Faith

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Where in the World is Carmel?

An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be […]

Carpathian mountain valley

Becoming a New Creation

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “I can’t do this again,” I sighed to myself as we entered our new home. There had been too much transition, too much unknown, going on in recent days. We had to say goodbye to our friends and […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Paschal Mystery

Burning but not consumed! This was the strange sight that Moses beheld in the desert—a bush on fire yet contained. Such a strange phenomenon! Moses moved closer to examine the mystery before him. “No, Moses, stop where you are and remove your sandals for this is holy ground!” This was no natural mystery as Moses would now realize, but one […]

"The Denial of St. Peter" (detail) by Theodoor Rombouts

Peter, do you love me?

If we abandon ourselves to Christ who tells us “man does not live by bread alone from on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” then it is for us to believe the revealed word and the Holy Spirit will grant us the gifts of understanding and wisdom. Have you ever wished that you had been born in […]

"The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection" (detail) by Eugene Burnand

We Do Not Face Death Alone

The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work.  The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared.  One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote.  Yet it was not like Him to be stingy.  He poured out all he had, […]

Why Do We focus on the Death of Christ?

When I was younger I watched a South Park episode about the premiere of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, in which the characters determined that it was silly for people to focus on the death of Jesus, arguing that we should merely focus on His life instead. At the time, I was enamored with this simple thought and succumbed […]

Crossing the Threshold of Holy Week

It caught me by surprise that the Carmelite Sisters keep a complete and prayerful silence during the Holy Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, not speaking until the conclusion of the evening Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. I remember when I was the “new kid on the block,” a recently-arrived postulant who was learning more and […]

"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail) Duccio di Buoninsegna

Baptism by the Fires of Temptation

The Exodus Prefigures the Spiritual Journey of Christians During Lent God’s Chosen people remained in Egyptian captivity for 400 years and with hardened hearts and withering minds due to drudgery, they had forgotten God. Moses was sent to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land, but not before a 40 year trudge of purification through the barren […]

"Our Lady of Fatima" (detail) by Chambers

Fatima and the Antidote for Hell

As authentic Marian apparitions go, many of the aspects of our Lady’s appearances to the three shepherd children in Fatima a century ago seem commonplace: Mary asks the seers to pray and do penance for the conversion of sinners, calls them to daily devotion to the Rosary, advocates for peace in the world, requests the children to return on specific […]

What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the forty days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that the […]