spiritual life

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

Where in the World is Carmel?

An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be […]

Carpathian mountain valley

Becoming a New Creation

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “I can’t do this again,” I sighed to myself as we entered our new home. There had been too much transition, too much unknown, going on in recent days. We had to say goodbye to our friends and […]

Photography © 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 […]

Crossing the Threshold of Holy Week

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 […]

"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 […]

Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister, Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now. Sincerely, Curious Dear Curious, I can think of TEN great reasons […]

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

A recent Lenten homily spoke to my heart in a profound manner.  Our rural Catholic community doesn’t boast of many grandiose things.  We are a humble church and a humble people.  But our pastor spoke boldly and confidently.  He pierced the hearts of many with these words: “God is challenging us to step outside of what is comfortable and familiar.  […]

A Review of Patience and Humility

A review of Patience and Humility, Will Bernard Ullathorne, O.S.B., Sophia Institute Press — May 1, 1998 So—it’s the third week of Lent and you’re still trying to decide what to take on or give up. Some of our Lenten goals go well, others not so well. If you’re stuck, you may want to start small. Finding a book entitled Patience and […]

Photography © 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 […]

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