Carmelite Conversations
The Virtue of Hope:  Drawn from “Divine Intimacy” and Pope Benedict XVI’s “On Christian Hope”

The Virtue of Hope: Drawn from “Divine Intimacy” and Pope Benedict XVI’s “On Christian Hope”

April 25, 2016


“Divine Intimacy” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD; Tan Books.

“Prayers of Hope” by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan; Pauline Books & Media


“On Christian Hope” encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI.

Scripture Passages:

Romans 8:24a

Romans 8:24b

1 Corinthians 2:9

Hebrews 13:14

Matthew 7:7-11

1 Timothy 2:4

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Luke 17:10

Practical Ways to Increase Hope:

1.     Pray, pray, pray!

2.     Change your thoughts into positive thoughts.

3.     Be kind to yourself…read a great book, watch a movie classic, have a great cup of coffee.

4.     Curtail your intake of the news.

5.     Celebrate Life by treating each day like the precious gift it is.

6.     Take a Break.

7.     Practice an Attitude of Gratitude; thank God for the sun, your breath, your eyesight, your senses, your gifts, your loved ones.

8.     Express Love Tangibly:  hugs, words, notes, acts of kindness.

9.     Say this affirmation frequently each day:  Jesus, I trust in you.

10. Make a Difference by pitching in, serving others, being a part of something bigger than yourself.

11. Keep perspective.


13. Notice little signs of hope in your life.

14. Stay healthy.

15. Take time to remember all the amazing things God has done for you.

16. Surround yourself with optimism.

17. Enjoy Nature:  take a walk, study a leaf, smell a flower, enjoy a sunset, ravish God’s natural beauty.

18. Ponder the possibilities!

Great Books

Great Books

April 12, 2016

Mark and Frances took this opportunity to discuss some of their recent and favorite “Great Books.” The definition of Great refers to any of a number of Spiritual books that help to lead the reader into a deeper appreciation for and experience of the Living God. The 13 books discussed in this conversation fall into a short list of categories. There are those are intended to provide some intellectual insight and analysis of a particular topic of faith, for example the meaning and value of Human Suffering. There are also books discussed which help a person to prepare for or enter into a deeper experience of prayer. These include simple, straightforward devotionals as well as those they seek to explain and provide knowledge on the act of prayer. This discussion also includes books that are designed to provide consolation, comfort in difficult times and a sense of Peace regarding God’s presence in our daily lives. There are also books about the lives of specific Saints. As Mark points out, as much as we can benefit from the writings of the Saints, there are times when we can derive even more benefit just from reading about the events of their lives and how they responded to the difficult circumstances they faced. Finally, Mark and Frances discuss books that have inspired them in their faith, books that have helped lift them up and provided the motivation we all need from time to time, as we continue on our journey of faith. If you are looking for a list of good, dare we say ‘Great Books’ to read, you will find this a very worthwhile program.

“Drink of the Stream: Prayers of the Carmelites” by Penny Hickey, OCDS; Ignatius Press.

“Under the Torrent of His Love: Therese of Lisieux, a Spiritual Genius” by Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus; Alba House.

“Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart” by Fr. Jacques Philippe; St. Pauls.

“My Ideal: Jesus Son of Mary” by Fr. Emil Neubert, SM; Tan Books.

“33 Days to Merciful Love: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy” by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC; Marian Press.

“City of God: The Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God” as manifested to Venerable Mary of Agreda; Tan Books.

“Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD; Tan Books.

“On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering” Anniversary Edition with Commentary by Myles N. Sheehan, SJ, MD; Paulist Press.

“The Contemplative Hunger” by Fr. Donald Haggerty; Ignatius Press.

“Brother Andre: All He Could Do Was Pray” by Boniface Hanley; St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mt. Royal Press.

“An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory” by S. T. D. (Nihil obstat/Censor Librorum Rev. Msgr. Carroll E. Satterfield and Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Imprimatur/Archbishop of Baltimore); Faitma House/The Reparation Society.

“The Prayer of the Presence of God” by Dom Augustin Guillerand; Sophia Press.

“Imagine Heaven” by John Burke; Baker Books.

A Reflection on Reconciliation

A Reflection on Reconciliation

March 22, 2016

The Sacrament of Reconciliation has rightly been called by a number of names, including confession, the Sacrament of forgiveness, and the Sacrament of healing. It is less well known by what is perhaps its most important name, and its most important benefit, and that is the Sacrament of conversion. In this conversation on the Sacrament, Mark and Frances explore the historical context, benefits and means of preparation. They discuss how God not only wants to grant us His forgiveness and Mercy for our failings and our sin, but He wants to use that very weakness of our nature to bring about our conversion, purification and transformation into His Son, Jesus Christ. The most important aspect for our participation in this process is a continual and ever more challenging examination of our own behavior and even our very thoughts. Here Mark and Frances share three separate means of conducting such an examination, and they demonstrate how the process begins with looking at ourselves externally, turning to our interaction with our neighbor and then returning again to look at ourselves in a much deeper, spiritual and more interior way. This is an important topic and hopefully motivation for many of us to return to and enrich our experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Conversion.

“Merciful Like the Father” for 24 Hours for the Lord from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization:

“A Brief Examination of Conscience” Based on the Ten Commandments:

Examination of Conscience According to the Seven Vices

Examination of Conscience Recalling Relationships with God and Others

Examination of Conscience According to the Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity

Examination of Conscience According to the Precepts of the Church

Examination of Conscience Using the Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin

Examination of Conscience for Priests and Religious

Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine

Examination of Conscience Based on the Beatitudes

Comprehensive Examination of Conscience Based on the Twelve Virtues

“Frequent Confession: Its Place in the Spiritual Life” by (Dom) Benedict Baur, O.S.B.

Scripture passages cited from the New American Bible, printed 1970:
Lamentations 3:40
John 20:22-23
1 Peter 5:8
Matthew 5:28

Pondering the Epiphany

Pondering the Epiphany

January 4, 2016
In this first week of January in the year 2016 we will again celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord. This is a celebration rich with Meaning for our individual spiritual lives, and it is important to understand some of the major symbols of this event, and also for us to each enter into a personal reflection of what the Epiphany means for us. In this conversation Mark and Frances begin by exploring some of more significant meanings around the Church's understanding of Epiphany, including Divine Manifestation, Royal Kingship, The Light that Comes into the World, and finally, the Royal Nuptials, or the analogy to the Wedding Celebration. During the second half of the program, Mark and Frances walk the listener through an actual Lectio Divina on the Epiphany, taken from the verses describing this in Matthew 2:1-9. This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for Epiphany, or to reflect, at any time of year, on the meaning of the Lord's revealing of Himself to our world - a world so desperately in need of this encounter with our Living God.
Homeschooling with the Carmelite Saints

Homeschooling with the Carmelite Saints

November 25, 2013

How are these two homeschooling moms using the Carmelite Saints in teaching their children? Host Frances Harry interviews guests Colleen Sollinger and Connie Rossini about this topic. Colleen is a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites and has had a long term interest in sharing Carmelite Spirituality with her family as well as in developing a “Carmelite Spirituality Youth Group.” Connie Rossini is an author/writer as well as diocesan columnist and has a great blog at: She is also the administrator of a Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network that has a community of 20+ blogging on the spiritual life. We will talk about how they teach the contemplative life and prayer to their children as well as get a peak at Connie’s E-book:”Five Lessons front the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life.”

Changes to the Missal – Fr. Tony

Changes to the Missal – Fr. Tony

September 26, 2011

This program covers the upcoming changes to the New Roman Missal. Fr Tony Geraci, is a scholar of the Roman Liturgy In this program he explains both the history of the current revisions and the motivation behind the specific changes to the language reflected in the new version. Fr. Tony helps us to understand how a return to a more authentic translation allows us to better understand the meaning and significance of the Missal.



June 13, 2011

“In this program Mark and Frances will explore the history, significance and the current environment in the Church surrounding the Sacrament of Pennance and Reconciliation. Their guest is Michele Foley who has done extensive research in the field of Reconciliation and the need for and benefits of frequent confession. This particular program challenges to the modern Catholic to “turn back” to the important Sacrament of Reconciliation and to see it as an integral part of Spiritual development.”

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