Prayer / Spiritual Life

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 […]

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 […]

"Our Lady of Fatima" (detail) by Chambers

Fatima, the Rosary, and the Path to Peace

One of my favorite stories from the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima a century ago this year is how Our Lady was compelled gently to correct the three shepherd children for “cheating” on how they were praying the Rosary. The eldest, at the time ten-year-old Lucy, described in her eventual Memoires what they were doing and why. “We had […]

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

A recent Lenten homily spoke to my heart in a profound manner.  Our rural Catholic community doesn’t boast of many grandiose things.  We are a humble church and a humble people.  But our pastor spoke boldly and confidently.  He pierced the hearts of many with these words: “God is challenging us to step outside of what is comfortable and familiar.  […]

A Review of Patience and Humility

A review of Patience and Humility, Will Bernard Ullathorne, O.S.B., Sophia Institute Press — May 1, 1998 So—it’s the third week of Lent and you’re still trying to decide what to take on or give up. Some of our Lenten goals go well, others not so well. If you’re stuck, you may want to start small. Finding a book entitled Patience and […]

Trust in the Holy Spirit to Lead Us to Truth

In these Disconnected Times, Trust in the Holy Spirit To Lead Us to Truth We live in an indoctrinated age of novelty and dissatisfaction. We are always looking ahead to what is new and then find ourselves achingly tired with it only moments after its arrival. With this comes the growth in the popularity of various trends found in the staple […]

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

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]