prayer life

Gifts Differing—The Lord’s Purpose for You

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

Any of us can occasionally fall into the trap of believing that the life we lead, the things that interest us, the occupations we work at or our unique circumstances are somehow accidental to the Lord’s call for our life. They are not. The Lord never does anything or allows anything to happen by accident; there is purpose to everything […]

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

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

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me—working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. I thought […]

The Power of Humility

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

If finding true peace within our souls is something one desires—and it should be, as it is an absolute prerequisite for effective prayer—then we need to ask, what is it that will allow us to establish ourselves in peace? When looking for guidance in Scripture, we can never go wrong by looking at the words spoken by Jesus Himself. And […]

The Triumph of Tragedy

This reflection addresses one of the most challenging issues any of us might encounter in our lives. It is the all too common experience of dealing with a significant disability or serious illness. If we or a loved one have had to go through this experience, we may wonder just how to reconcile this challenge with the reality of a […]

It’s Just the Trade Getting Into Him

There is an old story out of France, from around the early 1900s. It seems a young man had begun his new job in a factory where the work was known to be quite physically demanding. The young man, believing himself to be the equal of any man in the factory, did his best to maintain the same level of […]

As Time Goes By

I have a dear friend who was just placed in Hospice Care. I will call her Bernice, in order to keep her identity private. Bernice is a member of a devoted Carmelite Prayer Community. Bernice has been a member for about seven years, and she is in her mid-80s. About two years ago Bernice became very ill and nearly passed […]

Freed and Healed to Love through Prayer

Every single minute we spend with our knees bent and our heads bowed in prayer, we literally release ourselves from the bondage and burden of this earthly life. Thanks be to God. This release is best described as a healing of anything that impedes our ability to love. Think of what a gift prayer can be for the human soul. Do you […]

Crossing the Threshold of Holy Week

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

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 […]

Christ’s Last Will and Testament

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

It is very important to listen to what a person says in the final months, days and hours of one’s life.  It can tell us a great deal about that person. But if we cannot actually hear what a person says, if we are not in his or her presence, we can find a written expression of the person’s last […]