"I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." --Hosea 2:14





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Christ Crucified...

Painting by Anthony Van Dyck
"Whenever anything
disagreeable or displeasing
happens to you,
remember Christ
crucified
and be silent."

St. John of the Cross

Monday, April 10, 2017

Vocations, little altars and whiskey bottles??


Painting by Alfred Elmore


Recently I have been meditating on my Carmelite vocation as my interview for my Definitive Promise draws near.  I was trying to see how far back I could go to see when this all started.  I believe that I have had a contemplative nature ever since I was a very young girl.  I can remember sitting in my closet and closing the door just so I could be alone, think and pray. My childhood and family life was very dysfunctional, although I know that my parents did the best that they could, they had too many issues to be 'normal 'parents, so my two older sisters took the place of my parents a lot.
 Once  when I was 8 years old,  I had my first intimate spiritual experience. Jesus appeared to me and held my little face in His hands and said to me, "You are special because you are Mine." To this day, I remember it like it just happened!  Maybe it was then that I learned to go deep within to be with the one who loved me.  My family was NOT religious at all, although we attended catholic school.  I loved going to Mass with my friend and her parents and I LOVED my 4th grade teacher, Sister Anne Regina! (my Carmelite devotional name is Therese Regina of the Pieta, for our Blessed Mother and my teacher.) 
  I made  a little altar on my dresser and one time, (I just remembered this, so please bear with me! I have to laugh now when I think of it!) I tried to make my bedroom windows look like stained glass!  The way I accomplished this, though was NOT appreciated by my father!  We lived in the city, four houses away from a Kodak plant....so, LOTS of people would ride a bus to my street and get dropped off a few blocks away and then proceed to walk to Kodak, passing our house.  Well, I thought it would be a wonderful and very clever idea to walk down the street where there was a bar and climb into their dumpster to find about a dozen different shaped whiskey, vodka, rum....(you name it), bottles...and peel off all the labels and fill them with different colors using food coloring and did just that!  I had two big windows that faced the front of the house and lined my creative bottles on the window sills!  I thought it looked beautiful with the sun streaming in and catching the different colors! My father, however did NOT agree and made me take them all down....so, that was the last of my stained glass windows and I was crushed! Ha!
Okay, back to my point...I once read a letter that Saint Therese wrote to her sister Celine, something on the lines of our lives being a very short span between two eternities....one being before our births and then one after we die.  So, while reflecting on this I was thinking that since God was the one to 'knit me' in my mother's womb, and He knows everything there is to know about me, and knew that my childhood was less than ideal, so He also  KNEW that I would flourish in Carmel and planted a seed while knitting me!  Maybe he said to His beautiful mother, "I know this one, she would be perfect for your little garden, Mother!" (after all, Carmel means 'garden').  So, He put that little seed inside me and waited for me to find it deep within.  
About a week ago, someone (a non Catholic) asked me what a Carmelite vocation was.  It's difficult enough to explain to a CATHOLIC, but to try to explain it to someone in my Amish and Mennonite community is REALLY difficult! 
A Carmelite is constantly seeking the face of God, it's being aware of His gaze throughout the day...it's searching and finding Him deep within...it's surrendering myself to Him...it's silence....solitude....desiring to love Him for all those who DO NOT love Him...it's hiding in His Immaculate Heart so I don't have to leave Him....it's leaving a little piece of my soul every week at adoration, hoping He will take it and expand it so I can love Him even more and then retrieving it the next week, only to feel that I need to leave it, AGAIN ...it's looking at others and seeing HIM... it's desiring to do HIS Will and not my own.  It means standing with His mother under the cross and comforting the wounds in both His AND her heart....KNOWING that it was ME...and MY sins that put them there! It's embracing my own crosses! Being a Carmelite is walking with St. Therese and learning her 'Little Way'....it's Dark Nights that lead to my sanctification.  It means TRYING and longing to detach from everything and everyone that doesn't lead me to HIM...it's the constant desire to prove my love for Him!  It's all this and so much MORE!


At The Foot of The Cross....

Artist George Frederick Watts

“Let us linger at the foot of the Cross, 
dwelling in silence with the Divine Crucified,
 listening carefully to Him.” 
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weaving a crown....


Painting by Godefridus Schalcken
“Already there is a scent
 of blessedness upon you. 
Already you who
 are soon to be
 enlightened,
 are gathering spiritual flowers
 from which,
 to weave heavenly crowns:
 already the fragrance 
of the Holy Spirit
 has breathed upon you:
 already you have gathered
 round the vestibule
 of the King’s palace.
 May you also be
 led in by the King! 
For blossoms,
 now have appeared 
upon the trees;
 may the fruit
 also be
found perfect."
St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Holy Eucharist...




Painting by Alexander Coosemans


“The purpose of the Eucharist
 is your conversion,
your turning away 
from your own will
so that it may gradually
disappear
into your service to others.
You go to Holy Communion
to be converted,
to establish the reign of Christ
in your heart from then on,
and for His Will
to become your 
supreme value.
Every reception of the Eucharist
should confirm your adherence 
to do His Will.
Consequently, you should wish
that Jesus would foil your plans.
The Eucharist should prepare you for this:
It should contribute
 the gradual demise
of your egoism,
allowing Christ to
grow within you."


Father Tadeusz Dajczer - Polish priest

Sunday, November 20, 2016

If you want....


If you want,
 the Virgin
 will come walking down the road
pregnant with The holy,
 and say,
"I need shelter for the night,
please
 take me inside your heart,
 my time is so close."
Then, 
under the roof of your soul,
you will witness
 the sublime intimacy,
The Divine, 
The Christ,
 taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is 
the midwife of God, 
each of us.
Yes, there,
 under the dome of your being
does creation come 
into existence 
eternally,
through your womb,
 dear pilgrim
 the sacred womb 
of your soul,
as God grasps 
our arms
 for help:
for each of us
 is His Beloved servant,
never far.
If you want,
 the Virgin
 will come walking down the street
pregnant with Light and sing.
St. John of the Cross

Monday, October 31, 2016

Peaceful was the night...

Painting by Adelaide Hiebel

"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 barque-
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."
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

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