spiritual life

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 […]

My faith walk seems lonely to me at times…

Dear Sister, sometimes the living of my Catholic faith is a lonely walk for me. Why is that?  Am I doing anything wrong?  Sometimes I think, “Am I the only one feeling this way?” I’ve never had theology classes and would appreciate anything you could send my way to help me understand why I feel so alone sometimes in my […]

A World of Wonder

“Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.” (Sixth Promise of the Sacred Heart) “And I think to myself what a wonderful world…” These are words from February’s theme song, What a Wonderful World. This month we will look at the stage of development where we meet those curious little ones known as “Toddlers.” “What can they teach […]

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 […]

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

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

“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 […]

Daily Quote — St. John of the Cross

"St. John of the Cross" (detail) by Francisco de Zurbarán

“Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” (St. John of the Cross) The Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (A.D. 1542 – 1591) is December 14. Please share this post […]

Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]

Focus on the Lord this Advent

We should allow the clarion call from this great saint to reverberate in our souls. Today we enter the Advent Season. It is past time to get ready… One of my strongest, most enduring memories from my childhood is the time spent preparing for Christmas. We did not have any family traditions involving the Advent Wreath or the Jesse Tree. And most certainly, like all […]

Greater Than Gravity

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

“There is a Pull Greater than Gravity. It is the Pull of Truth.” Tall ladders, ski lifts, and narrow trails with steep drop-offs awaken a deep fear in me. I am not afraid of heights or even of falling. It is the conclusion of the fall, the inevitable rendezvous with the ground that worries me. Whether I like it or […]

Carmelite Spirituality—Solitude and Prayer

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

“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 […]