Prayer / Spiritual Life

What’s in a Name?

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

A handful of times in my life, I KNEW with deep conviction that certain things would come to pass.  I can’t explain it.  I just knew.  My vocation to the Carmelite Sisters was one of these “Aha!” God-moments.  I knew in an instant I had a vocation to the religious life and to this religious family.  I also knew without […]

Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Living in the Presence of God

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

Have you ever experienced conflicting emotions or feelings within yourself? Did they seem to embody such opposites that you wondered how they could co-exist in the same body? Well, you’re not alone! Throughout his long life, Simeon knew this all too well. He was torn between the sufferings he bore and his unfailing hope. His people had endured the delay […]

Healing From the Inside Out

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

When the Lord heals, He almost always heals from the inside out. Referring to the inside does not mean that He heals only internal disease, damage or infection. But rather, that He wants to heal the whole person, and in order to do this He must begin by healing the interior life of a person. An example of this is […]

Led by the Spirit

chair-peter-holy-spiritDetail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Just what is it that leads us through this life? This is a question we should ask ourselves and wrestle with from time to time. However, we should do this only after we have wrestled with the first and more immediate question: Where we are going in this life? Or perhaps more accurately, what is life really all about? Some […]

Time for Some Straight Talk

"The Lamb of God, John the Baptist and Andrew" (detail) by Ottavio Vannini (1585-c. 1643) [Public domain]

If you appreciate straight talk, the Gospel of John has a great way of getting to the point. “‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.But there are some of you that do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who those […]

Do Not Go Gentle…

Photography by Thoom | Shutterstock

There is an interesting irony to the Christmas season. The irony is that while so many people experience great joy during Christmas, many others, perhaps an equal number, experience depression. This is true for many reasons, not the least of which is that for many people, this season is merely a time of unfulfilled expectations.   Those expectations may stem from something […]

The Most Powerful Prayer Book

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wished that someone might just tell you what the most effective prayer book is out there? Let’s acknowledge that there are literally thousands and thousands of published books on prayer, not to mention all the material one can find on the internet about prayer. But if we do not have time to read all those books, or […]

Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]

God, Please Answer My Prayer Right Now!

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“I call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O God; incline thy ear to me, hear my words.” (Psalm 17:6) Have you ever prayed this prayer? I know I have, and I know full well that I will pray it again in the future. I also know there will likely be times when my prayer is not going to be […]