Carmelite Conversations
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 Signs, Saints, and Silences of Advent—to Help Us Grow Spiritually Guest:  Colleen Sollinger, OCDS

The Signs, Saints, and Silences of Advent—to Help Us Grow Spiritually Guest: Colleen Sollinger, OCDS

December 12, 2016

Have you ever had the experience of arriving at Christmas and suddenly get this sinking feeling that you have hardly done anything to grow spiritually during the Advent season? Colleen Sollinger, our guest on Carmelite Conversation, helps us with some ideas on various ways we may prepare our hearts and souls for the Incarnation of Christ. What do the signs used in Advent mean and how might they help us? Have you ever considered asking a Saint or Advent figure to accompany you thru the season…to prepare in imitation of them…or gain insights from them? How beneficial is it to practice silence …and silent prayer during this time? It’s never too late to begin…just begin!



Scripture: Jn 1:29, Mt. 3:2, Mt. 3:8, Lk 1:38, Lk 1:45, Lk 17:21

Website Articles: “Degrees of Perfection” by St. John of the Cross;

“This Is Your Brain on Silence” by Daniel A. Gross;

“Good Feet, Courage and Tenacity of Spirit” by a solitary bird;

“By the Manger in the Morning Prayer Journal” by Elizabeth Foss;

Books: “The Little Way of Advent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux” by Fr. Gary Caster; Servant Books.

“St. John of the Cross Advent Saint” by Rev. John Saward; publ. by Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia, PA.

“The Music of Silence: Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity for Everyone” by Elizabeth Ruth Obbard; New City.

“Divine Intimacy” from Second Week of Advent, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen; Tan Books.

True Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a Message for Christmas 2016

True Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a Message for Christmas 2016

December 6, 2016

It is always important for each of us to take deliberate steps to make the most of our preparation for the Advent Season. In this particular conversation, Mark and Frances present an interesting idea of one way we can begin and continue that preparation. Drawing from previous conversations on the prayer of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, they reemphasize the request of Elizabeth to have the Holy Spirit bring about within her another incarnation of the Word. This very prayer of course evokes the scene of Mary and the Nativity, which we can all reflect on at this time of year. For Elizabeth, Mary's silence and courageous acceptance of her mission, from the Annunciation to the Nativity, is the very model for interior souls, those souls who wish to be the resting place for God within them. With this as a backdrop, Frances and Mark then go on to explain each of our roles as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, Christ who is born within us, but of whom we are also members. They provide supporting scripture verses and other sources, including the Catechism and Papal documents, to explain this important teaching on our participation as members of Christ's mystical body. Finally, as it is clear that the heart is the very center and support of the physical body, Christ's Sacred Heart is the very center of our spiritual lives. If then, we are to 'incarnate' the word in our very person, we must also understand the importance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its role in our spiritual lives. This program provides a very good means of building on the theme of incarnation and leading to devotion to the Sacred Heart, as an Advent preparation for the arrival of Christ.

Scripture: Lk 1:35; Eph 4:15-16; Rom 6:4-5 1; Cor 12:3; Rom 8:26; Eph 1:9-10; Col 1:24

Encyclical: Mystici Corporis Christi: Pope Pius XEE on the Mystical Body of Christ

Cathechism of the Catholic Church: #790-791

Books: “The Complete Works: Elizabeth of the Trinity, Vol. One” Trans. by Sister Aletheia Kane, OCD; ICS Publications.

“God is Love: Saint Teresa Margaret: Her Life” by Margaret Rowe; ICS Publications.


Interview of Co-Host Mark Danis on a Week with the Friars…in Preparation for Advent

Interview of Co-Host Mark Danis on a Week with the Friars…in Preparation for Advent

November 28, 2016

Taking time off from our regular routine and getting away to specifically ponder and pray features prominently in growing in the interior life of the spiritual journey. The Advent season is a perfect time for all to detach from the world and focus on the life of Christ in our soul. Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen said “The Spirit of the Advent liturgy, commemorating the age-long expectation of the Redeemer, will prepare us to celebrate the mystery of the Word made flesh by arousing in each of us an intimate, personal expectation of the renewed coming of Christ to our soul. This coming is accomplished by grace; to the degree in which grace develops and matures in us, it becomes more copious, more penetrating, until it transforms the soul into an alter Christus.” Co-host Mark Danis is interviewed in this program regarding his recent visit for a week with our Discalced Carmelite Friars. He shares some of his thoughts and experiences. We can profit from his sharing and get more inspired to dedicate this Advent season to a deeper preparation for the coming of Christ into our souls in a more intimate way than ever before. Will we make room in the “inn” of our souls for Christ to come in?


Book:“Divine Intimacy” by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD, Advent Week One; Tan Books.

The Mystery of Christmas

The Mystery of Christmas

December 8, 2015
At the request of one of our listeners, Mark and Frances chose to have a conversation about one of the most important Carmelite Saints in the recent history of the Church, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, or Edith Stein. After a brief biographical sketch, Mark and Frances discuss a very special, but lesser known work of St. Teresa Benedicata of the Cross, a Lecture she offered to a group of Catholic academics entitled, 'The Mystery of Christmas.' In this short but profound work, Edith Stein offers a powerful reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation, and what this mystery means for each of us who call ourselves Christians. The centerpiece of this reflection is the importance of relying on God's Will in all things - this is truly the virtue of Faith lived out in the midst of the often difficult and confusing reality of the human experience. Even though speaking at the time as primarily an academic, Edith Stein none-the-less shows great spiritual wisdom in challenging us to give up our reliance on earthly wisdom and earthly solutions, and instead to abandon ourselves into the arms of our Father, just as the Christ Child did when He willing came as the light of the world to a small stable in Bethlehem.
Pamphlet (Lecture): Mystery of Christmas: Incarnation and Humanity by Edith Stein (aka St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross); Trans. from the German by Sister Josephine rucker, S. S. J.; Printed at Darlington Carmel
Marian Consecration Books:
Preparation for the Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort; Montfort Publications; By Shore, New York.
In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph: Consecration Preparation for the Triumphant Victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queenship Publishing Company; Santa Barbara, California.
Consecration to Jesus through Mary: Following the Plan of St. Louis de Montfort, Children of the Father Foundation; Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
33 Days to Morning Glory: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC; Marian Press.


December 1, 2015
This program originally aired just after the first Sunday of Advent. Here Frances and Mark explore a little about the meaning of Advent and the Liturgical Calendar for the Season. They discuss each of the four weeks of Advent and their individual focus on some aspect of preparing for the arrival of Christmas. They also offer a somewhat more challenging message about the coming of the Lord from a reflection written by a woman who understood that there are two Comings of Christ, and each individual Advent Season is designed to better prepare us for His eventual Second Coming. Finally, this program discusses some of the important symbols of the Advent Season, goes over the Mass Readings for the first two weeks of Advent (2015), and then offers some very practical advice on how we might individually prepare ourselves for the Coming of the Lord.
The Infant of Prague

The Infant of Prague

December 2, 2013

Many people are familiar with the Devotion to the Infant of Prague, but what not many people know is that this devotion actually began with the Carmelites. In this particular program, Mark and Frances discuss the history of this wonderful devotion and its association with the Carmelite Order. They also discuss the blessings and promises the Lord has made to those who practice this devotion. The Christmas Season seems a wonderful time to focus on the Christ Child, and the rich Devotion to the Infant of Prague is a gift that will continue to bless us throughout the year.

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