Overcome by Praise

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Have you ever been in awe of how St. Paul and the early Christians could be singing songs of praise from prison (Acts 16:5)? Or how Daniel, after hearing that he was not to worship His God on pain of death, went to his home and facing Jerusalem, “…prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10)? What courage!! It has always amazed me that the saints had the audacity to praise God under circumstances that would terrify and paralyze most of us.

The Bible is full of examples similar to those, such as the three young men who were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship idols. Their courage is particularly striking when they told the King that their God was able to save them, yet “even if He does not…we will not serve your gods” (Daniel 3:17). They left it up to the Father to decide. Job, who had lost his children, wealth, and even his health, refused to curse the Lord and instead choose praise (Job 1:20). He also showed deep trust in God saying, “Though He slay me, I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Maybe all of these figures, and the saints throughout the centuries, who have walked the same path of praise realized that it is one of the greatest spiritual weapons we have. Psalm 8:2 reminds us that “Praise foils the enemy!” Jesus gives us the ultimate example of praise in darkness when, from His unimaginable sufferings from the Cross, He quoted Psalm 71, a powerful prayer of praise. Jesus reveals what was filling His Sacred Heart in these moments of feeling abandoned by the Father – He was full of praise! He was totally defeating the devil through praise!! Let us call to mind the blessings of the Father and from our homes, let us make this prayer of Jesus our own – “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more!” (Ps 71:14).


To learn more about the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, read their biography below and visit their website.

We encourage you to support the work of the sisters with your prayers and through donations and planned giving. Click here to learn more..

If you hear God calling you to the religious life, I encourage you to visit their vocations page. – Deacon Mike

Or for more information, please contact:
Sister Maria Goretti, O.C.D., Vocation Directress
920 East Alhambra Road
Alhambra, California 91801


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Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

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