prayer life

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Who do Others See When They Look at You?

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

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 Deadline That Changed My Prayer Life

Mornings are God’s masterpieces. A new day awakens, filled with potential. The night sky disappears into the heavens, while the sun slowly creeps up out of the distant horizon. Most of the time, I don’t see the sun rise. Dawn comes quite early according to any clock and Carmelite Sisters rise even before the sun does. One day is etched […]

Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister, Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now. Sincerely, Curious Dear Curious, I can think of TEN great reasons […]

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

How Can I Become a Better Catholic Husband and Father to my Family?

Dear Sister, I’ve been reading your answers to questions on Integrated Catholic Life™ and have been playing with the idea of writing you a question that I’ve been thinking about for many years. It’s about my family. I don’t consider us bad Catholics, nor do I consider us to be devout “pillars of the parish”. We are just a regular […]

Finding Time to Breathe

Suffice it to say that everyone is “busy” these days. Some of us use the word loosely, as an excuse to bypass the things in life we’d rather not face, what’s inconvenient, or what we view as boring. Others of us (the majority, I’d argue) are truly busy. We shuffle kids to and fro—school, extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments, and the like—and […]

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

Lord, Open My Lips and My Mouth Will Proclaim Your Praise

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) These words ring out in the chapel, breaking the silence of the early morning. It is still dark outside and our community of sisters, albeit still a bit bleary-eyed, has gathered to begin the day singing the Divine Office. The words of the psalms fill the air: “It […]

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

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

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 […]

Father Solanus Casey - CC 3.0 via Wikipedia.

Solanus Casey—Model for Our Times

Venerable Solanus Casey, O.F.M. Cap. was a holy Catholic priest whose faith and passion for the Lord and his poor were deep and abiding; and guided by an absolute trust in God’s Providence. He died in 1957. Although he became one of the most well known priests in Detroit, Michigan, many in the United States and around the world do […]

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

Carmelite Spirituality—Solitude and Prayer

“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 […]