Quotes of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Quotes of the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road
he treads on, he must close his eyes
and walk in the dark.”if a man wishes to be sure - st john of the cross 14dec2018

“The road is narrow. 
He who wishes to travel it more easily 
must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane. 
In other words, he must be truly resolved 
to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”even-though-i-should-die-matthew-26-35-and-the-road-is-narrow-st-john-of-the-cross-9-july-2018

“Live in the world,
as if only God and your soul were in it,
then your heart will never be made captive,
by any earthly thing.” live in the world - st john of the cross 14dec2018

“O you souls who wish to go on
with so much safety and consolation,
if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering
and how much it helps in acquiring other good things,
you would never seek consolation in anything;
but you would rather look upon it,
as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.”o-you-souls-st-john-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017

It is a matter of real sorrow when God has given us strength to break stronger fetters, those of vanity and sin, that we neglect our own progress and the attainment of such great blessings, because we will not detach ourselves from trifles. 
Not only do we not advance, we fall back. 
For it is well known, that on the spiritual road, not to go on overcoming self, is to go backwards and not to increase our gain, is to lose.
As wood can never be transformed into fire, if one necessary degree of heat is missing, so the soul, that has even one imperfection, can never be perfectly transformed in

“Happiness is not a destination,
it’s a method of travel.”

Happiness is not a destination st john of the cross 14dec2018

“We must dig deeply in Christ.
He is like a rich mine
with many pockets containing treasures –
however deep we dig,
we will never find their end or their limit.
Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches
are discovered on all sides.”we must dig deeply in christ - st john of the cross 14 dec 2018

“At the end of your life,
you will be judged by your love.”at-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017

“Now that I no longer desire all,
I have it all, without desire.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchnow that i no longer st john of the cross 14dec2018

Posted in CARMELITES, CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – O King of Gentleness

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

O King of Gentleness
By St John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.o king of gentleness - st john of the cross - 14dec2018

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591)

Saint of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591)

John is a saint because his life was a heroic effort to live up to his name:  “of the Cross.” The folly of the cross came to full realisation in time.   “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b) is the story of John’s life. The Paschal Mystery—through death to life—strongly marks John as reformer, mystic-poet and theologian-priest.header - st john of the cross - maxresdefault

Ordained a Carmelite priest in 1567 at age 25, John met Teresa of Avila and like her, vowed himself to the primitive Rule of the Carmelites.   As partner with Teresa and in his own right, John engaged in the work of reform and came to experience the price of reform – increasing opposition, misunderstanding, persecution, imprisonment.   He came to know the cross acutely—to experience the dying of Jesus—as he sat month after month in his dark, damp, narrow cell with only his God.john-of-the-cross-painted-by-thereses-sister-pauline-sr-agnes

Yet, the paradox!   In this dying of imprisonment John came to life, uttering poetry.   In the darkness of the dungeon, John’s spirit came into the Light.   There are many mystics, many poets – John is unique as mystic-poet, expressing in his prison-cross the ecstasy of mystical union with God in the Spiritual Canticle.John-of-the-Cross-Icon1

But as agony leads to ecstasy, so John had his Ascent to Mount Carmel, as he named it in his prose masterpiece.   As man-Christian-Carmelite, he experienced in himself this purifying ascent;  as spiritual director, he sensed it in others; as psychologist-theologian, he described and analysed it in his prose writings.   His prose works are outstanding in underscoring the cost of discipleship, the path of union with God – rigorous discipline, abandonment, purification.   Uniquely and strongly John underlines the gospel paradox: the cross leads to resurrection, agony to ecstasy, darkness to light, abandonment to possession, denial to self to union with God.   If you want to save your life, you must lose it.   John is truly “of the Cross.”   He died at 49—a life short, but john of the cross snip

Full Biography here:

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 December – St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974)

Saint of the Day – 11 December – St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974) Carmelite Religious, Prioress, Contemplative, Apostle of Charity, founder of several houses for her order and even set one up in India after serving a brief exile with fellow religious due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War – born María de las Maravillas Pidal Chico de Guzmán on 4 November 1891 in Madrid, Spain and died on 11 December 1974 in La Aldehuela monastery, Madrid province, Spain of natural causes, where her remains now lie.HEADER M.-Maravillas-y-el-Cerro.jpg

María de las Maravillas was born in Madrid, Spain, the fourth child of Luis, the second Marquis of Pidal and Cristina.   At the time her father was the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See and she grew up in a devout Catholic family.

María made a vow of chastity at the age of five and devoted herself to charitable work. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she felt called to become a Discalced Carmelite.

Her father, whom she had faithfully assisted when he became ill, died in 1913 and her mother was reluctant to accept her daughter’s decision to enter the Carmelite monastery. However, on 12 October 1919, María did enter the Discalced Carmelites in Madrid and made her simple vows on 7 May 1921.mariamaravillasofjesus

Before her final profession on 30 May 1924, Sr María had already received a special call from God to found the Carmel of Cerro de los Ángeles and the foundation was inaugurated in 1926 with three other Carmelites.   This was the first of many Teresian Carmelite Monasteries that she would establish, according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites.   María was not being called to found a new order or to “branch off” from the Discalced Carmelites – she herself was very careful in pointing this out; she only sought to live deeply and to transmit the spirit and ideals of her holy parents in Carmel, St Teresa and St John.

Her role as prioress would be permanent in the various monasteries she founded throughout her life, notwithstanding the natural aversion and sense of inadequacy she felt in accepting positions of responsibility.   María’s spirit of obedience and love for the Church and for her Carmelite sisters, however, gave her the strength and diligence to carry out this duty with love.madre-maravillas

The Spanish Civil War erupted in July of 1936 and the sisters at Cerro de los Angeles were arrested and lived for fourteen months in a small apartment under house arrest.   Even amid enormous deprivation, Mother Maravillas instilled courage and happiness, always being an admirable example to her daughters.

But she also remained a mystery even to the nuns closest to her, since only her spiritual directors knew the “dark night of the soul” that she lived throughout her life, which kept her in profound spiritual aridity and trials and made total faith and abandonment to the will of God her guide.Maravillas de Jesús.jpg

In the following years, foundations were established in other parts of Spain.   From what I could tell on a time line on the internet, she found 11 new communities and was involved with restoring others damaged by the Civil War.

She distinguished herself by her faithfulness in fulfilling the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites and supported many charitable projects for the poor in Spain. She had a great enthusiasm for the charism of Carmel.   By word and example she led a fervent contemplative life in service to the Mystical Body of Christ.

In order to unite the monasteries she had established and others associated with them, Mother Maravillas obtained approval in 1972 from the Holy See to found the Association of St Teresa.   There are a total of 10 monasteries in the US and Canada that belong to this Association.   The intro about the Assoc. reads, “The St. Teresa Association is a group of monasteries of Discalced Carmelite Nuns formed in 1975 to strengthen one another in living our contemplative vocation in the Church.   Membership is based on spiritual affinity rather than geographical boundaries and we share a common desire to bear witness in these times to the charism and spirit of the Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns founded by St Teresa of Avila in 1562.”Maravillas de Jesús 2

On 8 December 1974, Mother Maravillas was anointed and received Holy Communion. On 11 December surrounded by her community, she died in peace at the age of 84. As she died she kept repeating “What happiness to die a Carmelite!”   A perfume of spice arose from her body.

She was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 10 May 1998 at St Peter’s in Rome and Canonised on 4 May 2003 in Madrid.   Today 11 December is her feast day, the anniversary of her entrance into eternity.682px-Saint_Maravillas_de_Jesús_-_Catedral_de_la_AlmudenaStMaravillasHarissa-500x500


Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 November – St Raphael of St Joseph Kalinowski O.C.D. (1835-1907)

Saint of the Day – 19 November – St Raphael of St Joseph Kalinowski O.C.D. (1835-1907) – Carmelite Friar and Priest, Teacher, Engineer, Prisoner of war, Royal tutor, Spiritual Director, founder of many Carmelite monasteries in Poland.   St Raphael was born on 1 September 1835 at Vilna, Russian Poland (modern Vilnius, Lithuania) as Joseph Kalinowski and died on 15 November 1907 at Wadowice, Malopolskie, Poland of natural causes.St.-Raphael-of-St.-Joseph

Father Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski, was born at Vilna and at baptism received the name Joseph.   Under the teaching of his father Andrew, at the Institute for Nobles at Vilna, he progressed so well that he received the maximum distinction in his studies.   He then went for two years (1851-1852) to the school of Agriculture at Hory-Horky.   During the years 1853-1857, he continued his studies at the Academy of Military Engineering at St Petersburg, obtaining his degree in Engineering and the rank of Lieutenant. Immediately afterwards he was named Lecturer in Mathematics at the same Academy.  In 1859, he took part in the designing of the Kursk-Kiev-Odessa raphael young

In 1863 the Polish insurrection against their Russian oppressors broke out.   He resigned from the Russian forces and accepted the post of Minister of War for the region of Vilna, in the rebel army.   On 24 March 1864, he was arrested and condemned to death, a penalty that was mitigated to 10 years hard labour in Siberia.   With an admirable strength of spirit, patience and love for his fellow exiles, he knew how to instil into them the spirit of prayer, serenity and hope and to give material help, together with a word of encouragement.raphael officer

Repatriated in 1874, he accepted the post of tutor to the Venerable Servant of God, Prince Augusto Czartoryski (1858-1893) (now Blessed- he was Beatified in 2004), living mostly in Paris.   His influence on the young prince was such, that Augusto discovered his true vocation as priest and religious.   He was received into the Salesians by their founder, Saint John Bosco, in 1887.   On the other hand, Joseph Kalinowski entered the Discalced Carmelites at Graz in Austria and received the religious name of Brother Raphael of Saint Joseph.   He studied theology in Hungary and was ordained Priest at Czerna near Krakow, on 15 January 1882.ST Raphael kalinowski

Afire with apostolic zeal, he did not spare himself in helping the faithful and assisting his Carmelite brothers and sisters and many others in the ascent of the mountain of raphael - WadowicePainting

In the sacrament of Reconciliation, he lifted up many from the mire of sin.   He did his utmost for the work of reunification of the Church and bequeathed this mission to his Carmelite brothers and sisters.   His superiors entrusted him with many important offices, which he carried out perfectly, right until the time of his death.St._Raphael_1

Overcome by fatigue and suffering and held in great respect by all the people, he gave his soul to God, on 15 November 1907, at Wadowice in the monastery founded by himself.   He was buried in the monastery cemetery, at Czerna, near Krakow.

During his life and after death, he enjoyed a remarkable fame for sanctity, even on the part of the most noble and illustrious of people, such as the Cardinals Dunajewski, Puzyna, Kakowski and Gotti.   The Ordinary Process for his eventual beatification, was set in motion in the Curia of Krakow during the years 1934-1938 and later taken to Rome where in 1943 was issued the Decree concerning his writings.   His cause was introduced in 1952.   From 1953-1956 the Apostolic Process was carried out and the Congregation proceeded to the discussion on his virtues.

Pope John Paul II, on 11 October 1980, promulgated the Decree on the heroism his virtues.   After the approval of the miraculous healing of the Reverend Mis, the Holy Father Beatified Father Raphael Kalinowski at Krakow on 22 June 1983.

As the fame of his miracles was increasing, the Curia of Krakow in 1989, set in motion the Canonical Process to investigate the extraordinary healing of a young child.   The discussions of the doctors, theologians and cardinals, were brought to a happy conclusion.   On 10 July 1990, the Holy Father St John Paul II, approved the miracle for the Canonisation.ST Raphael kalinowski.2

In the Consistory of 26th November 1990, Pope John Paul together with the Cardinals, decided to Canonise Blessed Raphael Kalinowski.   They set the ceremony for Sunday, 17 November 1991.
St Pope John Paul II, today Canonises him and presents him as a model to all Christians in the universal Church… 17 November 1991.

Note:  Attending the Canonisation rite, were delegations from the Carmelite Order, from Russia, Byelorussa, Ukraine and especially from Poland and Lithuania, with their cardinals and bishops.   And in the places of honour knelt Lech Walesa, president of liberated Poland, and Vytautas Landsbergis, president of the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian Republic.

Proud to do honour to this new saint who was both Pole and Lithuanian and who reached out towards the Eastern Churches as well, they must have responded warmly when the pope cried out:  “Rejoice, O Mother Poland … Rejoice, O Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of all peoples!”

st raphael my edit


Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on the Doctors of the Church
Wednesday, 2 February 2011

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality.   I would like to mention a few essential points.   In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is, evangelical poverty and this concerns all of us;  love for one another as an essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth;  determination as a fruit of Christian daring;  theological hope, which she describes as the thirst for living water.   Then we should not forget the human virtues: affability, truthfulness, modesty, courtesy, cheerfulness, culture.

Secondly, St Teresa proposes a profound harmony with the great biblical figures and eager listening to the word of God.   She feels above all closely in tune with the Bride in the Song of Songs and with the Apostle Paul, as well as with Christ in the Passion and with Jesus in the Eucharist.   The Saint then stresses how essential prayer is.   Praying, she says, “means being on terms of friendship with God frequently conversing in secret with Him who, we know, loves us” (Vida 8, 5).  St Teresa’s idea coincides with Thomas Aquinas’ definition of theological charity as “amicitia quaedam hominis ad Deum”, a type of human friendship with God, who offered humanity His friendship first – it is from God that the initiative comes (cf. Summa Theologiae II-II, 23, 1).

Prayer is life and develops gradually, in pace with the growth of Christian life – it begins with vocal prayer, passes through interiorisation by means of meditation and recollection, until it attains the union of love with Christ and with the Holy Trinity. Obviously, in the development of prayer climbing to the highest steps does not mean abandoning the previous type of prayer.  Rather, it is a gradual deepening of the relationship with God that envelops the whole of life.

Dear brothers and sisters, St Teresa of Jesus is a true teacher of Christian life for the faithful of every time.   In our society, which all too often lacks spiritual values, St Teresa teaches us to be unflagging witnesses of God, of His presence and of His action.   She teaches us truly to feel this thirst for God that exists in the depths of our hearts, this desire to see God, to seek God, to be in conversation with Him and to be His friends.

This is the friendship we all need that we must seek anew, day after day.   May the example of this Saint, profoundly contemplative and effectively active, spur us too every day to dedicate the right time to prayer, to this openness to God, to this journey, in order to seek God, to see Him, to discover His friendship and so to find true life – indeed, many of us should truly say:  “I am not alive, I am not truly alive because I do not live the essence of my life”.

Therefore time devoted to prayer is not time wasted, it is time in which the path of life unfolds, the path unfolds to learning from God an ardent love for Him, for His Church and practical charity for our brothers and sisters.    Many thanks.”

St Teresa, Pray for Us!st-teresa-of-jesus-pray-for-us-215 oct 2017


Quote/s of the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

“You cannot be half a saint;
you must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.”you-cannot-be-half-a-saint-st-therese-lisieux-11-june-2018-seeking-sainthood

“When one loves,
one does not calculate.”when one loves one does not calculate - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

“My vocation is love.
In the heart of the Church, my mother,
I will be love
and then I will be all things.”my vocation is love - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

I am convinced,
that one should tell one’s spiritual director,
if one has a great desire for Communion,
for Our Lord does not
come from Heaven everyday,
to stay in a golden ciborium;
He comes to find another heaven,
the heaven of our soul,
in which He loves to dwell.”our lord does not come from heaven - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

“It is consoling,
that He who must judge us,
dwells in us
to save us always
from all of our miseries
and to pardon us.”it is consoling that he who must judge us - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church