Thursday, October 20, 2011

Discalced Carmelites - Spirituality

Discalced Carmelites - Spirituality

JMJT!Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!

Dear ones-

This is a very beautiful slideshow with reflections. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The theme and its quotes embrace our Carmelite values- of finding beauty in simplicity.

May you all be blessed.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mercy Abounds

JMJT! Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Carmel-

This first week of October has one recurring theme in my eyes. That theme is mercy. As we know, October 1st commemorates the life and holy death of St. Therese whose whole life was dedicated to singing the mercies of God.  For her, the heart of the Church is that love and mercy that knows no bounds and encompasses all vocations.  She even made an Act of Oblation to the merciful love of Our Lord to seek souls united to Christ in her sufferings.   She wrote this down to make her complete dedication to this quest real. Some of it is as follows:

O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!

Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His heart burning with Love.

In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.

I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!

On October 5th, we celebrated the life of a newer saint in the Church, St. Faustina, who is known as the Apostle of Secretary of Divine Mercy.  St. Faustina also consecrated herself to Our Lord's mercy by writing and offering the following, "0 my Jesus, each of your saints reflects one of your virtues; I desire to reflect your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let your mercy, 0 Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life" (Diary 1242).  Jesus revealed to her that he desired to share His infinite mercy with the whole world. "In the Old Covenant", he said to her, "I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful Heart" (Diary 1588).

St. Faustina's mission of mercy seems to have built upon that of St. Therese. In her three primary tasks given by Our Lord, we can see many similarities between the two.  Faustina's first task was to remind the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God towards every human being. Secondly, she was to entreat God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners (this of St. Therese's intercessory prayers for Pranzini), among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy. This included the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: "Jesus, I trust in you" as well as the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, and chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.).

Thirdly, she was to initiate the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy, whose task is to proclaim and entreat God's mercy for the world and to strive for Christian perfection. The core precepts required the faithful to have an attitude of childlike trust in God, expressed in fulfilling his will, and an attitude of mercy toward one's neighbour. This way to God rings familiar with Therese's call to embracing one's spiritual childhood and following the "Little Way' of perfection.

Both of these saints give us tremendous hope concerning Our Lord's infinite mercy for even the greatest of sinners. Each provides a simple road map that can be used in throwing ourselves ever deeper into the ocean of His Mercy. Let us not hesitate, but in complete confidence take the plunge!