December by Candlelight

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Every day we look forward to the gift of another dawn as the sun begins to peek through the curtain of the night to bring the vibrancy of color back to us yet again. It is a ritual of sorts, isn’t it? When the first blush of the dawn greets the dark cloak of the night sky and slowly but […]

Watching and Waiting During 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. […]

The Real Stuff of Holiness

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

As we continue to move in unknown spaces and times of uncertainty, REMEMBER your blessings and use your TIME well. Rest in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness. Be the saint you are called to be. Our world needs saints today. Our world needs you. In my book, time is an elusive thing. So is the memory. Both are hard to […]

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 […]

Why does my faith walk seem so lonely?

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 […]

Overcome by Praise

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

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” […]

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 […]

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

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

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 […]

Flower of Carmel

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

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 […]