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Today begins the Order’s celebration of the 5th Centenary of St.Teresa’s birth. Read Pope Francis’ message to the Bishop of Avila on St. Teresa’s Feast here.

In his message he stresses that our journey in the Footsteps of St. Teresa should be a path of joy, prayer, fraternity and time.

Praying for Priests

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The mission of the priest is to mediate between God and man. This mission is two-fold for he offers Christ to the Trinity when he offers the host during the consecration, and then at communion he distributes to the faithful the Bread of Life giving Christ to the world.

For this divine task Christ-like souls are needed, which is why Carmelites pray for priests. The whole Church should help priests to acquire this Christ-like soul, but contemplatives in particular come to their aide.This apostolic element of the Teresian charism is found in The Way of Perfection where St. Teresa of Jesus exhorts her nuns to:

“strive to be the kind of persons whose prayers can be useful in helping those servants of God who through much toil have strengthened themselves with learning and a good life and have labored so as now to help the Lord.” (Way of Perfection 3:2)

This apostolate of those who dwell in cloisters is to silently immolate their lives in purity, simplicity and crucified.

Since the priest is another Christ and is to communicate Christ to the world, he needs an interior life even though he may be busy. However, he can only do that in the measure in which he possess Jesus himself. Therefore, contemplatives need to pray for priests asking God to help them to remain ever at the fountain of living water so that He can overflow on those around him without ever becoming empty himself.

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While the priest carries Christ to souls in word and sacrament, contemplatives then stay close to the feet of Christ in silent adoration, like Mary beside the cross, asking Him to render the priest’s words fruitful in souls. The contemplative does this to help priests and for the redemption of souls.

 

 

 

“I beg you to strive to be such that we might merit from God two things: First, that among the numerous learned men and religious there be many who will meet these requirements I mentioned that are necessary for this battle, and that the Lord may prepare those who do not meet them; one who is perfect will do much more than many who are not. Second, that after being placed in this combat, which as I say, is not easy, they may receive protection from the Lord so as to remain free of the many perils there are in the world, and stop their ears in order not to hear the siren’s song on these dangerous sea. If we can obtain some answers from God to these requests , we shall be fighting for Him even though we are very cloistered.” (Way of Perfection 3:5)

rosary

From “Divine Intimacy” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

For the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary

October Seventh

Presence of God – O most holy Virgin, may the Rosary be my spiritual armor and my school of virtue.

Meditation

1. Today’s Feast is a manifestation of gratitude for the great victories won by the Christian people through the power of Mary’s

Rosary; it is also the most beautiful and authoritative testimony of the value of this prayer. The liturgy of the day is not only a

commentary on the Rosary, but an amplification of it : the three hymns of the Office as well as the antiphons of Matins and

Lauds, review its different mysteries; the lessons chant its glories, and the continual references to the Virgin, who “blossomed as

it were, among the flowers, surrounded by roses and lilies of the valley,” are a clear allusion to the mystical crowns of roses

which Mary’s devoted children weave at her feet when they recite the Rosary. This Feast tells us that to honor the Rosary is to

honor Mary, for the Rosary is simply a meditation on Our Lady’s life, accompanied by the devout recitation of the Hail Mary. It is

for this reason that the Church praises this practice and recommends it so insistently to the faithful. “O God,” she prays in today’s

Collect, “grant that meditating on the mysteries of the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what

they contain and obtain what they promise.” The Rosary, if recited well, is both prayer and instruction; its mysteries tell us that in

Mary’s life everything is judged in relation to God ; her sorrows are, so to speak, the very sorrows of God, who being made man,

willed to suffer for the sins of mankind. Mary’s only joy is Jesus : to be His Mother, to clasp Him in her arms, to offer Him for the

adoration of the world, to contemplate Him in the glory of His Resurrection, to be united to Him in Heaven. Mary’s unique sorrow

is the Passion of Jesus : to see Him betrayed, scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified by our sins. This, then, is the first fruit

which we must gather from the recitation of the Rosary : to judge all the events of our life according to their relation to God, to

rejoice in what gives Him pleasure, in what unites us to Him, to suffer for sin which separates us from Him and is the cause of the

Passion and death of Jesus.

2. The second fruit that we should derive from the daily recitation of the Rosary is a penetration into Christ’s mysteries; by Mary

and with Mary, who opens the door to them for us, the Rosary helps us penetrate the ineffable grandeurs of the Incarnation,

Passion, and glory of Jesus. Who is there who has understood and lived these mysteries as Our Lady did? And who better than

she can make us understand them? If, during the recitation of the Rosary, we really know how to put ourselves in spiritual contact

with Mary and to accompany her in the various stages of her life, we shall be able to perceive something of the sentiments of

her heart concerning these great mysteries which she witnessed, and in which she played such an important part; this, in turn,

will serve wonderfully to nourish our souls. Thus, our Rosary will be transformed into a quarter of an hour’s meditation–we might

almost say contemplation–under Mary’s guidance. This is what Mary desires, rather than many Rosaries recited with the lips,

while the mind wanders in a thousand directions! The Hail Mary, continuously repeated, should express the attitude of a soul who

is striving to approach the Blessed Virgin, hastening toward her in order to be captivated by her and given insight into the divine

mysteries. “Ave Maria!” the lips say, and heart murmurs : “Teach me, O Mary, to know and love Jesus as you knew and loved

Him.” Saying the Rosary in this way requires recollection. St. Teresa of Jesus says that “before beginning to recite the Rosary, let

the soul think of whom it is going to address, and who it is that is speaking, that it may speak to Him with due respect” (cf. Way,

22). The Saint, with her keen wit, laughs at those people “who are so fond of repeating a large number of vocal prayers in a great

hurry, as though they were anxious to finish their task of repeating them daily” (ibid., 31). Rosaries recited in this way cannot

really nourish our interior life; they will bring little fruit to the soul and little glory to Mary. On the other hand, if recited with a

real spirit of devotion, the Rosary becomes an effective means of cultivating devotion to Mary and of bringing us into intimacy

with Our Lady and her Divine Son.

My Song For Today

My Song of Today
Text based on the original poem
‘Mon Chant d’Aujourd’hui by St Therese of Lisieux adapted from the translation by C L Emery

 

Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux.

My Song for Today

My life is but an instant, a passing hour.
My life is but a day that escapes and flies away.
O my God ! You know that to love you on earth
I only have today !…

Oh, I love you, Jesus ! My soul yearns for you.
For just one day remain my sweet support.
Come reign in my heart, give me your smile
Just for today !

Lord, what does it matter if the future is gloomy ?
To pray for tomorrow, oh no, I cannot !…
Keep my heart pure, cover me with your shadow
Just for today.

If I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness.
I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.
But I’m willing, my God, to accept trial and suffering
Just for today.

O Divine Pilot ! whose hand guides me,
I’m soon to see you on the eternal shore.
Guide my little boat over the stormy waves in peace
Just for today.

Ah ! Lord, let me hide in your Face.
There I’ll no longer hear the word’s vain noise.
Give me your love, keep me in your grace
Just for today.

Near your divine Heart, I forget all passing things.
I no longer dread the fears of the night.
Ah ! Jesus, give me a place in your Heart
Just for today.

Living Bread, Bread of Heaven, divine Eucharist,
O sacred Mystery ! that Love has brought forth…
Come live in my heart, Jesus, my white Host,
Just for today.

Deign to unite me to you, Holy and sacred Vine,
And my weak branch will give you its fruit,
And I’ll be able to offer you a cluster of golden grapes
Lord, from today on.

I’ve just this fleeting day to form
This cluster of love, whose seeds are souls.
Ah ! give me, Jesus, the fire of an Apostle
Just for today.

O Immaculate Virgin ! You are my Sweet Star
Giving Jesus to me and uniting me to Him.
O Mother ! Let me rest under your veil
Just for today.

My Holy Guardian Angel, cover me with your wing.
With your fire light the road that I’m taking.
Come direct my steps… help me, I call upon you
Just for today.

Lord, I want to see you without veils, without clouds,
But still exiled, far from you, I languish ?
May your lovable face not be hidden from me
Just for today.

Soon I’ll fly away to speak your praises
When the day without sunset will dawn on my soul.
Then I’ll sing on the Angels’lyre
The Eternal Today !…

The Divine Office

Nancy over at The Cloistered Heart has a lovely post on the Divine Office. Read about it here.

Originally posted on Wonder and Beauty:

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Magdalen Reading (fragment of an altarpiece)

Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish painter, 1400-1464) Magdalen Reading (fragment of an altarpiece)

“There are layers of silence,  Van der Weyden’s Magdalen is deeply silent, but she is reading.  Her mind is active, and willed into activity.  This, then, is a mitigated silence, since we are only receptive to the thoughts of what we are reading.  The Magdalen is obviously reading the scriptures, and meditating on what she reads, but her silence can only be between passages of reading and will be concerned with those passages.  If we do not read with intervals of silent reflection, we will understand only part of what we read.  This is a fractured silence, good but imperfect.  We all need to read, to keep our spirit alert, to have an inner texture, as it were, that can respond to the absolutes of pure soundlessness, but this chosen, meditative layer, is the least significant.”  (Sr…

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