Carmelite Conversations
Personal experiences of suffering, with Frances Harry, OCDS, and Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Personal experiences of suffering, with Frances Harry, OCDS, and Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

April 3, 2022

We all suffer…but do we suffer well?  What a mystery!  What does it mean to suffer well?  What are the challenges and fears about suffering?  What are the gifts and blessings of suffering?  What did our Carmelite Saints tell us about suffering?  This in person conversation with guest, Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, is really a witness of what he went through and is going through now in his suffering.  He has much insight, encouragement, and hope to offer us.  This conversation is beneficial to anyone who is suffering…or anyone wanting to learn how to suffer “well.”

 

SOURCES:

Books:

“Story of a Soul:  The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower),” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.

 

“Story of a Soul:  Study Edition,” by Marc Foley, OCD; ICS Publications.

 

“St. Therese of Lisieux:  Her Last Conversations,” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.

 

“Healed through Caner and Other Adversities” by James M. Littleton, Tate Publishing, 2012.

 

“Living through Cancer:  A Practical Guide to Cancer Related Concerns” by Carolyn Humphreys, OCDS/and registered Occupational Therapist;  (“What hidden gifts will cancer awaken in us?”);

Austin Macauley Publishers, 2018.

 

“The Problem of Pain” by C. S. Lewis, Harper Collins Publishers, first published in 1940.

 

Encyclicals/Apostolic Letters:

“Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering)” by St. JPII, Apostolic Letter 1984.

 

 “Rerum Novarum,” 21/encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labor

 

Articles:

“A Catholic Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering” by Bryan Cross; https://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/08/a-catholic-reflection-on-the-meaning-of-suffering/#footnote_57_2208

 

Go to Joseph, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Go to Joseph, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

March 18, 2022

The feast of St. Joseph is March 19.  After the Blessed Virgin Mary, he is the greatest Saint of all time.  This year, 2022, the Knights of Columbus announced the selection of an icon of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus as the centerpiece of this year’s K of C prayer program.  Our Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites was blessed to have a copy of this traveling icon with us during our Holy Hour.  Deacon Baldwin gave us a presentation on this icon and what it signifies.  St. Joseph was highly esteemed by St. Teresa of Avila, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites.  So we were overjoyed to ponder him anew.  And so, with Deacon Baldwin, we “go to St. Joseph.”

 

Resources:

Here is the prayer on the back of the prayer card of the image of St. Joseph from the Knights of Columbus:

Patris Corde Prayer

Hail, guardian of the Redeemer,

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To you God entrusted his only Son;

In you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.

 

Blessed Joseph, to us too,

Show yourself a father

And guide us in the path of life.

Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,

And defend us from every evil.  Amen.

 

View the icon image here.

 
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?” 

Saint Teresa of Avila and the Holy Spirit, by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS

Saint Teresa of Avila and the Holy Spirit, by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS

March 1, 2022

As a doctor of the Church,  St. Teresa of Avila has much to teach the universal Church and humanity at large.  She was quite the mystic.  We are so blessed that she wrote so much to help us grow in our union with God.  In this presentation by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS, the influence of the Holy Spirit in the life of St. Teresa of Avila is highlighted.  Several examples are given that help solidify the action of the Holy Spirit in her life and help us to ask ourselves, “where is the Holy Spirit acting in my life?”

Carmel and the Holy Spirit, by Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

Carmel and the Holy Spirit, by Marika Zimmerman, OCDS

January 15, 2022

The hidden power source behind our actions in fulfilling our mission as Secular Carmelites in the Church is THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! The Holy Spirit is involved in the Spiritual formation in the life of the Christian: He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He gives believers an inward assurance of salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who breathes life into the Church, and it is through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we deepen the intimacy of our relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit illumines the recollected intellect, and illumines it according to the mode of its recollection… Let us draw closer to the Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill our mission as lay Carmelites.

 

Sources:

1.      Catechism of the Catholic Church  https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

2.      New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07409a.htm

3.      Profile of an OCDS by Father Aloysius Deeney, OCD https://www.ocdswashprov.org/profile-of-an-ocds

4.      The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross The Living Flame of Love1, 3 and 1,19 Canticle 1,6. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, 2,29,6. ICS Publications.

5.      The Interior Castle Study Edition (p. 32, 107, 276). ICS Publications. 

6.      USCCB online Bible for various scripture passages  https://www.usccb.org/

7.    EWTN Poem  https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-of-the-holy-spirit-by-st-benedicta-of-the-cross-edith-stein-291

 

 

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.

Advent 2021:  Where’s God in All That? by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

Advent 2021:  Where’s God in All That? by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

December 21, 2021

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 Holy Trinity, the 7th Mansion, and the Sacrament of Matrimony, byDeacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

The Holy Trinity, the 7th Mansion, and the Sacrament of Matrimony, byDeacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

December 5, 2021

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.

Dealing with Annoyances and Difficult People by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS

Dealing with Annoyances and Difficult People by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS

November 21, 2021

Anyone familiar with the writings of St. Therese of the Child Jesus knows that she struggles in dealing with difficult people, both as a young child and as a religious sister.  Importantly, she also triumphed in learning how to embrace difficult people.  What practical tips would Therese tell us about living with difficult family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers?

 

When God Feels Distant…He’s Closer than You Think, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

When God Feels Distant…He’s Closer than You Think, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS

November 21, 2021

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.

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