The First Disciple

The Annunciation (St. Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary) by Paolo de Matteis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The devotion of the Brown Scapular originates in the history of Our Lady of Mount Carmel when Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in the 1200s presenting to him the scapular and promised: “This is a privilege for you and your brethren: whoever dies wearing it, will be saved.” This tradition falls within the context of our Catholic faith […]

Pray Always?

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as […]

How to Overcome Worry by Trusting God

Dear Sister, I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much.  I can’t help it. As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased […]

Patience—A Beautiful Fruit

Patience. This simple word can evoke such a variety of responses! “It’s impossible to practice, I simply get so annoyed.” Take a moment and examine what our first thoughts are when you hear the word PATIENCE. Was it a negative thought? Often this virtue can bring with it difficult emotions. And when those are our reactions, the desire to become […]

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 […]

Help in Times of Sickness

"Christ healing the paralytic at Bethesda" (detail) by Palma il Giovane / Public domain

Ask a Carmelite Sister Dear Sister, I attended Catholic school in my elementary and high school years. At that time, I loved and enjoyed my Catholic religion.  Since then, though, I guess you would call me a “fallen-away” or “lapsed” Catholic. I hopped onto the train of life using the fast track and have been traveling at breakneck speed ever […]

Journey with St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

This year the first day of spring falls on March 19, 2020.  St. Joseph’s Day!  Spring brings a certain stillness to the earth. A waiting. A time of hushed expectancy. Seeds are planted and their growth is a quiet one – a hidden growth deep in the soil followed by the tender shoots stretching through the earth and reaching for the sun. […]

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

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

“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 […]

Before the Miracle, I Believed—But Now I Know.

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

The following story is true. It happened to me. I will never, ever forget it. I had been a Carmelite Sister for many years when this story occurred. It changed my life forever, and I came away from the experience with an explosion of faith bursting within my soul. To cut to the quick and bring forth the significance of […]

What’s in a Name?

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

A handful of times in my life, I KNEW with deep conviction that certain things would come to pass.  I can’t explain it.  I just knew.  My vocation to the Carmelite Sisters was one of these “Aha!” God-moments.  I knew in an instant I had a vocation to the religious life and to this religious family.  I also knew without […]