spiritual life

"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail)
Duccio di Buoninsegna"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail) Duccio di Buoninsegna

Baptism by the Fires of Temptation

The Exodus Prefigures the Spiritual Journey of Christians During Lent God’s Chosen people remained in Egyptian captivity for 400 years and with hardened hearts and withering minds due to drudgery, they had forgotten God. Moses was sent to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land, but not before a 40 year trudge of purification through the barren [...]

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail)
by Sandro BotticelliSt. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

St. Augustine On the Beatitudes

In 393, Saint Augustine wrote his Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. In this edifying treatise, he begins with the weighty proclamation that “anyone who piously and earnestly ponders the Sermon on the Mount — as we read in the Gospel according to Mathew — I believe he will find therein… the perfect standard of the Christian Life.” And [...]

Photography © by the Carmelite SistersPhotography © by the Carmelite Sisters

To Begin Again

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103). Don’t you love the idea, the notion, the concept of a fresh start? I love to read about new beginnings. Or listen to life-changing stories and testimonies of people. They renew and energize us. They give us the opportunity to [...]

A Woman at PrayerA Woman at Prayer

Five Reminders That Will Change Your Spiritual Life During Lent

1. “There are two ways of waking up in the morning. One is to say, ‘Good morning, God,’ and the other is to say, ‘Good God, morning’!” (Venerable Fulton Sheen) Begin every morning with a positive, grateful attitude. Give God your first cheerful greeting. 2. “Wherever you go, there you are.” (Thomas à Kempis) Practice being truly present. When you go to the [...]

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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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Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. Spirituality Series – Discovering God in Silence by Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in the gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet [...]

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A Chat with the Author of Atchison Blue

Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith was a complete surprise to me. A whap-to-the-side-of-the-head walloping shocker. Why? I’m not completely sure, but the surprise was delightful and refreshing. It’s good writing, for one thing, and it’s also honest in a way that I appreciated. So much of Valente’s story and struggles resonated with me. [...]

Adoration of the Shepherds (detail)
Gerard van HonthorstAdoration of the Shepherds (detail) Gerard van Honthorst

Contemplation for the Christmas Season

by Sister Timothy Marie, OCD Sometimes the early morning sky, just before the light of the new day dawns, is so still and quiet that I think I am at the threshold of heaven. The atmosphere itself is permeated in a prayerful stillness. The beauty of these moments absorbs my total being and resonates within my soul. Prayer is easy [...]

"The Torment of Saint Anthony" (detail)
by Michelangelo"The Torment of Saint Anthony" (detail) by Michelangelo

The Torment of St. Anthony

St. Athanasius of Alexandria gifted us a beautiful account of a great saint in the Life of Antony. St. Anthony grew up in a good, loving, wealthy and faithful home in Egypt. He was not drawn to learning his letters, but he was a devoted and obedient son who paid close attention by hearing what was read in his home [...]

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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 [...]