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Lent with the Carmelites

Lent Reminds Us That We Have A Place In God´s Heart | Pope Francis


Pope Francis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in God’s heart. He

10 Things to Remember For Lent


Journey to the Foot of the Cross:
Bishop Ricken Offers 10 Things to Remember For Lent

Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, former chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers “10 Things to Remember for Lent”:  

Solitude in Carmelite Life


Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.

Dear Sister,

What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer?

Dear Friend,

The short answer to your question is solitude.

Here is the longer answer…

Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must be one of solitude where my faith is rekindled as I seek Him whom my heart desires. It is only through withdrawal from the many voices that bombard us throughout the day, the endless demands made

Lenten Message of our Holy Father Francis 2014


He became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich
(cf. 2 Cor 8:9)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor,

Solitude and Carmelite Spirituality


John Coates

Solitude is not the same as isolation. The latter is an unhealthy withdrawal from human society; a turning in on oneself that is only too often a trait of neurosis. Solitude, in contrast, is a healthy turning toward one's beloved."Solitude,

The Solitude of Carmelite Prayer


Keith J. Egan

So I say now that all of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation. This call explains our origin; we are descendants of men who felt this call, of those holy fathers on Mount Carmel who in such great solitude and contempt for the world sought this treasure, this precious pearl of contemplation. (IC.5. I .2)'

Lectio Divina - Christ's central place in this Process

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Christ, the only mediator between God and man

When we are doing Lectio Divina, that is to say when we open ourselves to listen to God, we are facing Christ. Christ is the Word the Father has given to us, his only word, and he asks us to listen to himself attentively. Christ, who is both God and man, is the only mediator between God and us.

"Thy Kingdom Come" in Jesus of Nazareth and The Way of Perfection


Their Respective Reasons for Writing

It should be kept in mind that in his Foreword, Benedict XVI describes his book as his personal search “for the face of the Lord” (Ps. 27:28, and as “in no way an exercise of the magisterium,” adding, “Everyone is free, then, to contradict me.”  He considers the Lord’s Prayer for what it shows about Jesus’ claim to divinity, about Jesus' claim to be one with the Father, and for what else it tells us about who Jesus is.

The Face of the Lord in Jesus of Nazareth and The Way of Perfection


Pope Benedict XVI's Foreword says this his writing in Jesus of Nazareth is “in no way an exercise of the magisterium,” adding, “Everyone is free, then, to contradict me.”  These posts discuss both their similarities and differences between them.

Deliver Us From Evil

The last petition of the Lord’s Prayer is “Deliver us from evil.”

St. Teresa of Avila on “true humility”


    “Pay great attention, daughters, to this point which I shall now make, because sometimes thinking yourselves so wicked may be humility and virtue and at other times a very great temptation. I have had experience of this, so I know it is true. Humility, however deep it be, neither disquiets nor troubles nor disturbs the soul;

Distractions in Prayer


Steven Riddle

Distraction may be the chief complaint levied about one’s prayer life. Regarding distraction, here is something from the two leading teachers of prayer in the Carmelite tradition.

from Carmelite Prayer: A Tradition for the 21st Century
Ed. Keith J. Egan

Contemplation, the heart of the Carmelite way of life

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Fr. Miceál O'Neill, O.Carm.

This reflection on the elements of the Carmelite charism leads us to a consideration of what lies at the heart of our way of life. The formation document of the Carmelite Friars called the Raio (Ratio Institutionis Vitae Carmelitanae) made great strides in clarifying what is this heart.

Good Friday - Word from John of the Cross


Fr. George Mangiaracina, O.C.D


When Jesus had died on the Cross his dark night came to an end. When did his dark night began is hard to say. Certainly, it was apparent at the Garden of Gethsemene. There was his betrayal by Judas; but even before then Jesus was persecuted by his own after he healed the man who could not make it to the pool because others got in front of him (Jn 5:1-16 ).

Palm Sunday- Passion Sunday


Fr. Sunny John O.Carm.

“Today the palms - tomorrow the passion”. The grim truth is that the same people who shouted "Hosanna" on Sunday shouted "Crucify him," just five days later. It is sobering to recall that the same people shouting Hosanna on Palm Sunday were crying "Crucify him" on Good Friday! Quite a reversal, pretty inconsistent. But isn't that a contemporary experience too, the inconsistency of what we do here on Sunday and how we are tempted to live the rest of the week in other aspects of our lives.

Lenten Journey with St. John of the Cross

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Fr. George Mangiacina, O.C.D


Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?

Lenten Journey


by Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm

In our Catholic liturgical calendar, the Lenten season opens with Ash Wednesday.

I have never been to a desert. I have never seen one. I don’t believe this is a unique experience. I have seen nice pictures of deserts with sand and sun, a play of darkness and light, and they have awakened in me a deep sense of the transcendent and mysterious. But I don’t think I would even try to visit a place like that even if the opportunity arises.

A Lenten Journey with St.Therese


Fr. John Russell, O.Carm.


The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save ir. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?' LUKE 9: 22-25




"Believing in charity calls forth charity"
“We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God – the God of Jesus Christ



Sr. Vilma Seelaus


“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Lent 2013

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from USCCB

Our observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 13 this year, and is a a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics.  At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes our dependence upon God's mercy and forgiveness.

Humility and confidence



In the Psalm 129 also known as 'De Profundis' or prayer of a sinner trusting in the mercies of God we read: 'Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness:

Hidden life



St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus was the Saint who perfected the way of 'hidden life'. She wanted to reserve for God alone the gift of her whole being, and she tried to hide from the eyes of others the riches of her interior life, her heroic virtues. She once said: "Work for the sole end of pleasing God, never looking for any human praise".

Journey of a Secular Carmelite


By Heather Peters, Lay Carmelite

It is a joy and a struggle to live the life of a new spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to balance that with the joys and struggles of the secular life as a wife and mother to seven boys. (I am a wife and a mother to 7 wonderful (and challenging)boys. I began my journey to Carmel in November of 2007 and am so grateful to Our Lord for calling me to such a beautiful vocation.)

Embracing and expressing new experiences of God...


Sr. Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.

Is it perhaps true that everything is an experience of God, both the light and the dark? Light events seem easy to recognize as experiences of God. What about the dark ones? What about frustrated plans, illness, diminishment, difficult associates, inability to pray, and all the unanswers that are our constant companions?



by Flos Carmeli

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things.

As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister." 


by Dr. Radut