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Friday, March 22, 2013

Today is the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

Lord, Have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, Have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord, Have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us.
graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the
Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have
mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Mother of
Sorrows, Pray for us.
Mother whose soul was pierced by the sword, Pray for us.
Mother who fled with Jesus
into Egypt, etc.
Mother who sought
Him sorrowing for three days,
Mother who saw Him scourged and crowned with
Mother who stood by Him while He hung upon the Cross,
Mother who
received Him into thine arms when He was dead,
Mother who saw Him buried in
the tomb,
O Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Save us by thy prayers.
O Mary, comfort of
the sorrowful, Save us by thy prayers.
O Mary, help of the weak, etc.
O Mary, strength of the fearful,
O Mary, light of the despondent,
O Mary, nursing mother of the sick, O Mary, refuge of sinners,
the bitter Passion of thy Son,
Through the piercing anguish of thy heart,
Through thy heavy weight of woe,
Through thy sadness and desolation,
Through thy maternal pity,
Through thy perfect resignation,
thy meritorious prayers,
From immoderate sadness,
From a cowardly
From an impatient temper,
From fretfulness and discontent,
From sullenness and gloom,
From despair and unbelief,
From final
We sinners, beseech thee, hear
Preserve us from sudden death, we beseech thee, hear us.
Teach us how to
die, we beseech thee, hear us.
Succor us in our last agony, etc.
Guard us from the enemy,
Bring us to a happy end,
Gain for us the
gift of perseverance,
Aid us before the Judgment Seat,
Mother of God,
Mother, most sorrowful,
Mother, most desolate,
Lamb of God, Who
takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest
away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who
takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Lord,
have mercy.
V. Succor us, O Blessed Virgin Mary,
R. In every time, and in every place.
Let Us Pray .
O Lord
Jesus Christ, God and Man, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy dear Mother Mary,
whose soul the sword pierced in the hour of Thy Passion, may intercede for us,
now, and in the hour of our death, through Thine Own merits, O Saviour of the
world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, God, world
without end. R. Amen.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mother Claire, Beloved Prioress, Now With Her Beloved

To be able to read the above announcement better, either click on the picture above and it will appear bigger in another window/tab or see the original PDF at

Mother Claire was Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada.  She was elected prioress of the Carmel of St. Joseph in Armstrong many times.  She lost her long battle with cancer March 14, 2013.  As she had a deep devotion to St. Joseph, her funeral was held on his feast day, March 19th.

Mother Claire was one of three nuns who came from the Carmel of St. Joseph in St. Agatha's, Ontario, at the request of the Bishop of Kamloops to found a Carmel in Armstrong.

Mother Claire with the Bishop on the day of her re-election as Prioress a few months ago.

This was the Carmel I was discerning with and will enter and I knew her through my visit and over the years with beautiful, loving, warm and encouraging emails and letters that was an impromptu novitiate class for me as she imparted wise teachings, advice and help to me.  I am still heartbroken over her passing and so hoped to enter under her Priorate and be her daughter and learn from her how to be a holy Carmelite, spouse to Our Lord Jesus Christ.  She gave me much help in person, now she will give me even more in heaven!

Mother Claire on the day of her Jubilee several years ago.

History of the Carmel of St. Joseph, Armstrong

When vocations in eastern Canada increased in the 1980's, the Carmel in St. Agatha had to plan for a new foundation, since twenty-one sisters is the limit for a Carmelite monastery. They looked to the west for various reasons, but especially that they might be more available to western vocations, who were being called to a strict contemplative life.

The west offered them a very wide choice, and the nuns, after much prayer, accepted the invitation of Most Reverend Lawrence Sabatini, Bishop of Kamloops, who was anxious to have the cloistered  contemplative nuns in his Diocese to pray especially for priests; and so, on August 15, 1991,  feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, three nuns from the Carmelite monastery in St Agatha, Ontario, arrived to pioneer the first English- speaking foundation in Western Canada. In time a property was purchased and on May 01, 1992, the foundation house, dedicated to St Joseph, was blessed by His Excellency, Bishop Sabatini, and the first Mass was offered in the small chapel. 

Today, the temporary dwelling having served its purpose, the sisters, trusting in Divine Providence and with the aid of good friends and benefactors, are undertaking the much needed construction of a permanent monastery that will facilitate their proper functioning where prayer can flourish.

The Discalced Carmelite Who Could Have Been Pope

FATHER OSCAR I. APARICIO, GENERAL Archivist, OCD-Rome-Italy (03.13.2013.) - In these days of the conclave we want to narrate the story of the Discalced Carmelite who came closest to occupying the See of Peter. We are speaking of Giovanni Antonio Benedetto Gotti. I was born in the Italian city of Genoa on March 29, 1834. He made ​​his first profession in the Teresian Carmel on September 21, 1851, in Loano. From That date, as was the custom in the reformed Carmel, I was called Jerome Mary of the Immaculate Conception. On December 22, 1856, I was ordained to the priesthood. He spent his first years as a professor of philosophy and from 1858 as a member of the community of Saint Ann in Genoa. 

Elected He Was General Procurator of the Discalced Carmelites on April 21, 1872. I managed the finances of the Order and was its legal representative before the Holy See and the Italian nation. It was Father Jerome Gotti who was in charge of bringing to the safe harbor union of two congregations of Discalced Carmelites in 1875: the Spanish congregation of Saint Joseph and the Italian congregation of Saint Elijah. His leadership qualities led to his election as Superior General of the Order on October 22, 1881, and his reelection to office in 1889 That. 
On March 8 I was named archbishop of Petra by Pope Leo XIII and was ordained in Rome on March 27. His first pastoral mission was Papal Legate Apostolic Internuncio and to the Republic of Brazil. During the period of more than three years in Which I was in Brazil (1892-1895) his work consisted of organizing the church, Principally the Brazilian hierarchy, and its Relations with the Brazilian state. 

On October 16, 1895, I received a telegram from the Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, announcing I had been nominated That Cardinal of the Holy Church. The publication of his name as Cardinal was made ​​on November 29, 1895, and on December 1 of the same year I received the biretta. He later presided over the Sacred Congregations of Indulgences, Bishops and Regulars, and lastly of the Propaganda Fide. He died in Rome on March 19, 1916. 

Cardinal Gotti participated in the 1903 conclave. There were two likely successors to the papacy: Cardinal Rampolla and Cardinal Gotti. We Know That They received the MOST votes in the first two ballots, Rampolla Gotti Receiving 24 and 17. In the Following ballot, received 29 and Gotti Rampolla 16. Subsequently, the Austro-Hungarian Empire vetoed Rampolla, and Cardinal Sarto, patriarch of Venice, Began to accumulate many votes. On the seventh ballot He Was Elected Pope. He took the name of Pius, the tenth of That name to date, and we know him as Saint Pius X. 

Known May These Words make an exemplary life of the Discalced Carmelite, Cardinal Gotti, who was the friar That came closest to serving the Church from the Petrine office.

Source: The General House of the Teresian Carmel

Blessed Francis Palau y Quer, Carmelite Priest

Francis Palau y Quer was born on 29th December 1811 at Aytona in Spain. In 1828, he entered the seminary in LĂ­rida. In 1832, after having completed three years of philosophy and the first year of theology, he joined the Discalced Carmelites and made his religious vows the following year. Forced by the political circumstances of the time to live as a secular, he was nevertheless ordained priest at Barbastro in 1836. After a long stay in France from 1840 to 1851, he returned to Spain and gave himself to the apostolate of preaching and missions to lay Christians, especially in Barcelona and the Balnearic Islands. During 1860 and 1861, he began organising various groups of women which later became the present-day Teresian Missionary Carmelite Sisters and the Missionary Carmelite Sisters. He was also the founder of the Brothers of Charity, nowadays no longer in existence. He died at Tarragona on 20th March 1872.

Bl. Elizaabeth of the Trinity Quote

Peaceful was the night and deep the silence
When my boat set sail on the open sea,
Gliding over the boundless ocean on the loveliest
   of journeys.

All was hushed beneath the vault of heaven
As if listening to the voice of the Eternal.
Suddenly the waves arose, engulfing my light

It was the Trinity opening out to me:
In that divine abyss I found my deepest center.
No more will you find me at the water's edge;
I have plunged into infinity, where I belong.
With my Three I live at peace, in the wide
   freedom of eternity

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, 1906

Teresa of Avila: Spiritual Battles and Interior Peace

Let us endeavour to do our best: beware of the poisonous reptiles – that is to say, the bad thoughts and aridities which are often permitted by God to assail and torment us so that we cannot repel them.

Indeed, perchance we feel their sting! He allows this to teach us to be more on our guard in the future and to see whether we grieve much at offending Him.
Therefore if you occasionally lapse into sin, do not lose heart and cease trying to advance, for God will draw good even out of our falls, like the merchant who sells theriac, who first takes poison, then the theriac, to prove the power of his elixir.

This combat would suffice to teach us to amend our habits if we realized our failings in no other way, and would show us the injury we receive from a life of dissipation.

Can any evil be greater than that we find at home? What peace can we hope to find elsewhere, if we have none within us?

What friends or kindred can be so close and intimate as the powers of our soul, which, whether we will or no, must ever bear us company?
These seem to wage war on us as if they knew the harm our vices had wrought them. “Peace, peace be unto you”, my sisters, as our Lord said, and many a time proclaimed to His Apostles.

Believe me, if we neither possess nor strive to obtain this peace at home, we shall never find it abroad.

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582):

Icon of St. John of the Cross

The "Parents" of Carmel - Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila and Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross

Our Lady, the Child Jesus and Saints of Carmel

Our Beloved Jesus

Our Lady Mt Carmel, Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus and Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Holy Face and the Wood of the Cross

"There is no wood better to kindle the fire
of holy love
than the wood of the cross,
which Christ used for his own sacrifice
of boundless charity."

- St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Quote

"This is the living bread
that came down from heaven."
- St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St. Therese Quote

"Trials help greatly to detach us from earth. They make us look to God,
rather than to this world."

St. Therese of Lisieux

Thoughts for Lent with St Therese

"Some there are who keep themselves in peace, and have peace also with others. And there are some that are neither at peace within themselves, nor suffer others to be in peace; they are troublesome to others, but always more troublesome to themselves" Imitation of Christ Book 2:3

"It is a mistake to want to convince our Sisters that they are in wrong, even if this is the case, for it is not our duty to correct them. Let us be angels of peace, not Justices of the Peace". St Therese 'Conseils and Souvenirs'. 

"Rest on the Passion of Christ, and willingly dwell in His sacred wounds. For if thou fly devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmas of Jesus, thou shalt feel great comfort in tribulation; neither wilt thou much regard the being despised by men, but wilt easily bear up against detracting tongues. Suffer with Christ and for Christ, if thou desirest to reign with Christ. Imitation of Christ, Book 2:1

"My God, I thank Thee for all graces Thou hast bestowed on me, and in particular for having made me pass through the crucible suffering. With what joy I shall see Thee on the last day bearing the Cross as the emblem of royalty. As Thou hast made me a partaker of Thy holy Cross, grant that I may one day be like to Thee, and bear upon my glorified body the imprint of Thy sacred wounds. " St Therese 'Story of a Soul'   

"An internal man quickly recollects himself, because he never pours forth his whole self upon outward things. Exterior labour is no prejudice to him, nor any employment which for a time is necessary; but as things fall out, he so accommodates himself to them. As much as a man draws things to himself, so much is he hindered by them". Imitation Book 2:1

"You become too much absorbed in your work, and worry over it as though you bore the whole responsibility. Do you wonder what is going on at the present moment on other Carmels, and whether the nuns are busy or not? Do their labours prevent you from making your prayer? You must learn to dissociate yourself from your work in the same way,  giving the prescribed time to it, but maintaining detachment of heart". St Therese 'Conseils et Souvenirs' 

Nature is covetous, and more willing to take than to give, and loves to have things to herself. But grace is bountiful and open-hearted, avoids selfishness, is contented with little, and judges it more happy to give than to receive. Imitation Book 3:54

Our Lord teaches us to: Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again (Luke 6:30). It is more pleasant to give of one's own free will than to be asked, although this is not very hard if the request is politely made. If, however, it is made in a tactless way, a soul that is not firmly established in charity will find a hundred and one pretext for refusing. If she does finally comply, it is only after having impressed upon the petitioner how inconsiderate she has been, and what a great favour she is doing her. In short, she spends more time in stating her case than she would in performing the thrilling service asked for. St Therese 'Story of a soul'

Sataurday - Day of Our Lady

Every Saturday is special to Carmelites as it is the Our Lady's day!  Below is a beautiful excerpt from the writings of Pere Jacques Bunel on Our Lady given to the Carmelite nuns of the Carmel of Pontoise.  I did a two posts on Pere Jacques recently.


Today, in honour of Our Lady, I would like to present fragments of the retreat Conference given to Carmelite Nuns in Pontoise Monastery by Pere Jacques Bunel in 1943. Pere Jacques was a diocesian priest in Rouen and popular preacher, who later entered Discalced Carmelite Order and became Carmelite friar. Carmelite nuns invited him to give conferences as retreat master. The conference theme is 'Virginity in God and in Mary' and was given on the feast day of Our Lady of Pontoise which was locally celebrated on 8th of September. Here, Pere Jacques gives us a very clear explanation of the virtue of virginity in relation to Triune God who is purity Himself. He gives us explanation of Our Lady's unique role as Mother of the Word incarnate and also gives us opportunity to meditate on the mysteries of the Trinity. Very edifying reading that may bring us ponder on purity of heart, mind, intentions and body. It may also make us wonder how great and unique is the gift of vocation to the Priesthood and religious life. I will present the conference fragments in two parts. The book with full text of conferences, "Listen to the silence" is available from ICS.

For a moment, let us focus our full attention on the living presence of God and consciously consider our closeness to Him. Let us also link ourselves with the Virgin Mary, whom we solemnly honour today on the Feast of Our Lady of Pontoise....

"The Mother of Christ is a virgin. When God took on human form, he wanted to assure this characteristic in his mother. By virtue of our vow of chastity it is essential for us to make this commitment shine forth, even if contemporary culture does not grasp its full meaning. Because we have made vows of chastity, we are designated as virgins. This characteristic is one of the crown jewels of Mary's divine motherhood. That same terminology is often applied to us. Perhaps we deceive ourselves by narrowing this beautiful concept.... [here Pere Jacques start to reflect on the concept of virginity not only as a mere abstinence from sensual pleasures but also as something much more deeper]. Let us fix now our gaze on the bosom of God and the mystery of the Trinity, to the degree that revelation permits. I maintain that the word of God is total, absolute virginity. Here is the reason why. As you are well aware, there is in the inner life of the Trinity a stupendous cycle, which overwhelms our poor, little minds. The pure intelligence grasps and sees itself; it speaks and express itself, It grasps and expresses itself in a word, which equals the intelligence that sets it forth. With infinite simplicity, the divine nature eternally expresses the Word of God. In this one word is the infinite activity of the divine intelligence. The Word of God, begotten by the Father, is the infinite, equal, and divine expression of the very Being of God. The Word posses the fullness of the divine nature, just as does the Father, and thus is truly God. In the infinite simplicity of God's being, this unfathomable, living expression shines forth so brilliantly that a third person, an outpouring of love, unites in a single nature this Word and the One who begets him from all eternity. These three persons: the Father, the Son begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit, whose infinite breath of love unites the three, constitute the perfect purity of God. That divine purity is what I term the fullness of virginity. Such is God Himself! In Chirst, there is something sublime in realization of virginity. The human nature given in its totality to the Word is divinized in every respect. Therein, the gift of self to God attains its greatest conceivable realization. Christ, as a human being without a trace of vacillation and with unimaginable integrity, brings to admirable fulfillment his mission of total virginity.

We have also seen God's remarkable preparation of the Virgin Mary for her role as Mother of the Word made flesh. God exempted her from original sin and its consequences. Thus, in the Virgin Mary, there comes about the restoration of what had been destroyed by Adam's sin, especially the reestablishment of the proper balance between the natural and the supernatural. At the time of their creature by God, Adam and Eve came into existence and continued in existence with total dependence on God. As creature, they were necessarily beings who did not exist of and by themselves. God is His own reason for being; He has not drawn His existence from anything else. "God is" and "I A, Who am" (Ex. 3:14) are rich phrases that contemplative religious relish. God is pure act, as the philosophers say; that is, he is the total realization of all possibility. We are not pure act; we have not realized all possibilities of being that are in us. Our being evolves as our hearts intensifies its affections and perfects them. Our body grows and then declines. God himself is pure actuality, pure act. Nothing in him is in the state of possibility, passing from nonexistence to existence. All is infinite existence in him. The human person, on the contrary, far from being this totality of realization, is a creature of infirmity and dependence... Nothing exists that cannot be annihilated instantly, if the creative action ceases to operate. It is this way, because we are not self-existent beings, as the words of Our Lord to Saint Catherine of Siena indicated: "You are she who is not"...We are not; we have only a borrowed being, unceasingly renewed by God. The Virgin Mary shares this condition of creaturehood with us. By herself she was not; she was totally dependent, as we are totally dependent. It is precisely this quality that constitutes the Virgin Mary's virginity. She is pure creature; God is pure deity, totally independent. For the Virgin Mary, her virginity lies in being a pure creature of God, namely, a creature living in total dependence on the will of God. Indeed, when we examine the Virgin Mary's life, when we gather the conclusion of the Fathers of the Church who dwelt on this Marian mystery, and when we study the works of theologians, we find that she was absolutely obedient to the will of God, even to the least indications of that will. The virginity of the Virgin Mary is founded on her pure dependence on God."