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Archive for the ‘Our Lady of Mount Carmel’ Category

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a little habit. It is the Blessed Mother’s habit. The Brown Scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother and queen. It is a symbol of her protection given to the Carmelite Order which includes all its members and associates. Anyone who wears the scapular and practices the spirituality of the Carmelite Order has an affiliation to the Carmelite family and shares in the graces traditionally associated with the Brown Scapular.

Wearing the scapular indicates that the wearer, devoted to Mary, will follow Mary by living a deep interior life. The Blessed Mother is our model for the contemplative life. She is the ideal of this life consecrated to seeking God and toward an intimate union with Him. Everyone who wishes to imitate Mary will soon realize that her soul was a beautiful garden of virtues. Silence and peace reigned in her soul even amidst the turmoil of the world around her. We too must strive for this interior peace and silence.

Silence and peace in the soul comes when the noise of our passions and attachments have ceased within us. This comes with a habit. St. Teresa of Jesus exhorts us in this truth when she wrote, “Remember the importance of habit and of starting to realize what a serious thing it is to offend God.”  She reminds us that God is within our soul, and we should take great care in avoiding all occasions of sin and anything else that might keep us from growing closer to Him.  Even with this determination we can fail from time to time due to weakness and not having confidence in God. However we should remember “the Lord will help us and the habits we have formed will be of assistance to us so that we shall not offend him; we shall be able to walk in holy freedom.” (Way of Perfection, ch 41)

Detachment and control of the passions can help our soul to be like Mary’s – silent and solitary- and filled with the presence of God.


“O, Mary, Beauty of Carmel, make me worthy of your protection, clothe me with your scapular, and be the teacher of my interior life.” (Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD)

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This short video-clip was filmed in Alhambra and San Jose/San Francisco, California during the visit of the walking staff of St. Teresa.  This video was filmed by the people traveling with the walking staff that is making its way around the world.  The presentation in this video of Carmelite spirituality is very good. The whole Carmelite Order is celebrating the 500th Centenary of St. Teresa’s birth this year.

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St. Teresa experienced numerous obstacles in setting up the monastery of St. Joseph’s. Additionally the nuns were treated unfairly before taking the habit. Before entering the new foundation, St. Teresa experienced a vision of Christ while she was at prayer. In this vision she saw Jesus placing a crown on her head and heard Him thanking her for all that she had done for His Mother.

Then at another time while all were at prayer in choir after compline she wrote: “I saw our Lady in the greatest glory clothed in a white mantle; it seemed she was sheltering us all under it. I understood how high a degree of glory the Lord would give to those living in this house.” (The Book of Her Life, 36:24)

A mantle is a large sleeveless cloak worn over clothes. It is usually used to cover or surround something else. Symbolically a mantle represents preeminence or authority.

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In this life there will always be opposition in our path as we strive to live a holy and good life. This image of being sheltered under Our Lady’s Mantle is a comforting one. I like to use this image in my own prayer asking the Blessed Mother to place me, and all of my family, under “her mantle” knowing that she will protect and guide me until I enter into eternal glory.

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July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is the principle feast for all who wear the Brown Scapular. The Brown Scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother and queen. It is a symbol of her protection to the Carmelite Order which includes all its members and associates. Anyone who wears the scapular and practices the spirituality of the Carmelite Order has an affiliation to the Carmelite family and shares in the graces traditionally associated with the Brown Scapular.

Some basics of Carmelite spirituality would be:
-frequent participation in Mass and receiving Holy Communion
-reading and meditation on Sacred Scripture
-praying the Liturgy of the Hours, or part of them
-devotion and imitation of Mary the woman of faith who hears the Word of God and puts it intopractice
-practicing virtue, particularly charity, chastity (according to one’s state of life) and obedience to God’s will

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New Page added with information on Secular Discalced Carmelites here.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel is always depicted in art holding the Infant Jesus. All statues and holy cards of Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel show Jesus in her arms. Since we as Carmelites are Mary’s children, devotion to the child Jesus shows a special mark of love for her firstborn Son.

St. Therese of Lisieux was devoted to the Child Jesus. Her “little way” was a way of childlike abandonment to God’s will. She wished to be the plaything of the Divine Child. As his plaything he could do with her as He pleased.

St. Teresa of Jesus once encountered the presence of a little boy. He spoke to her asking her, “What is your name?” She responded, “ I am called Teresa of Jesus. And what is your name?” The child smiled and answered, “I am Jesus of Teresa.”

This child is a model on which to mold our lives. We can imitate this child in our everyday life, and we can practice the virtues of the Child Jesus.

Some of the things we can learn from this child is to be little and to believe without doubting. We could obey without reluctance in imitation of the Child Jesus when found in the temple by St. Joseph and his mother. We could, also, in our needs and wants be so without murmuring. We could work without presumption and strive to live our lives in humility and simplicity. Finally, in imitation, we can try to please God in everything.

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July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is the principle feast for all who wear the Brown Scapular. The Brown Scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother and queen. It is a symbol of her protection to the Carmelite Order which includes all its members and associates. Anyone who wears the scapular and practices the spirituality of the Carmelite Order has an affiliation to the Carmelite family and shares in the graces traditionally associated with the Brown Scapular.

Some basics of Carmelite spirituality would be:

-frequent participation in Mass and receiving Holy Communion

-reading and meditation on Sacred Scripture

-praying the Liturgy of the Hours, or part of them

-devotion and imitation of Mary the woman of faith who hears the Word of God and puts it into practice

-practicing virtue, particularly charity, chastity (according to one’s state of life) and obedience to God’s will

Read Full Post »