Pray Always?

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)


“Seriously? Pray always?”

That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as in, all the time and everywhere. Impossible!

Whenever the word “impossible” creeps into our vocabulary, we want to look again. Remember that line from scripture, “With God, all things are possible?” Very often the precise things we say are impossible are the things God wants to do in our lives by His power alone. And I suspect that if each of us looks closely we will discover this is the case in the task considered here.

For a moment, let’s look at another impossibility, “I am with you always.” Right now, as I type, I am sitting alone in a room in the convent. Just me and the computer and the other miscellaneous, inanimate objects in the room. Nobody else here. No one, that is, that I can see with my eyes or hear with my ears or touch with my hands. Ah, but the eyes of faith tell me something far different. And I can listen with my heart to a voice that speaks in silence. And my soul is being held and sustained by the creative touch of my God. Seriously? You can bet your life on it, because He gave His life for this very reason.

So let’s put these two impossibilities together. These days after Easter are a powerful time for us to rekindle our awareness of the presence of Jesus with us day in and day out. In the readings at Mass we hear about Him walking with His disciples on the road to Emmaus, fixing breakfast for His apostles on the seashore, and stretching out His hand to a follower lost in doubt. So what’s to stop Him from joining us on our commute to work? Or at the kitchen table with our cup of coffee? Or at the end of a day when prayer seems choked by doubt, regret and fear? Just being open to His presence is prayer: watching for signs of His love, listening for His words, and waiting for His healing touch. Because He is with us always, we can indeed pray always. Seriously.

By Sister Mary Louise, O.C.D.
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles


To learn more about the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, read their biography below and visit their website.

We encourage you to support the work of the sisters with your prayers and through donations and planned giving. Click here to learn more..

If you hear God calling you to the religious life, I encourage you to visit their vocations contact page http://www.carmelitesistersocd.com/contact-vocations/. -Deacon Mike

Or for more information, please contact:
Sister Faustina, O.C.D., Vocation Directress
920 East Alhambra Road
Alhambra, California 91801


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Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

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