what the Catholic Church teaches about the nature of Heaven and how the faithful will dwell there, Mark and Frances go on to describe what matters now, what should we and must we be doing in this life to prepare ourselves, both for entry into and the fullest experience of our life to come. Drawing from the reflections of the Beautiful soul known as Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, this conversation emphasizes that we are in possession of eternity even now, but we still have a role to play in bringing clarity to our vision of it, “We will be glorified in the measure in which we have been conformed to the image of His Divine Son.” (Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, the Complete Works) This is a program that will provide great consolation as it reflects on the Glory and Majesty of our future, but will also challenge the listener to step out in faith and do whatever our Lord asks of us that we might more fully conform ourselves to His image.
 
RESOURCES
Visions of Heaven
 
Book: “Inside Heaven and Hell: What History, Theology, and the Mystics Tell Us about the Afterlife” by Thomas W. Petrisko, St. Andrew’s Productions.
Pondering the Epiphany

Pondering the Epiphany

January 4, 2016
In this first week of January in the year 2016 we will again celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord. This is a celebration rich with Meaning for our individual spiritual lives, and it is important to understand some of the major symbols of this event, and also for us to each enter into a personal reflection of what the Epiphany means for us. In this conversation Mark and Frances begin by exploring some of more significant meanings around the Church's understanding of Epiphany, including Divine Manifestation, Royal Kingship, The Light that Comes into the World, and finally, the Royal Nuptials, or the analogy to the Wedding Celebration. During the second half of the program, Mark and Frances walk the listener through an actual Lectio Divina on the Epiphany, taken from the verses describing this in Matthew 2:1-9. This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for Epiphany, or to reflect, at any time of year, on the meaning of the Lord's revealing of Himself to our world - a world so desperately in need of this encounter with our Living God.
 
RESOURCES