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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The gift of our Constitutions and Statutes

In Deuteronomy Moses spoke to the people and said, “I teach you the statutes and decrees as the Lord, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy. Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,…For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? (Chapter 4: 1, 5-7)
Our Constitutions and Statutes are not meant to be confining.  They are gifts; wisdom to guide us.  They give us boundaries so we don’t get off the road as we journey towards our destination, so that we get there safely, and ultimately arrive.
They are God given so that we can be witnesses to God – if we listen, obey and internalize them.  Then we will have them written on our hearts where we naturally live them out, we no longer need to study and review them, they are ours. Then we will live in a way that if the written copies of our Constitutions and Statutes were lost, they could be reconstructed by someone witnessing the lives we live.
We no longer measure to see how little we need to do to get by, or how much we can get away with and still slide by.  Recall the final paragraph in the Rule of St. Albert, “[24] Here are the few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming, will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do.  See that the bounds of discretion are not exceeded, however, for discretion is the guide of the virtues.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross said: "...the obedient person studies the Rule and the Constitutions, not to ferret out how many so called 'freedoms' are still permitted, but to recognize more and more how many small sacrifices are available daily and hourly as opportunities to advance in self-denial.  Such a one takes them on as an easy yoke and a light burden, because doing so deepens the conviction of being closely bound to the Lord who was obedient to death on the cross".
So let’s be generous!  After all God is never outdone in generosity!
“How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?
I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.”
(Psalm 116:12-14)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celebration at St. James Cathedral in Seattle

We will be celebrating on the actual birthday of St. Teresa of Jesus at St. James Cathedral in Seattle!

In honor of her 500th anniversary of her birth, March 28th, 2015 we will have:

10:30 am Presentation on St. Teresa and Christian Mysticism, by Fr. Robert Barcelos, OCD
12 noon Mass with Archbishop Peter Sartain- followed by a light reception
3:00 pm Meditation led by Fr. Robert

Join us as we give thanks to God for so many graces we have received through Our Holy Mother!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Fifth Centenary Celebration of the Birth of St. Teresa of Jesus

As the Discalced Carmelites in the California-Arizona Province of St. Joseph are preparing for the 5th centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus in 2015, we are celebrating her life!

Check out this website:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Prayer for Our Nation

God our Father in Heaven, you chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters;
Holy Spirit, you overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation;
God the Son, you became incarnate in the womb of Mary, your Mother.

In union with Mary, we adore you, the Most Holy Trinity and acknowledge that you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, hold eternal dominion and authority over all nations.

Most Holy Trinity, we place the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present our country to you. Through her we wish to praise and thank you for the great resources of our land and for the freedom, which has been our heritage.

Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in the United States. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Raise up and protect all of our families.

Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinners—on all who are in need. Above all, we ask Mary to intercede on our behalf that you would protect our conscience rights and religious freedom, upon which our country was founded.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Our Mother, Patroness of our land, we honor you and give ourselves to you. Wrap your mantel of protection around each of us and all our fellow citizens. Protect us from all evil and harm. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God.

Based on a Marian consecration by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington, prayed in parishes throughout the United States in November of 1959.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roots or Wings

What would you answer if you were asked, are you more like a tree with roots or a bird with wings? I expect the answer may vary from time to time depending on the uncontrollable circumstances we find ourselves in.

I have been thinking about, “The great Teresian Carmelite family is present in the world in many forms. The nucleus of this family is the Order of Discalced Carmelites — the friars, the enclosed nuns, the seculars.” (Preface of our OCDS Constitutions).

Fr. Saverio CannistrĂ , OCD, Superior General, wrote a letter dated January 6, 2011, where he said, “The spiritual relationship that exists among the friars, the cloistered nuns and the secular members of the Order is a source of great riches to each of us as individuals and as an Order.”

I have been thinking how we, as Carmelites are the same and how we are different, at least as far as trees and birds go.

As I understand it, every three years without warning or consultation the friars may be relocated “led by another to places they would rather not go”(John 21:18) - or they may very well be delighted and excited to go. They must hold everything loosely, accepting God’s will, being pliable and available. They must be like a flowing stream, willing and able to go in whatever direction circumstances dictate.

My understanding is the enclosed nuns enter the monastery and much like the Benedictines who take a vow of stability, they generally make a commitment to live in that particular community. Some may find that very attractive, especially if previously they have had cause to move around a lot; here, there and everywhere. Finally, they find a place to settle down to something constant, producing a secure sense of being. To others it could seem nearly like a prison, or a stagnant pond, but to those God calls it is true freedom, an enclosed pool with a fountain, constantly moving although confined, “the water becomes within a person a spring of living water welling up to eternal life”(John 4:14). It is truly following in the footsteps of the first members of the Carmelite Order who lived near the Spring of Elijah on Mt Carmel.

The lives of seculars can be a mix of similar experiences of both the friars and the nuns. For many we may be challenged with the constant mobility caused by changes of employment and other factors. For some life is more stable and sometimes downright mundane. Sometimes we long for adventure, only to find the great escape turns out to be the exciting run to the grocery store, without the children (or grandchildren) so that it feels like a mini-outing.

The truth for us all is that our peace comes from placing our lives in God’s hands and with joyful anticipation, receiving the gifts He has for us in every situation. A realistic way to do this is to be very careful to watch our own expectations. "What does it profit to give God one thing if he asks of you another? Consider what it is God wants, and then do it." (St. John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love).

Let’s enjoy sailing on a day without wind. Not the excitement we anticipated, but a wonderful calm, serene, quiet time to be still and go deeper, closer to our final destination.

Let’s enjoy the challenge of the white water rapids that surprise us up around the bend, when we expected to simply float the river on a lazy afternoon with nothing much required of us. There are no spectators here, it demands active participation from everyone involved.

In these situations, like St. Paul, we can accept our own weaknesses trusting that our Lord will deliver us from all evil. “…three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,… dangers at sea” (2 Corinthians 11:25-26)

In our no choice situations we find a capacity for skills previously unknown to us. Then they are put to the test, giving us opportunities to grow within ourselves and cooperating with others.

In retrospect, we easily see that “on our own we can do nothing”(John 15:5).

What we can do is be open to receive God’s grace and be willing to change.

I love the quote, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often” (Blessed John Henry Newman).

Do not lose hope if it seems to take too long. Remember when the Lord said to Abram "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you…I will bless you… so that you will be a blessing…All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." (Genesis 12:1-3).

Along those same lines, the Lord said to Moses, “You may indeed view the land at a distance, but you shall not enter that land which I am giving to the Israelites” (Deuteronomy 32:52).

"…these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,…But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one." (Hebrews 11:13, 16).

Patience obtains all things, not necessarily now, but keep your eyes on Jesus and your ultimate entrance into the eternal and glorious Promised Land.

Rooted in Love you will fly, "soaring as with eagles’ wings"! (Isaiah 40:31).

Friday, June 11, 2010

return love with love

Are you keeping your balance?

It is wonderful to spend time studying our Legislative Documents and the Word of God. We are meant to love God with all our minds.

Let’s not become too cerebral though and fail to love God with all our hearts.

Today is a special day to remember how very much God loves us, so let us “return love with love”.

We are united together in the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, we put all our trust in you!