Ask a Carmelite Sister

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How to Recognize and Rid Yourself of Attachments

Dear Sister, In your series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice [...]

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Solitude and Carmelite Spirituality

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must [...]

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Why is the Scapular so Important to Carmelites?

“The Scapular…a Sign of Mary’s Motherhood” Dear Sister, What is the scapular, and why is it so important to Carmelites? Dear Friend, Do you remember what Our Lady was wearing when she appeared to Bernadette? How about her appearance as Our Lady of La Salette? How did Juan Diego describe her or how did she appear on his tilma? It [...]

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How to Overcome Worry by Trusting God

Dear Sister, I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much.  I can’t help it. As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased [...]

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Ask a Carmelite — What is meant by “prayer life”?

Dear Sister, I’ve heard people use the term prayer life or prayer journey. What does that mean? Dear Friend, Usually when this type of question comes to mind, it is because the Holy Spirit is inspiring it! The answer lies in an understanding of the essence of what it means to be a human being. Each human person is made [...]

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Ask a Carmelite — Is There a Difference Between a Nun and a Sister?

Dear Sister Timothy Marie, Sister Timothy, are you a nun? Dear Friend, Well, I do wear a long brown habit and I have professed three vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, in consecration to God forever. But am I a nun?  My name is SISTER Timothy Marie. But am I a nun? Here is the answer. In a practical, everyday [...]

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Faith — Why aren’t we moving mountains?

Dear Sister Benedicta Marie, In scripture Jesus says that if we have faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains. Why aren’t we moving mountains? Does anyone really have that kind of faith? Dear Friend, Just to add a little fuel to the fire let me add that in John’s Gospel we also read: “Truly, truly, I say to [...]

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Pesky Reptiles and Other Creatures, Oh My!

Dear Sister Mary Colombiere, In the Interior Castle, St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things? Dear Friend, Those “pesky reptiles”! When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me [...]

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What is a novena and why do Catholics pray them?

Dear Sister Benedicta Marie, What is a novena? Where did they come from and why do we pray them? Dear Friend, Novena comes from the Latin Language and means nine. As used by Catholics this means a series of nine prayers. Usually the series refers to a prayer or devotion offered on nine consecutive days, but the series could be [...]

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How Can I Get Out of My Patterns of Sin?

Dear Sister Mary Colombiere, How can I deepen my relationship with God when I am stuck in patterns of sin that I can’t seem to break? I’ve asked this question to several people at different times, but I really can’t seem to figure this out or make any progress. I am really grieved over this. Dear Friend, It seems to [...]