One aspect of what is needed to experience Divine Intimacy is “detachment.” This presentation will focus on what detachment is, and what it is not…with the goal of understanding and incorporating detachment into who we are. To understand detachment, we must also understand attachment as well as right order in relationships. Detachment is the process by which we set our loves in right order. What is the active part of detachment? What is the passive part of detachment? How does detachment lead us into divine intimacy with God?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
How are we (as Carmelites/Christians) to be to the world what the soul is to the body? What do our Carmelite Doctors of the Church teach us? How are we in the world but not of the world? What is the soul? How does it operate? What is its relationship to the body? How does the soul and the body work together? How does this relate to our Carmelite/Christian calling?
Secular Carmelites/Christians are sent to bring the Spirit of Christ into the world to animate and transform it. How do we do that? How is this union of the body and soul perfected in Christ?
Deacon Baldwin helps the listener to understand the word “mystery” as it applies to faith in God. He explains how the mystery of God goes beyond our intellect and reason. He then proceeds to introduce the steps to enter into the mystery of Divine Love.
The blessings from God are considered in this presentation in the light of Evangelical Perfection.
Dec. 14th is the Solemnity/Feast of St. John of the Cross, a Discalced Carmelite and Doctor of the Church. He is often referred to as Doctor Mysticus or Doctor of Love. He is a great Saint for Advent with his writings centering on mystery, darkness, intimacy, light and flame of love.
This presentation will help us ponder these questions:
What is a mystic?
What are we called to?
What is the Dark Night and what it is NOT?
What is true happiness and joy?
Why did St. John of the Cross use the term, Dark Night?
What did he ask to be recited to him as he lay dying?
What is the Flame of Love?