prayer life

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 […]

This World Seems Upside Down

Imagine if you will, that you took a copy of the morning newspaper, turned it upside down and then tried to read and make sense of it. This example actually comes from the French philosopher Simone Weil when she attempted to describe how we humans experience our eternal reality and our relationship with God, while looking at things through our […]

The Stone Walls Surrounding our Heart Must Come Down

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30) This verse from the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the well-known Old Testament story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. But, truthfully, the story has a much larger meaning for each of us. In the context of our individual spiritual […]

Winter of Our Discontent

As these winter months drag to a close, many of us have become familiar with, or been reminded of, the experience expressed in the title of the well-known John Steinbeck novel cited above. Literary buffs might know that the line is actually from William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun [or […]

An Eternal Hope for Healing

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) I heard someone say recently that the number one thing Christ brought to us, aside from the gift of our eternal salvation, was the gift of healing. And I agree, […]