Carmelite Conversations
Joy in Suffering

Joy in Suffering

October 4, 2016

There is perhaps no greater challenge for those of us who are pursuing the spiritual life then that apparent dichotomy of pain and joy. St. Paul tells us that we must, like him, be a person of joy, and in fact, we should expect to experience joy even in our most difficult times. In this compelling conversation on the top of suffering and joy, Mark and Frances share some insights from one of the most well known and popular Saints of the 20th Century, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In her journals, which were only published after her death, the Church was provided a very unique view into the inner life of a future Saint. What was both remarkable and perhaps surprising for many people, was how Mother Teresa's life was a challenging combination of both suffering and joy. Through her wisdom and also the wisdom and insight of our Carmelite Saints, Frances and Mark share important insights on how all of us can deal with this apparent contradictory experiences of suffering and joy along the spiritual journey. In addition, they support these insights with very specific verses from sacred scripture, which point out that these two opposites are in fact very much a part of the Christian process of growing in the likeness of Christ.

RESOURCES:

Books:
“Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” Edited and with Commentary by Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC; Doubleday.
“I Thirst: Saint Theres of Lisieux and Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” by Jacques Gauthier; St. Pauls.
“Love of the Cross: A Meditation” from the book, “The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts” from the Collected Works of Edith Stein, Ed.ted by Dr. L. Gelber and Michael Linssen, OCD and Translated by Waltraut Stein, PhD; ICS Publications.
“Science of the Cross” by Edith Stein; ICS Publications.

Booklet:
“Joy in Suffering According to St. Therese of the Child Jesus: A Novena,” by Bishop A. A. Noser, S.V.D., D.D.; Tan Books and Publishers.

Apostolic Letter:
“Salvifici Doloris” (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering”) by Pope John Paul II; Pauline Books and Media.
Scripture: Col. 1:24, Jn 15: 10-11; Mt. 22:37, 39-40; 1 Pt 1:8; 1 Jn 3:16-18; Jas 2:14-18.

The Way of the Cross with the Carmelite Saints

The Way of the Cross with the Carmelite Saints

February 28, 2016

The Way of the Cross is a remarkably powerful and grace filled devotion, one we should certainly find time to practice during the Season of Lent. In this particular program Mark and Frances draw from the writings of the great Carmelite Saints to provide a complete reflection on each of the Stations of the Cross. Each reflection includes a brief statement on the significance of a particular Station, a verse from the Bible that enhances and expands our understanding of that Station, and then a reflection from one of the Carmelite Saints, which seeks to further deepen our experience and encounter with the Man of Sorrows and His Passion. This is a particularly moving series of reflections and it is a program best listened to when you have the time to be quiet, reflective and in a situation to meditate on each of the readings offered along the Way of the Cross. This is a program rich in material for our sanctification and will be one that many people will want to listen to more than once.

RESOURCES
Books:
“The Way of the Cross with the Carmelite Saints” Compiled and Illustrated by Sister Joseph Marie, Carmelite Hermit of the Trinity; ICS Publications.
“Meditations on the Way of the Cross of Albert Servaes” by (Blessed) Titus Brandsma, O. Carm; Carmelite Press Publication.
“Calvary and the Mass” by (Archbishop) Fulton J. Sheen; P. J. Kenedy & Sons, Publishers, 1936.
“The School of Jesus Crucified: the Lessons of Calvary in Daily Catholic Life” by Father Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, Passionist; Tan Books.

Article:
“How Did the Stations of the Cross Begin?” by Fr. William Saunders, found on www.ewtn.com.

Provoking Contemplation—Suffering Trials, the Poor and Contemplation

Provoking Contemplation—Suffering Trials, the Poor and Contemplation

February 16, 2016
The single most difficult aspect of the journey of prayer are the times of suffering and trial. Just when we believe we have launched on the correct path to holiness and are responding to God in the way that He desires, we seem to be met with no end of trials and setbacks. In this open but difficult conversation on this topic, Mark and Frances reveal the hard truth of the journey of the soul that desires to arrive at union with God. To be sure, there are many graces and blessings along the way, but in this fourth in a series of conversations from a book by Fr. Donald Haggerty called “Contemplative Provocations,” Mark and Frances present the reality of our individual need for purification and self denial. Our greatest consolation during this journey is found in the suffering and trial of our Lord’s own passion and poverty. And for those looking for the model of that poverty in our world today, one need look no further than the very poor in our midst. Fr. Haggerty draws on his own experiences with Mother Teresa of Calcutta to explain how we must seek the hidden Christ in the very eyes of the most impoverished in our society’ indeed it is among them where Christ continues to express His own plea from the Cross “I Thirst.” This is ultimately a very encouraging conversation for those seeking a deeper meaning in the midst of trials and suffering. 

RESOURCES

Books:
Contemplative Provocationsby Fr. Donald Haggerty; Ignatius Press.
 
“Worshipping a Hidden God: Unlocking the Secrets of the Interior Life” by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez; Sophia Institute Press.
 
Scripture Passages:
Mt 25:40, Mk 14:7, Mt. 25:35, Jn 19:28.
Provoking Contemplation—Poverty, Self Denial and Trial

Provoking Contemplation—Poverty, Self Denial and Trial

February 8, 2016
This is the third in a series of conversations reflection on the work by Fr. Donald Haggerty entitled "Contemplative Provocations." During this conversation Mark and Frances begin by cautioning against what Fr. Haggerty refers to as 'Aberrations.'' By this he means the pursuit of a spirituality without a firm foundation in the Dogmatic Teaching of the Church. Such pursuits can lead the soul to pursue experiences in prayer, which can lead a person astray an seeking their own desires in the spiritual life. Mark and Frances then go on to deal with the very difficult subjects of poverty, sacrifice and trial, so often found in God's purifying work of sanctification. Our poverty of Spirit is so necessary in the work of purification because there will always be something deep within ourselves that even we are not aware. In order to allow God's work to be done in us we must remain small, humble and poor. Likewise, we are called to make sacrifices and practice the spiritual asceticism, an asceticism that must go beyond simply fasting and detachment, and move to abandoning our will and learning to put others before ourselves. Finally, Mark and Frances remind us, as all the Saints would, that the only place we will find the strength for this phase of the journey is in love, and most especially before our Eucharistic Lord. If you are looking for a deeper understanding of some of the more challenging elements of the faith journey and some context for what we must go through to become Saints, this is a good listen.
 
RESOURCES
Books:
“Contemplative Provocations” by Fr. Donald Haggerty; Ignatius Press.
 
“The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book II, 13:2-4” from “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross,” Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD; ICS Publications.
 
“The Dark Night, Book I, 9:2-8” from “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross,” Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD; ICS Publications.
 
“The Practice of Contemplation According to John of the Cross” by James W. Kinn; ICS Publications.
 
“Union with the Lord in Prayer” by Rev. Venard Poslusney, O.Carm; 101 Foundation.
 
“My Only Friend is Darkness: Living the Night of Faith with St. John of the Cross” by Barbara Dent; ICS Publications.
A Retreat with Pere Jacques

A Retreat with Pere Jacques

August 13, 2012

Born Lucien Bunel in 1900, Pere Jacques became a Discalced Carmelite and was one of the individuals who undertook efforts to help the Jewish people during the Nazi occupation of France in WWII. He was arrested and spend time in 4 of the most dreaded concentration camps. Known to be a fine preacher and teacher, he had much to teach us about life, love, mercy, prayer, suffering, and about the body and soul. He said: “the greatest proof of trust you could give God is to accept from the depths of your heart, that His will be done in you, no matter what it be.” He lived this out in a very profound way.

St. Therese – Suffering

St. Therese – Suffering

October 10, 2011

 This program discusses the reality of suffering in the spiritual life. More importantly, St Therese of Lisieux helps us understand the great value of accepting our everyday trials and sufferings, and how to transform them into a deeper experience of Love. This is the science of the saints, to use everything in our life, good and bad, to deepen or love.