prayer life

To Love as the Lord Loves

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

The Responsibility of the Talents

“At the end of our lives, He will ask what we did with what we were given.” This Sunday’s Gospel is one of my favorite parables of Jesus – the parable of the talents. It’s a multifaceted parable that can be read on many levels, and I think it’s a good examination of conscience for Christians in their work of […]

How to Pray in the Storm

“All He asks is that we have the faith to cry out.” I have been feeling in a funk lately, and I imagine many of you reading right now are internally nodding in agreement. While we all have our individual, unique crosses during this time, we share ones too. In the midst of the funk, I decided to go back […]

A Broken and Contrite Heart O God

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently I was reminded of a wonderful movie of faith, courage and redemption. It was the story from the book “Unbroken,” about the life of Louie Zamperini, an American who ran the 5,000 meter in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Louie was later drafted as a gunner aboard B-24 Bombers during World War II. He was shot down in the Pacific and […]

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 […]

A Sacrifice of Prayer

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the greatest means for deepening and expanding our prayer life is found in Paul’s teaching on our becoming like Christ.   “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I […]

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” […]

The Freedom of Love

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

There has been a great deal of talk for many years now about individual rights in our society. It is nothing new, but this idea does seem to have reached a fever pitch in the past few years. People are demanding their right to do as they please. Everyone is demanding to be free. Unfortunately, many people are working with […]

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, […]