Posted in CARMELITES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 12 May – ‘Why doubt?’

Sunday Reflection – 12 May – The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

The Way of Perfection §34

As for ourselves, let us ask the Eternal Father, that we might merit to receive our heavenly bread in such a way, that the Lord may reveal Himself to the eyes of our soul and make Himself thereby known, since our bodily eyes cannot delight in beholding Him, because He is so hidden.   Such a knowledge is another kind of satisfying and delightful sustenance that maintains life…

I know a person, to whom the Lord had given such living faith, that when she heard some persons saying, they would have liked to have lived at the time Christ our Good walked in the world, she used to laugh to herself.   She wondered what more they wanted, since in the Blessed Sacrament, they had Him just as truly present as He was then… She considered she was at His feet and wept with the Magdalene, no more, nor less, than if she were seeing Him with her bodily eyes in the house of the Pharisee.   And even though she didn’t feel devotion, faith told her that He was indeed there.

If we don’t want to be fools and blind the intellect, there’s no reason for doubt.  Receiving communion is not like picturing with the imagination, as when we reflect upon the cross or in other episodes of the Passion, when we picture within ourselves how things happened to Him in the past.   In communion, the event is happening now and it is entirely true.   There’s no reason to go looking for Him in some other place farther away.   Since we know that Jesus is with us, as long as the natural heat doesn’t consume the accidents of bread, we should approach Him.   Now, then, if, when He went about in the world, the mere touch of His robes cured the sick, why doubt, if we have faith, that miracles will be worked while He is within us and that He will give what we ask of Him, since He is in our house?now then if when he went about in the world - st teresa of avila - 12 may 2019.jpg

“Consequently, every time we approach
the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic liturgy,
we also turn to her who, by her complete fidelity,
received Christ’s sacrifice for the whole Church.
The Synod Fathers rightly declared that
“Mary inaugurates the Church’s participation
in the sacrifice of the Redeemer.”
She is the Immaculata, who receives God’s gift
unconditionally and is thus associated with His work of salvation.
Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church,
is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift
that Jesus makes of Himself in the Eucharist.”

Sacramentum Caritatis 33
Pope Benedict XVIevery-time-we-approach-the-body-and-blood-of-christ-pope-benedict-11-may-2018.jpg

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Posted in CARMELITES, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – “It is I, be not afraid.”

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – Mary’s Month and a Marian Saturday of the Second Week of Easter,Gospel: John 6:16–21 and the Memorial of St José Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929)

“It is I, be not afraid.”…John 6:20john 6 20 - it is I be not afraid 4 may 2019

REFLECTIONSaint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Carmelite, martyr, co-patron of Europe – “At the Helm”

Fierce are the waves, Lord, rough the seas,
And dark, so dark, the night.
I beg of You to grant me, please,
On lonely vigil, light.

Then steer your ship with steady arm,
Trust me and rest your soul.
Your little boat I’ll keep from harm,
I’ll guide it toward its goal.

Be firm of purpose as you keep
The compass e’er in view.
Through stormy night you’ll cross the deep,
’twill help you to steer true.

The needle trembles faintly, then
Holds steady and prevails;
It points your way and guides you when
I, God, direct your sails.

Be therefore steadfast, calm and true,
Your God is at your side.
Through storm and night He’ll see you through
With conscience as your guide.then steer your ship - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 4 may 2019 john 6 20.jpg

PRAYER – Let us praise You Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may all we have and are, be Yours!   May our Mother be with us and pray for us and listen, we pray, to the prayers of St José Maria Rubio as we ask his intercession. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, in union with You, one God for all eternity, amen.st jose maria rubio pray for us 4 may 2019

holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-sinners-4-may-2018

Posted in BAPTISM, CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – “A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window”

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 3:1–8 and the Memorial of St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

“…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”...John 3:6

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.   To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection.   Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation.   A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light.   It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but on the window.   If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray.   Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window.   A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God.   When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchjohn 3 6 that which is born of the spirit - a ray of sunlight - st john of the cross - 29 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life.   Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way.   Grant that by the intercession of St Peter of Verona, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st peter of verona pray for us 29 april 2019

Posted in CARMELITES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 23 April – Marked with His brand

Quote/s of the Day – 23 April – the Memorial of Bl Teresa Maria of the Cross OCD (1846–1910)

Do you know what it means
to be truly spiritual?
It means becoming the slaves of God.
Marked with His brand,
which is that of the Cross,
spiritual persons,
because now, they have given Him,
their liberty,
can be sold by Him,
as slaves of everyone,
as He was.
In acting this way,
He doesn’t do us any harm
but rather He grants us,
a not insignificant grace.do youknow what it means - bl teresa maria of the cross - 23 april 2019.jpg

We have always seen,
that those who were
closest to Christ our Lord,
were those with the greatest trials.
Let us look at what
His glorious Mother suffered
and the glorious apostles.
Take up the Cross of Jesus.
Help your Spouse to carry the burden
that weighs Him down
and pay no attention
to what they may say about you.
If you should happen to stumble
and fall like your Spouse,
do not withdraw from the Cross or abandon it.
No matter how great your trials may be,
you will see, that they are quite small,
in comparison to His.take up the cross - bl teresa maria of the cross 23 april 2019.jpg

If we never look at Him
or reflect on what we owe Him
and the death He suffered for us,
I don’t know how we’ll be able
to know Him or serve Him.
And without these works in His service,
what value will our faith have?
And what value will our works have,
if they are separated,
from the inestimable merits
of Jesus Christ, our Good.
And then, who will bring us
to love this Lord?”

Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross OCD (1846–1910)if we never look at him or reflect - bl teresa maria of the cross 23 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 April – Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross OCD (1846–1910)

Saint of the Day – 23 April – Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross OCD (1846–1910) Religious Nun of the Carmelite Order, Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa, Mystic, Adorer of the Holy Eucharist, Marian devotee, spiritaul advisor, teacher.   Born on 2 March 1846 at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, Italy as Teresa Adelaide Cesina Manetti and died on 3 April 1910 at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, Italy of natural causes.   Patronages – Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa, People ridiculed for their piety, Campi Bisenzio, Italy her birthplace.st teresa maria of the cross Manetti

Teresa Manetti, familiarly called Bettina, was born in the Tuscan countryside and raised among a simple family.    She was the daughter of Salvatore Manetti and Rosa Bigagli, and had one brother, Adamo Raffaello.   She lived her entire life in her small village.

01-Casa-Natale-di-Bettina-223x3001
Birthplace of Blessed Teresa Maria

Bettina had a cheerful, energetic disposition and a talent for organisation and all the qualities which make for a good leader.   At the age of 21, she rented a home with two other women who dedicated themselves to a life of prayer, penance and charity.   They cared for the sick and the poor and taught catechism to children.   They were inspired by the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila and had a special devotion to her.   Many other women joined the small group.   The women were admitted to the Teresian Third Order and Bettina took the new name of Teresa Maria of the Cross.

Two years later, she joined the Discalced Carmelites as a nun.   Over the next few years she started schools in several Italian cities, each with it’s little group of Carmelite teachers.   Her Institute of teaching nuns received approval from Pope Saint Pius X on 27 February 1904 as the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Florence with a mission to teach and care for children, especially orphans.   Like her inspiration, Saint Teresa of Avila, Teresa of the Cross met with much resistance to her work with the poor, much slander about her personal life and a long period of spiritual dryness but all who met her, commented on the air of joy and peace she brought to her work.

Under the wise guidance of Mother Teresa, the new congregation, animated by a true Carmelite spirit, went on expanding.   In realisation of an old prophetic dream, with twelve houses opened in Tuscany, Teresa was able to add two on the Carmelite missions in Syria and one on the slopes Of Carmel, at Haifa.   She gave individual attention to the foundations and to the religious, with the strength of a mother who wished her daughters to be poor and detached from everything, truly tending towards God alone as they served His orphans and little ones.   She herself was the servant of all. Despite her own precarious health, she was forgetful of self as she sought to pour out joy and her smile upon all who approached her.   The witnesses at the process of beatification are unanimous in declaring that everyone who met her was impressed by her trust in God and by her serene abandonment to Providence and felt himself the better person for it.st teresa maria of the cross

And as the years passed, Teresa was more and more besieged by crowds of people, especially on Sundays.   Lines of persons of every class and condition awaited their turn to be heard and consoled by her.  She was able to unite them to the Lord, give counsels of heavenly wisdom, heal ills which resisted the efforts of science, read hearts, see into the future, cut down distances, multiply goods and money.   These are the «little flowers» that are in evidence on every page of the canonical processes, little flowers that, while they reveal charismatic facts, also show her exceptional availability for her neighbours, even at times of greatest pain.   Bishop Andrew Cassullo, who had known her intimately, affirmed in her regard: “She undid herself doing good.”

She lived joyfully, body and soul the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God.   Teresa Maria was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist and her maternal care for children and for the poor.   Her life was motivated by a consuming love for Christ and a desire to save souls.   She endeavoured to live according to God’s holy will and took delight in all the crosses which came through this purpose.   In a prayer she wrote:

“To suffer, to suffer, always suffer.   Do what you want with me, it’s enough that I save souls for you.”bl teresa maria of the cross new.jpg

The source of such a dedication was her life of faith and of theological charity, the great virtues of her life which nourished her Eucharistic fervour and gave her the strength to live out her religious name, of the Cross, in its deepest significance.   She lived on prayer and she had the gift of a continual communion with the Lord, so that, as one witness recalls in regard to a personal affirmation of the servant of God, “for her it was the same to be enclosed in a convent or to deal with people, because everywhere she felt herself united to God.”   This habitual union found its nourishment in Eucharistic piety.   She had great devotion for the Eucharist even as a child.   During the institute’s first years she went into ecstasy almost every day after Communion, later, too, in the Eucharistic presence she felt something that drew her out of herself.

One of her great hopes was a house entirely dedicated to the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist.   She was able to realise this in Florence, where on 11 January 1902, in the church of Corpus Domini, which she had built, the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly exposed.   It was in contact with Christ that her apostolic desires increased, hence she exclaimed:  “I should like to make all hearts into one and plunge it into the heart of Jesus.”   Moreover, the love of Jesus bound her more intimately to Our Lady, whose tenderness and care for Jesus she herself wished to have.   Happy to be a Carmelite, she saw in her Carmelite vocation a commitment to belong to Our Lady more deeply and to spread devotion to her.

She died at Campi Bisenzio on 23 April 1910 and was beatified on October 1986 by St Pope John Paul II after the approval of the required miracle.4_23_Blessed-Teresa-Mary-Manetti

Posted in CARMELITES, GOD the FATHER, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 12 April – The “Flower of the Andes”

Thought for the Day – 12 April – Friday of the Fifth Week, Year C and the Memorial of Saint Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” OCD (1900-1920)

One needn’t live a long life to leave a deep imprint.   Teresa of Los Andes is proof of that.

As a young girl growing up in the early 1900’s in Santiago, Chile, Juana Fernandez read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Thérèse, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow.   She became a Carmelite nun, taking the name of Teresa.

The convent offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely devoted to God  . She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am God’s,” she wrote in her diary.    “He created me and is my beginning and my end.”

Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people.   At age 20, she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows.   She died a short time later, during Holy Week.

Known as the “Flower of the Andes,” Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year.   Canonised in 1993 by St Pope John Paul II, she is Chile’s first saint.

The special graces given Saint Teresa reflect the mysterious wisdom of God at work in individuals whether young or old.   It appears, God has His own logic when it comes to who gets what in the realm of grace.   All we can say is, “Praised be the Lord.”

St Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” Pray for Us!i am god's - st teresa de los andes pay for us 12 april 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 April – Saint Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” OCD (1900-1920)

Saint of the Day – 12 April – Saint Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” OCD (1900-1920) aged 19 – Virgin, Carmelite Nun, Mystic, apostle of prayer.   Born on 13 July 1900 at Santiago, Chile and died on 12 April 1920 at the Carmelite convent at Los Andes, Chile of typhus. Patronages – Against disease, against illness, Ill people, Young people, Santiago, Los Andes.

The young woman who is today glorified by the Church with the title of Saint, is a prophet of God for the men and women of today  . By the example of her life, TERESA OF JESUS OF LOS ANDES shows us Christ’s Gospel lived down to the last detail.st teresa de los andes 4.jpg

She is irrefutable proof that Christ’s call to be Saints is indeed real, it happens in our time and can be answered.   She is presented to us to demonstrate that the total dedication that following Christ involves, is the one and only thing that is worth this effort and that gives us true happiness.   Teresa of Los Andes with the language of her ardent life, confirms for us, that God exists, that God is love and happiness and that He is our fulfilment.

She was born in Santiago de Chile on 13 July 1900.   At the font she was christened Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar.   Those who knew her closely called her Juanita, the name by which she is widely known today.

She had a normal upbringing surrounded by her family, her parents Miguel Fernandez and Lucia Solar, three brothers and two sisters, her maternal grandfather, uncles, aunts and cousins.   Her family were well-off and were faithful to their Christian faith, living it with faith and constancy.

Juana was educated in the college of the French nuns of the Sacred Heart.   Her brief but intense life unfolded within her family and at college.   When she was fourteen, under God’s inspiration, she decided to consecrate herself to him as a religious in the Discalced Carmelite Nuns.   This desire of hers was realised on 7 May 1919, when she entered the tiny monastery of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, some 90 kilometers from Santiago.   She was clothed with the Carmelite habit on 14 October the same year and began her novitiate with the name of Teresa of Jesus.   She knew a long time before, that she would die young.   Moreover the Lord revealed this to her.   A month before she was to depart this life, she related this to her confessor.   She accepted all this with happiness, serenity and confidence.  She was certain that her mission to make God known and loved would continue in eternity.

After many interior trials and indescribable physical suffering caused by a violent attack of typhus that cut short her life, she passed from this world to her heavenly Father on the evening of 12 April 1920.   She received the last sacraments with the utmost fervour and on 7 April, because of danger of death, she made her religious profession.   She was three months short of her 20th birthday and had yet 6 months to complete her canonical novitiate and to be legally able to make her religious profession.   She died as a Discalced Carmelite novice.santa_teresa_america_latina.jpg

Externally this is all there is to this young girl from Santiago de Chile.   It is all rather disconcerting and a great question arises in us, “What was accomplished?”   The answer to such a question is equally disconcerting: living, believing, loving.

When the disciples asked Jesus what they must do to carry out God’s work, he replied, “This is carrying out God’s work – you must believe in the one he has sent.” (Jn 6, 28-29).   For this reason, in order to recognise the value of Juanita’s life, it is necessary to examine the substance within, where the Kingdom of God is to be found.

She wakened to the life of grace while still quite young.   She affirms that God drew her at the age of six to begin to spare no effort in directing her capacity to love totally towards Him.   “It was shortly after the 1906 earthquake that Jesus began to claim my heart for himself.” (Diary n. 3, p. 26).

Juanita possessed an enormous capacity to love and to be loved joined with an extraordinary intelligence.   God allowed her to experience His presence.   With this knowledge He purified her and made her His own, through what it entails to take up the cross.   Knowing Him, she loved Him and loving Him, she bound herself totally to Him.

Once this child understood, that love demonstrates itself in deeds rather than words, the result was that she expressed her love through every action of her life.   She examined herself sincerely and wisely and understood that in order to belong to God it was necessary to die to herself, in al,l that did not belong to Him.   Her natural inclinations were completely contrary to the demands of the Gospel.   She was proud, self-centred, stubborn, with all the defects that these things suppose, as is the common lot.   But where she differed from the general run, was to carry out continual warfare on every impulse that did not arise from love.

At the age of ten she became a new person.   What lay immediately behind this was the fact that she was going to make her first Communion. st teresa --first-holy-communion-santa-teresa.jpg  Understanding that nobody less that God was going to dwell within her, she set about acquiring all the virtues that would make her less unworthy of this grace.   In the shortest possible time she managed to transform her character completely.   In making her first Communion she received from God the mystical grace of interior locutions, which from then on supported her throughout her fife.   God took over her natural inclinations, transforming them from that day into friendship and a life of prayer.

Four years later she received an interior revelation that shaped the direction of her life.   Jesus told her that she would be a Carmelite and that holiness must be her goal.

With God’s abundant grace and the generosity of a young girl in love, she gave herself over to prayer, to the acquiring of virtue and the practice of a life in accord with the Gospel.   Such were her efforts that in a few short years she reached a high degree of union with God.

Christ was the one and only ideal she had.   She was in love with Him and ready each moment to crucify herself for Him.   A bridal love pervaded her with the result that she desired to unite herself fully to Him who had captivated her.   As a result, at the age of fifteen she made a vow of virginity for 9 days, continually renewing it from then on.St.-TeresaAndes.gif

The holiness of her life shone out in the everyday occurrences, wherever she found herself – at home, in college, with friends, the people she stayed with on holidays.   To all, with apostolic zeal, she spoke of God and gave assistance.   She was young like her friends but they knew she was different.   They took her as a model, seeking her support and advice.   All the pains that are part of living, Juanita felt keenly and the happiness she enjoyed deeply, all in God.   She was cheerful, happy, sympathetic, attractive, communicative and involved in sport.   During her adolescence she reached perfect psychic and spiritual equilibrium.   These were the fruit of her asceticism and prayer. The serenity of her face was a reflection of the divine guest within.   Her life as a nun, from 7 May 1919, was the last rung on the ladder to holiness.   Only eleven months were necessary to bring to an end the process of making her life totally Christ-like.st 19930321_teresa_de_jesus de los andes.jpg

Her community was quick to discover the hand of God in her past life.   The young novice found in the Carmelite way of life the full and efficient channel for spreading the torrent of life that she wanted to give to the Church of Christ.  It was a way of life that, in her own way, she had lived amongst her own and for which she was born.   The Order of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel fulfilled the desires of Juanita.   It was proof to her, that God’s mother, whom she had loved from infancy, had drawn her to be part of it.

She was beatified by St Pope John Paul II in Santiago de Chile on 3 April 1987.   Her remains are venerated in the Sanctuary of Auco-Rinconada of Los Andes by the thousands of pilgrims who seek in her and find guidance, light and a direct way to God.

SAINT TERESA OF JESUS OF LOS ANDES is the first Chilean to be declared a Saint.   She is the first Discalced Carmelite Nun to become a Saint outside the boundaries of Europe and the fourth Saint Teresa in Carmel together with Saints Teresa of Avila, of Florence and of Lisieux….Vatican.va    She was Canonised on 21 March 1993, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by St Pope John Paul II.st teresa de los andes 5.jpg