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Comment to Secret to Permanent Focus on God

Posted by Gery on March 17, 2019 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)
Richard, this is a beautiful quote. It brings clarity and simplicity to prayer, and thus peace. Thank you for reminding us:)

The Secret To Permanent Focus On God

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2019 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

...is told to us by St Augustine when he said: “Prayer is nothing but a desire of the heart. If your desire is continuous, your prayer is continuous. Do you wish to never cease praying? Then never cease desiring.”

So please let us take a moment and join our prayers and tell our loving and generous God: "Father I love You. Dear Jesus, I want You above everything else. Please increase my love for You and the Holy Trinity and may You never stop. Amen"

May we always love Him and desire Him more and more, and may we never stop.

Phase 1 Lesson 1

Posted by Cathleen Brock on January 27, 2019 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday I had the honor of facilitating 3 beautiful souls, Peggy, Margherita and Rachel for their first lesson (Formation) in Carmelite Spirituality.  When preparing I reflected on my own journey thinking about what I wish I had heard thirteen years ago during my first lesson. Well, I probably overwhelmed them so I'm going to clarify some of my thoughts and add some. My hope is that some of you will join me in sharing some of your insights.

                 Hurrying is not peace. Relax. Trust in God's timing.                                                                                                                                      Transformation happens over a lifetime through the concrete everyday life of conflict, trials, joys, disappointments, success and the mundane. Transformation happens when we live through and reflect on all that happens in our life while in deep relationship with Christ through it all. When we enter deeply into ourselves courageously accepting and fighting our disorderd passions we are lead into our own reality. Facing our own reality is true humility. In finding our true selves, we experience the real God. In other words we encounter the true God through self-observation and sincere self-knowledge. This is an important part of our prayerlife and journey.

Your journey is about the health of your soul. Passing judgement on others is a sign that you are not facing or even aware of your own truth.

Be genuine. Don't be afraid to show weakness or make mistakes. This is how we grow and learn. You are among sisters and brothers who love you.

Remember that you can do nothing apart from Him and the only true measure of your journey is if you are growing in love.

If we are truly encountering Christ we will begin to see as He sees and love as He loves.


Posted by Gery on December 16, 2018 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Thank you, Cathy, for posting this wonderful quote on community. It has always been such a blessing when I go to our monthly meetings because I feel that I can just 'breathe' and truly open myself to our beautiful Faith. I missed our last meeting due to illness, and it very much affected me to not have that contact with everyone. God's peace and blessings to all my brothers and sisters in Carmel!

Mary as Sister

Posted by Ray on December 1, 2018 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I too have struggled with Mary as my sister.  I have always thought the title of mother showed her more respect and honor, something she truly deserves.  Once again St Augustin has taught me a very important lesson, and how could I not listen to the voice of my favorite saint.  I can now see that calling Mary my sister as well as my mother shows her no sign of disrespect but rather enhances her in my eyes.  Thank you Julie for pointing out this teaching from St Augustin,

Also on another note, there has now been a second miracle declared for John Henry Cardinal Newman, another great writer and convert.  Looks like his cause for cannonization just got a shot in the arm.  I look forward to the day when he is declared a saint.

Now if I live long enough to see Bishop Fulton Sheen and G K Chesterson join the ranks as well I will be a very happy man.



Posted by Cathleen Brock on December 1, 2018 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (2)

I have been rereading my books by Heni Nouwen and have come across a quote I have always wanted to share.

"Christian community is the place where we keep the flame alive among us and take it seriously, so that it can grow and become stronger in us. In this way we can live with courage, trusting that there is a spiritual power in us that allows us to live in this world without being seduced constantly by despair. That is how we dare to say that God is a God of love even when we see hatred all around us. That is why we can claim that God is a God of life even when we see death and destruction and agony all around us. We say it together. We affirm it in each other. Waiting together, nurturing what has already begun, expecting it's fulfillment--that is the meaning of ...community and the Christian life."

Comment on Mary as Sister

Posted by Cathleen Brock on November 29, 2018 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Julie, I have never been comfortable with calling Mary my sister. I too thought it lessened her. I read your blog and a seed was planted. It took a while but I finally looked up the OOR you are speaking of (Vol IV pg 1572). What food for thought! I have been caught up in the physicality of Mary (probably for my own need for a mother) instead of listening to what Jesus is actually saying. She is blessed, honored and the most eminent member of the Body of Christ simply for keeping Gods truth in her mind than for carrying him in her womb. For the first time I can appreciate Mary as a most blessed companion and model of discipleship as mother or sister as Jesus does. Thank you.

Mary as Mother and Sister

Posted by Julie A Gill on November 21, 2018 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

God is so good.  Having thought of, and leaned on, Mary as my mother, was ingrained in me my whole life.  Now to think of her as sister somehow seemed to lessen her place in my eyes.  Then, today, in the Office of Readings, God showed me what it truly means through St. Augustine.  He quotes Jesus when he says: "Here are my mother and my brothers, anyone who does the will of my Father is my brother and my sister and my mother."  St. Augustine says: "...did she not do the will of the Father?"  He quotes Jesus again: "More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it." St. Augustine says that Jesus is saying that it's more than a purely physical relationship.  Mary heard the word of God and kept it and, therefore, she is blessed.  

If anyone hasn't read the Augustine writing in the Liturgy today and has access to it, please consider reading it because he explains it so much better than I can without quoting the entire passage.  Jesus said it Himself.  Mary is my mother and my sister.  She is the disciple of Jesus par excellence! 

Thank you, Lord God, for the Divine Office, and thank you for teaching us what we cannot understand of ourselves.  Help me to be open.

Comment to Mary

Posted by Cathleen Brock on November 14, 2018 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)
Mary, you continue to lift me in His Spirit. You joyfully awaken my faith as I rediscover everything through your eyes.

Comment from Mary

Posted by Mary Capobianco on November 13, 2018 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Our Formation class had a wonderful conversation addressing how we felt about viewing Mary as "Sister" since the official title of the Carmelite Order is The Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel.  Being a practicing Protestant for nearly two decades, and not being educated in the full Catholic way as a child, I loved this entire Chapter!  I have longed to delve into Mary and receive her into my heart as ALL she can be!  My own mother called out to her during my dangerous birth, vowing to name me Mary if my life was spared.  Well, here I am, and I want nothing more than to know her fully so that I can ultimately know her Son in an even deeper way through her eyes.  

Coming back home to the Church has offered me such an opportunity to know her as Mother, Intercessor, Untier of Knots, Mother of Sorrows, Lady of Carmel, BUT to view of her as Sister, well that was amazing to ponder!  I feel closer to her, with the addition of this perspective, because this allows me to see myself as a little sister, holding her hand, watching her invite me to look UP to Jesus with her with God as our Father. I can imagine walking by her side, wanting to emulate her as Christ's finest follower.  I feel like my older sister wants to walk with me showing me how to keep a keen eye on Jesus, pondering everything through God's eyes rather than man's eyes. The richness of knowing her and knowing Jesus grows with this viewpoint, for me, and does not detract.  She is His Mother, our Mother, but also she was His disciple and her salvation comes from her Son as well as His birth came through her obedience.  WHAT a God we have to create such an intricate tapestry of depth of relationship with Jesus and His Mother!

Comment to Gery

Posted by Cathleen Brock on November 13, 2018 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Thank you Gery for beginning this blog on formation with Mary. You have.truly been inspired by the Holy Spirit!

I am presently praying the 33 day Consecration to Our Lady which will end on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Thank you to Sandra for this grace. Whenever I pray the consecration I replace the word "slave" with "daughter" which is the Carmelite way.in honor of St. Michael of Augustine (Carmelite} who wrote similarly of Mary 100 years before DeMontfort. Cathy



Posted by Cathleen Brock on November 12, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

First of all I would like to thank Gery for her wonderful inspiration in adding a blog page to share information regarding Formation I, II and Ongoing. In between meetings I have often wanted to share certain insights or readings I have come upon with you all and now this is possible for all of us.

This is a quote from James Finley in his Introduction to the book, Merton Place of Nowhere.

"We can only hope to create that empty space, that context for insight in which the unexpected everything can rise mysteriously and effortlessly out of the nothingness in which we wait for God. Reading in this way brings us to the heart of what is traditionally known as spiritual reading. Spiritual reading has the potential of becoming itself a prayer, a kind of event in which a true transformation of consciousness takes place. At times like these the reading takes on a sacramental force that transforms the silence of a room, the wind, a flower, the ticking of a clock into sudden subtle, and unexpected manifestations of God, silently calling from the midst of things to "be still and know that I am God."    In the readers simple humble desire for God. the words are empowered to reveal a fleeting glimpse of life's most secret meaning. One's own innermost, unspoken insights and desires are suddenly encountered on the printed page. The response is the deepening of those desires and a renewed courage to set out for still deeper waters."

Our present Book/Bible Study definitely has that "sacramental force." God's word is sacred, a sacramental in that when we are reading, discussing or praying his word, Jesus becomes truly present to us. For 2 hours of our meeting he is sacramentally present in our Lectio, Bible Study and evening prayer.  This is transforming our community and unifying us in his joy!


Phase 2, Year 1 Formation

Posted by Gery on November 8, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)
November, 2018 - "Climbing the Mountain" Chapter 5: "Mary" This is a beautiful chapter on Mary, filled with many thoughts for us to contemplate. It goes over some of the Carmelite titles for Mary - "Lady of the Place", "Elijah's Little Cloud", and "Mary the Contemplative" to name a few. We were challenged to consider the different ways that we view our Holy Mother; and I, for one, was reminded again of how devotion to her can only bring us so much closer to her son, Jesus. Through Carmel I have begun a new relationship with her, and I thank God for this blessing! There is a beautiful quote on page 107 from Edith Stein: "Only a few words from the Virgin Mary have come down to us in the Gospels. But these few words are like heavy grains of pure gold. When they melt in the ardour of loving meditation, they more than suffice to bathe our entire lives in a luminous golden glow."