'The progress of the soul consists

not in thinking much of God

but in loving Him ardently.'

~ St. Teresa of Jesus

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A reading from the book of Esther (Esther 4:17k, 17l-m; 17r-t)

 

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril

which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words:

‘My Lord, our King, the only one,
come to my help, for I am alone
and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family,
that you, Lord, chose
Israel out of all the nations
and our ancestors out of all the people of old times
to be your heritage for ever;
and that you have treated them as you promised.
Remember, Lord; reveal yourself
in the time of our distress.
As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power.
Put persuasive words into my mouth
when I face the lion;
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
As for ourselves, save us by your hand,
and come to my help, for I am alone
and have no one but you, Lord.’

 

From her spiritual writings

 

Ave Crux, spes unica!

‘We greet you, Holy Cross, our only hope!’ The Church puts these words on our lips during the time of the Passion which is dedicated to the contemplation of the bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and Antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to sacrifice your life.

Contemplate the Lord who hangs before you on the wood, because he was obedient even to the death of the Cross. He came into the world not to do his own will but that of the Father. And if you wish to be the spouse of the
Crucified, you must renounce completely your own will and have no other aspiration than to do the will of God.
           
Before you the Redeemer hangs on the Cross stripped and naked, because he chose poverty. Those who would follow him must renounce every earthly possession.

Stand before the Lord who hangs from the Cross with his heart torn open. He poured out the blood of his heart in order to win your heart. In order to follow him in holy chastity, your heart must be free from every earthly aspiration. Jesus Crucified must be the object of your every longing, of your every desire, of your every thought.
            
The world is in flames: the fire can spread even to our house, but above all the flames the Cross stands on high, and it cannot be burnt. The Cross is the way which leads from earth to heaven. Those who embrace it with faith, love and hope are taken up, right into the heart of the Trinity.

The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out? Contemplate the Cross: from the open Heart the blood of the Redeemer pours, blood which can put out even the flames of hell. Through the faithful observance of the vows you make your heart free and open; and then the floods of that divine love will be able to low into it, making it overflow and bear fruit to the furthest reaches of the earth.
           
Through the power of the Cross you can be present wherever there is pain, carried there by your compassionate charity, by that very charity which you draw from the Divine Heart. That charity enables you to spread everywhere the Most Precious Blood in order to ease pain, save and redeem.

The eyes of the Crucified gaze upon you. They question you and appeal to you. Do you wish seriously to renew your alliance with Him? What will your response be? ‘Lord, where shall I go? You alone have the words of life.’ Ave Crux Spes Unica!

 

Prayer:

Lord God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death to the covenant of love
ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

20th July - Feast of St. Elijah

Posted on 20th July, 2017

Scripture presents the prophet Elijah as a man of God, walking continually in God's presence and fiercely defending the worship of the one true God. He stood up for God's rights in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel. Later, on Mount Horeb, he was granted an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits, who instituted a form of monastic life in honour of Our Lady on Mount Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning also to Elijah as their model.

 

The word of the Lord comes to Elijah - 1 Kings 19:4-14

 

The Prophet Elijah          Elijah went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat." He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." He got up, and ate and drank; then he went on the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place, he came to a cave and spent the night there.
          Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
          He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."

 

'Wherever we direct our mental gaze, there we may be said to stand. That is why Elijah said: 'The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand.' He did indeed stand before God, for his heart was intent on God.'

~ Pope Saint Gregory the Great

 

Prayer:

 

Almighty, ever-living God,
your prophet Elijah our Father
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honour due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

 

 

16th July - Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Posted on 16th July, 2017

'Any anxiety, any difficulty, makes me turn at once to the Blessed Virgin; and you could not have a more loving Mother to see you through.'

~ St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

 

The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is the most important celebration of the Carmelite Order. The first chapel built by the earliest hermits on Mt. Carmel was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Order has always considered itself to be under her special maternal protection.

 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

 

'Flos Carmeli', the sequence for the proper Mass of the day, is the oldest and most famous hymn to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel:

 

Latin:

 

Flos Carmeli,

vitis florigera,

splendor caeli,

Virgo puerpera

singularis;

 

Mater mitis,

sed viri nescia,

Carmelitis

esto propitia,

Stella maris.

 

 

English Translation:

 

Flower of Carmel,

Vine blossom laden,

Splendour of heaven,

Child bearing, yet maiden,

None equals thee.

 

Mother so tender,

Whom no man didst know,

On all Carmel’s children

Thy favours bestow.

Star of the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Lady's sanctuary window 

    "The Discalced Carmelite nuns are, by calling, part of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. They belong to a family consecrated in a special way to loving and venerating the Holy Mother of God; and they seek to attain evangelical perfection in union with her.

    Mary’s presence among her daughters and sisters pervades the entire Carmelite vocation. It imparts a special Marian tone to their contemplation, sisterhood, evangelical self-denial, and apostolic spirit."

 

    "St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross ... present Mary as a model of prayer and self-denial in faith’s pilgrimage. She humbly and wisely welcomed the Lord's word and pondered it in her heart. She was wholly responsive to the impulses of the Holy Spirit. She is the valiant woman who follows Christ faithfully and shares in the joys and sorrows of his paschal mystery."

 

    "In Our Lady we contemplate the ideal of the Order lived to perfection. Her example inspires us to follow in her footsteps. She takes the lead among the Lord’s poor and little ones. She best exemplifies contemplative life in the Church.

    Every sister will find in Mary a mother and teacher in the ways of the Spirit who will conform her to Christ and lead her to the heights of holiness.

    Because of their profession, the sisters belong to the Virgin Mary in a special way. They wear her scapular to show that they are members of her Order and are determined to clothe themselves with her virtues."

~ From Our Constitutions, Nos. 53 - 55

 

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

 

In the Carmel of the Magnificat we celebrate this great feast with a day of public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our chapel. The sisters and our friends outside in the chapel join with Our Lady to pray especially for vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our Archdiocese, from after Holy Mass at 9.00 am until Vespers and Benediction at 4.30 pm.

 

 

 

 

Prayer:

 

Lord God,

you willed that the Order of Carmel

should be named in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

Mother of your Son.

Through her prayers, as we honour her today,

bring us to your holy Mountain, Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

'A Carmelite sanctifies herself in order to make all the Church's members holy ... Let's live intimately united with Him, since one who loves tends to be united with the one loved. The fusing of two souls is done through love.'

~ St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes

 

 

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born in Santiago, Chile, on July 13th, 1900. From her adolescence, she was devoted to Christ. She entered the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7th, 1919 where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12th of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 3rd, 1987 in Santiago, Chile, canonised on March 21st, 1993 in St. Peter’s Basilica and proposed as a model for young people. She was the first Chilean and first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonised.

 

 

From the spiritual writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus

(Diario y Cartas, Los Andes, 1983: 373, 359, 376)

 

Jesus alone is beautiful; he is my only joy. I call for him, I cry after him, I search for him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where he can find his rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that he may live in me.

 

Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing can be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offences of his creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse and which, drawing him out of the abyss of his greatness, binds him closely to his creatures. Beauty which enraptures … What can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?

 

Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in him. His passionate love made him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God we would not be afraid to draw near him. This passionate love made him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into his infinite being. This passionate love made him give his life by dying on the Cross.

 

Are you perhaps afraid to draw near him? Look at him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, he presses them to his heart. Look at him in the midst of his faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on his shoulders. Look at him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what he says to the Magdalene: ‘Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.’ What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the Heart of a God?

 

He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.

 

'Perfection of life consists in drawing close to God'

~ St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes

 

St. Teresa of Jesus of the AndesPrayer:

 

God of mercy, joy of the saints

you set the young heart of Saint Teresa

ablaze with the fire of virginal love

for Christ and for his Church;

and even in suffering made her a cheerful witness to charity.

Through her intercession,

fill us with the delights of your Spirit,

so that we may proclaim by word and deed

the joyful message of your love to the world.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the garden

 

“How precious and wonderful is this banquet,

which brings us salvation and is full of all delight!”

~ St Thomas Aquinas

 

 

Corpus Christi is the great feast of Jesus’ presence among us. In the year of faith (2013) we wanted to give it special importance. We thus celebrated it with a day of Eucharistic adoration, inviting as many of our friends as possible to join us. At the end of the day, as an expression of our joy, we had a Blessed Sacrament procession around our grounds and then Benediction at an outdoor altar. In this way, we were united in spirit with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, who was at that time carrying the Blessed Sacrament in procession through the streets of Rome.

 

 

Every day in Carmel, we spend two hours of silent prayer sitting or kneeling before the tabernacle, absorbing the power of Christ's love, in order to pour it out upon the world through intercessory prayer. In this way, we become channels of God’s love and mercy. Friendship with Jesus is the ‘inner spring’ that nourishes the life of a Carmelite. In the man Jesus, we see the face of God made present. We become more fully human through devotion to Him. He is our companion, our way to the Father.

The community singing the 'Ave Verum' during Benediction

“Whoever lives in the presence of so good a friend ... can endure all things. The Lord helps us, strengthens us, and never fails; He is a true friend.”

~ St. Teresa of Avila (Life:22,6)

Incensing of the Blessed Sacrament

 

Prayer:

 

O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament

have left us a memorial of your Passion,

grant us, we pray,

so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood

that we may always experience in ourselves

the fruits of your redemption.

Who live and reign with God the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

St. Joseph's altar during his novenaEvery year we make a novena of prayers to St. Joseph. A novena is a period of nine days during which we meet to honour St. Joseph each day. Our Foundress, St. Teresa of Avila had a strong devotion to this saint. He was appointed by God to be the protector and guardian of Jesus and Mary, his family. He has been named Patron of the Universal Church and is also the Patron of our Order, the Discalced Carmelites.

 

St. Teresa of Avila

“I took for my Advocate and Lord the glorious St. Joseph”, wrote St. Teresa, “and earnestly recommended myself to him. I saw clearly that he came to my rescue in my need in better ways than I knew how to ask for. I don't recall up to this day ever having petitioned him for anything that he failed to grant.”

 

Speaking of her work in founding Monasteries she said, “One day after Communion, His Majesty earnestly commanded me to strive for this new Monastery with all my powers. He said it should be called St. Joseph's and that this saint would keep watch over us at one door and Our Lady at the other, that Christ would remain with us and that it would be a star shining with great splendour.”

1st March - Ash Wednesday

Posted on 1st March, 2017

The Sisters receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday

LENT - A TIME FOR NEW BEGINNINGS:

 

THE SPRINGTIME OF THE CHURCH

 

The Carmelites enter deeply into all the seasons of the Church's liturgy.To receive ashes at the beginning of Lent is a reminder that we will one day return to dust and therefore life is precious and we want to live it in the best way possible. Lent is a time when we remind ourselves of our beliefs and ideals and, being only too aware of how we have failed, we resolve to press forward again with stronger determination. It is a time of optimism and joy.

 

We have three aims in Lent. They are the traditional ones of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Prayer is the first duty of a Carmelite and, during Lent, we renew our commitment to living in God's presence in praise and intercession for today's world. Fasting means being content with simple fare, knowing that many poor people suffer hunger and want. Almsgiving can take many forms, loving and helping others in any way we can. A friendly smile, spending time with someone in need or sacrificing something which we enjoy for someone else are all ways of loving our neighbour.

 

Pope Benedict left us some reflections on Lent in one of his last talks before he retired. He said, 'Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry and where he was tempted by the devil. The wilderness to which Jesus withdrew is the place of silence and poverty, where man is deprived of material support and faces fundamental questions. He is driven to the essential and for this very reason can more easily encounter God.'  This is also true of the Carmelite who, in her place of withdrawal, is free from many of the distractions of daily life and, if she is faithful, can become more deeply aware of life's essential meaning.

 

'Repent is an invitation that we often hear in Lent', says Pope Benedict. 'It means following Jesus in such a way that his Gospel is a practical guide for life; it means letting God transform us, in order to stop thinking that we are the only ones to build our existence; it means recognising that we are creatures, that we depend on God, on his love, and that only by "losing" our life in him can we gain it.'

 

'Think nothing else but that God ordains all,

and where there is no love, put love,

and you will draw out love.'

St. John of the Cross

 

 

John de Yepes was born in 1542 at Fontiveros (Spain) and entered the Carmelite Order in 1563. In 1568 he became, at St. Teresa’s suggestion, one of the first two Friars of the Discalced reform, taking the name of John of the Cross. He was a heroic defender of the reform for the rest of his life. He died at Ubeda in 1591, and from that time he has enjoyed great esteem for sanctity and for the spiritual wisdom to which his writings testify.

 

 

'Enter within yourself and work in the presence of your Bridegroom, who is ever present loving you.'

 

 

 

A reading from The Spiritual Canticle (Redaction 2, st. 5) by St. John of the Cross

Traces of the divine beauty in creation

 

The answer created things give to the soul (which interrogates them by reflecting on them) is, as St. Augustine declares, the testimony that they in themselves give the soul of God’s grandeur and excellence. God created all things with remarkable ease and brevity, and in them he left some trace of who he is, not only in giving all things being from nothing, but even by endowing them with innumerable graces and qualities, making them beautiful in a wonderful order and unfailing dependence on one another. All of this he did through his own Wisdom, the Word, his only begotten Son by whom he created them.

 

Saint Paul says, ‘The Son of God is the splendour of his glory and the countenance of his substance.’ It should be known that only with this countenance, his Son, did God look at all things, that is, he communicated to them their natural being and many natural graces and gifts, and made them complete and perfect, as is said in Genesis: ‘God looked at all things that he made, and they were very good.’ To look and behold that they were very good was to make them very good in the Word, his Son.

 

Not only by looking at them did he communicate natural being and graces, as we said, but also with this countenance of this Son alone, he clothed them in beauty by imparting to them supernatural being. This he did when he became man and elevated human nature into the beauty of God and consequently all creatures, since in human nature he was united with them all.

 

Accordingly, the Son of God proclaimed: ‘If I be lifted up from the earth, I will elevate all things to me.’ And in this elevation of all things through the incarnation of his Son and through the glory of his resurrection according to the flesh, the Father did not merely beautify creatures partially, but rather can we say, clothed them wholly in beauty and dignity.

 

 

Christ of St. John of the Cross

 

 

Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love

 

Lord God, my Beloved, if you still remember my sins in such a way that you do not do what I beg of you, do your will concerning them, my God, which is what I most desire, and exercise your goodness and mercy, and you will be known through them. And if you are waiting for my good works so as to hear my prayer through their means, grant them to me, and work them for me, and the sufferings you desire to accept, and let it be done. But if you are not waiting for my works, what is it that makes you wait, my most clement Lord? Why do you delay? For if, after all, I am to receive the grace and mercy that I entreat of you in your Son, take my mite, since you desire it, and grant me this blessing, since you also desire that.

 

Who can free themselves from lowly manners and limitations if you do not lift them to yourself, my God, in purity of love? How will human beings begotten and nurtured in lowliness rise up to you, Lord, if you do not raise them with your hand that made them?

 

You will not take from me, my God, what you once gave me in your only Son, Jesus Christ, in whom you gave me all I desire. Hence I rejoice that if I wait for you, you will not delay.

 

With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart?

 

Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.

 

 

St. John of the Cross

 

'What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.'

 

 

Prayer:

 

Lord,

you endowed our Father St. John of the Cross

with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.

By following his example

may we come to the eternal vision of your glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

  

 

 

'When evening comes, you will be examined in love.'

 

Gospel for the day: Luke 23:35-43

 

"The people stayed there before the cross watching Jesus. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. 'He saved others,' they said, 'let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.' The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer him vinegar they said, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.' Above him there was an inscription: 'This is the King of the Jews.'

 

One of the criminals hanging there abused him. 'Are you not the Christ?' he said. 'Save yourself and us as well.' But the other spoke up and rebuked him. 'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said. 'You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,' he said, 'remember me when you come into your kingdom.' 'Indeed, I promise you,' he replied, 'today you will be with me in paradise.'"

 

Misericordes sicut Pater!            

 

 

Merciful like the Father - Motto and Logo for the Jubilee of MercyPrayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee

 

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,

and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.

Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;

the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;

made Peter weep after his betrayal,

and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.

Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:

“If you knew the gift of God!”

 

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,

of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.

You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness

in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:

let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

 

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing,

so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,

and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,

and restore sight to the blind.  

 

We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy;

you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

Amen.

15th November - All Carmelite Souls

Posted on 15th November, 2016

Just as the love of Christ and the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought us together in a single family, fraternal charity unites those of us still striving to lead a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ in this world, and those already awaiting the vision of God in Purgatory. Today the whole Order commends our departed brothers and sisters to God’s mercy through the intercession of Our Lady, sure sign of hope and consolation, and begs for their admission to the courts of heaven.

 

'God, who raised Jesus from the dead, will give new life to our mortal bodies through his Spirit living in us.'

~ Rom 8:11

 

A Reading from the Treatise on Purgatory of St. Catherine of Genoa

 

I see that as far as God is concerned, Paradise has no gates, but he who will, may enter. For God is all mercy, and His open arms are ever extended to receive us into His glory. But I see that the divine essence is so pure – purer than the imagination can conceive – that the soul, finding in itself the slightest imperfection, would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than appear, so stained, in the presence of the divine Majesty. Knowing then, that purgatory was intended for her cleansing, she throws herself therein, and finds there that great mercy, the removal of her stains.

 

I behold such great conformity between God and the soul, that when He finds her pure, as when His divine Majesty first created her, He gives her an attractive force of ardent love which would annihilate her if she were not immortal. He so transforms her into Himself that, forgetting all, she no longer sees aught but Him; and He continues to draw her toward Him, inflames her with love, and never leaves her until He has brought her to that state from whence she first came forth, that I, to the perfect purity in which she was created.

 

When the soul beholds within herself the amorous flame by which she is drawn towards her sweet Master and her God, the burning heat of love overpowers her and she melts. Then in that divine light she sees how God, by His great care and constant providence, never ceases to attract her to her last perfection, and that He does so through pure love alone. She sees, too, that she herself, clogged by sin, cannot follow that attraction toward God, that is, that reconciling glance which He casts upon her that He may draw her to Himself. Moreover, a comprehension of that great misery, which it is to be hindered from gazing upon the light of God, is added to the instinctive desire of the soul to be wholly free to yield herself to that unifying flame. I repeat, it is the view of all these things which causes the pain of the suffering souls in purgatory, not that they esteem their pains as great (cruel though they be), but they count as far worse that opposition which they find in themselves to the will of that God whom they behold burning for them with so pure and ardent a love.

 

This Love, with its unifying regard, is ever drawing these souls as if It had no other thing to do; and when the soul beholds this, if she could find a more painful purgatory in which she could be more quickly cleansed, she would plunge at once therein, impelled by the burning mutual love between herself and God.

 

'We are waiting for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; he will transfigure our lowly bodies into copies of his own glorious body.'

~ Phil 3:20-21

Prayer:

 

Lord,

you are the glory of those who serve you.

Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters,

united in following Christ and his Mother

by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel.

In your mercy

grant them everlasting sight of you,

their Creator and Redeemer.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.