spiritual life

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

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Women’s Leadership Conference Reveals the Gift of Feminine Genius

In a culture that lauds feminist ideology, many lay and women religious chose to respond to St. John Paul II’s definition of “feminine genius” this year instead.  In early June, a new women’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. with the title GIVEN, a word that, according to Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, defines more than just the gifts we have.  […]

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Lack of Prayer is the Cause of Lack of Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

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

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

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Scrupulosity—A Beginner’s Guide

What is Scrupulosity? A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding This “Pious Problem” Recently, Simcha Fisher raised the issue of scrupulosity, the state of being perpetually afraid of sin, at the National Catholic Register.  As someone who battles scrupulosity, I was thrilled to see someone raising the issue. Scruples can plague a person and wreak all kinds of havoc in his relationship with […]

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Overcoming Sinful Anger — A Must Read for Families and Individuals

Anger is a beast. Justified or not, anger destabilizes relationships—husband and wife, families, and those in the workplace. Stress, frustration, bitterness over past or present events and situations, constant set-backs and dealing with unreasonable people contribute to the swirling vortex of anger in our culture. And then there’s politics. Anger separates us from God. Our culture is angry. In our […]

St. Norbert, Bishop and Founder of NorbertinesSt. Norbert, Bishop and Founder of Norbertines

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Norbert

“A talkative, over-curious, and restless person is like an oven which is open and exposed on all sides, and which keeps no heat; you will never enjoy the sweetness of a quiet prayer unless you shut your mind to all worldly desires and temporal affairs.” (St. Norbert, Bishop and Founder of the Norbertines) The Optional Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop and […]

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

Lord, Open My Lips

“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 Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Paschal Mystery

Burning but not consumed! This was the strange sight that Moses beheld in the desert—a bush on fire yet contained. Such a strange phenomenon! Moses moved closer to examine the mystery before him. “No, Moses, stop where you are and remove your sandals for this is holy ground!” This was no natural mystery as Moses would now realize, but one […]