Carmelite Conversations
Silence…the Language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Silence…the Language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

July 2, 2022

Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?” 

Resource:  “The Twelves Degrees of Silence” by Sister Marie-Aimee De Jesus, OCD

Pray without Ceasing:  Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours ; Part 2, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

Pray without Ceasing: Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours ; Part 2, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

April 12, 2022

Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins hostess, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Part 2  focuses on questions that many people have asked us about the Liturgy of the Hours over the years.  There is some sage advice offered and perhaps, a new tip or two for those who have been praying the LOH for years. 

 

Resources:

General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9…

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV

Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 

Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office”

Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray

 

Pray without Ceasing:  Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

Pray without Ceasing: Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

April 12, 2022

Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins host, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Highlights from the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours are presented as well as some personal insights, suggestions and practical tips.  This is helpful for anyone who prays the Liturgy of the Hours or for those wanting to know more about it.  It helps to pray more attentively when you have an understanding of how the LOH was put together and what is emphasized.  

 

Resources:

General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9…

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV

Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 

Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office”

Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray

 

Silence…the Language of God (Less is More), by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Silence…the Language of God (Less is More), by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

March 1, 2022

Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?” 

Living Our Carmelite Vocation through the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, by Lynn Bete, OCDS

Living Our Carmelite Vocation through the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, by Lynn Bete, OCDS

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.

Mt. Zion with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Mt. Zion with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

October 14, 2020

Mountains are a privileged place of prayer.  Jesus often went up the mountain to pray.  In Hebrews 12:22-24 we are invited to come to Mt. Zion, the City of the Living God.  What is this call?  How should we answer this call?  What is our responsibility in answering this call?  Mt. Zion is a place of prayer, consolation and growth.  But…don’t just stay there!  We have work to do!  Deacon Russell Baldwin, OCDS, shares his reflection on Mt. Zion to help us answer those questions.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity and prayer to the Trinity

St Elizabeth of the Trinity and prayer to the Trinity

December 18, 2019
What would it be like to fully experience the Trinity dwelling in you at all times.? What might it be like to live with continual spiritual guidance and direction, to experience rest and consolation, to know that you are confirmed in reality of an eternal destiny of unimaginable peace, and, most importantly, what would it be like to live in continual peace?
 
If any or all of these conditions of existence sound intriguing to you, then this specific podcast on the Prayer to the Trinity, of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is worth a listen. Here in this Carmelite Conversation, Mark and Frances walk you through Elizabeth's prayer to the Trinity, with assistance of a commentary on the prayer written by a Mother Amabel of the Heart of Jesus, a French Carmelite Nun.
 
There are a number of striking observations from the prayer, and also expanded upon in the commentary. The first is the call to become utterly forgetful of self. This is a message that often sounds strange to the modern generation, but it is a first prerequisite to anyone who desires to embark on the path to holiness and transformation in Christ. By beginning to place Christ first in our life, we will begin to understand how it is that He will be able to eventually take over our life and begin to literally live His life through us.
 
Another equally important requirement for us to begin to encounter the Trinity, is that we must be at peace in our own hearts and souls. This is not something we can achieve on our own, we must pray, indeed, we must plead with the Lord to give us this peace. For it is nothing other than the peace He promised us when He told His disciples He would give them a peace the world could not give. (John 14:27)
 
When we come to experience this peace, we need to be prepared to abandon everything in favor of remaining with the Lord, deep in the interior of our souls. We need to be prepared to offer Christ our very souls as His shelter, His place of repose and His dwelling place. He desires this from each of us.
 
We must also know that though we are powerless to offer ourselves in this way, we can rely on the fire of the Holy Spirit to prepare our souls for this coming, in exactly the same way the Holy Spirit prepared the Blessed Mother to both receive and later give birth to, or Incarnate Christ into the world through us.
 
Finally, we must learn to surrender ourselves to this complete absorption into the Three Persons of the Trinity, where we will discover infinite Solitude and the beginnings of an eternal Beatitude, which is nothing less than the promise of eternal life. 
 
If you are looking for a guide to this journey to the interior of your soul, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity and her powerful prayer, along with the commentary, are a very good place to look.

 

The language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin

The language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin

December 9, 2019

This is an episode in the monthly series of talks by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, a Secular Discalced Carmelite who gives a presentation to our Community in Dayton each month. These are recorded live during our Holy Hours. In this program, Deacon Baldwin discusses the language of God.

The Lord Thy God is a Consuming Fire:  St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Dark Night of the Spirit

The Lord Thy God is a Consuming Fire: St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Dark Night of the Spirit

August 7, 2019

After the great grace of “Deus Caritas Est/God is Love,” the Discalced Carmelite St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart of Jesus enters a stage of marked passivity in which God is purifying her soul.  This stage is referred to as the Dark Night of the Spirit and falls in the 6thMansion of the Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila.  How does this purification through the dark rays of contemplation occur?  Why is it so painful?  St. John of the Cross uses the analogy of the log of wood and the fire to describe the process of purification of this more interior, darker night.  He also portrays the journey in this Dark Night of Spirit as going up a Secret Mystical Ladder of Love made up of 10 steps.  What are those steps? How do they differ from each other?  How is a soul in this darkest of nights described?  What kind of language does St. Teresa Margaret use to describe her interior sufferings?  What can we learn from all of this?

Deus Caritas est

Deus Caritas est

July 11, 2019
It is often convenient for us to imagine that the Saints all had a continuing series of mystical experiences throughout their lives. It is believed then, that these experiences are what drew them to holiness, complete transformation and ultimately union with Christ. It is simply easier for many of us to imagine that the Saints were just special people, and by consequence, we could not really be expected to be raised to their degree of holiness. However, in the case of the young Saint from Florence, Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this is simply not the case. It is true that she heard an interior voice early in her life that she later believed to have been St. Teresa of Avila, and that voice communicated to her that she would one day join a Carmelite convent. But it is also true that Teresa Margaret had been preparing herself for some years to listen to the spiritual voices who may wish to speak with her. We can all do the same. The final, if we want to use the word mystical, experience Teresa Margaret had, was to experience deep within her spirit the reality of the words: Deus Caritas est, which in Latin means, God is Love. Again, Teresa Margaret had been preparing and dedicating her life in the convent to be prepared for just such an experience of the internal communication from God. Her heart was well tilled to receive the seed of God's flowering love within her soul. This preparation on her part included prayer, silence, simplicity, humility, practicing the presence of God and yes, even accepting suffering, most especially the mortification of her own will. None of these practices are extraordinary, and indeed, they may all be practiced, to some degree, by all of us. And it is to that degree that we will have prepared our hearts to receive whatever it is that God, in His wisdom, wishes to communicate to us, individually.
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