spiritual life

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All of Life is Bittersweet

Come, Lord, and tarry not; Bring the long looked-for day; Why these years of waiting here, These ages of delay? (Advent hymn) I left the neuropsychologist’s office dumbfounded. If Sarah had received a diagnosis of autism, I would have understood. If ADHD had been a resounding secondary diagnosis to her Apert syndrome, I wouldn’t have flinched. But, in fact, I […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Space Between Hope and Fear

“Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (Psalm 126:5-6). The words of the Psalmist haunted me for months, yet I couldn’t determine what they meant for me. I had just completed a new manuscript on the topic […]

A Soul’s Hearth

As I walked into the church for Mass last Sunday, I noticed right away the candles had been trimmed too long.  They looked like a half dozen lit bottle rockets lined up on the reredos, in anticipation of the dazzling finale in a Fourth of July pyrotechnic display.  My mind filled with strains of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  Smoke was billowing upward […]

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)

Teresa and Thérèse—Saints Who Scaled the Heights

Two Doctors, Two Ways, One Goal Many of you probably have seen the 1965 film entitled The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp and Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. The first verse of the theme song goes like this: Climb every mountain, Search high and low, Follow every highway, Every path you know. Do you […]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Once Upon a Day of Prayer | Rediscovering St. Thérèse

A Reflection on the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Every month each Carmelite Sister steps aside from her daily service to God’s people and makes a one-day spiritual retreat. To most of us, this single day out of each month is dearly loved and longed for. We meet and work with a lot of people on a daily […]

"Guardian Angel" (detail) by Cortona

Remembering the Holy Guardian Angels

You never know when and where they’ll appear… perhaps even in Aisle 3 at Staples. When God Sends Messengers With a heavy heart, I put down the telephone and sighed. I knew it was right that I, like the other sisters in my Carmelite community, set myself to the task now ahead of us. This was not the first time […]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“The world’s thy ship and not thy home.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux—of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church) The Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1873 – 1897) is October 1. Please share on social media. Print this entry