About Helen Carlin, OCDS    Sm Rose.gif (186 bytes)

I do not suggest that the thoughts on this page are or are not Catholic Doctrine,
I would like to make it clear that they are my own.

(If you do not wish to hear the music..just press the stop button...

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I first learned about the Little Flower in 1954, when a dear friend gave me her autobiography to read. I read her life story with tears of recognition. I was just 25 years old at the time. Like her I loved God and knew He loved me. And like Therese I knew I could ask anything of Him and He would grant it. You see, my Irish Catholic grandfather had taught me I could talk to God and He would talk to me. Oh, I could give you many, many examples, however, I will give you just one or two.                       
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One evening when we were at the dinner table Christine, my then two year old daughter, asked permission to go to the bathroom.  As she walked away from the table toward the hall I noticed a strangeness to her gait. I said silently within myself, "God, what is wrong with her?" and the answer came, "She has polio." This was 1949 the year of one of the worst polio epidemics we ever had and so I knew what I had to do.  I called the doctors office, I was working for at the time, I spoke to Dr. Trimble who had joined the Dr. Sherwood’s office as an associate and who was on call that night.  He told me to meet him at the office.  Now the office was about thirty miles away and through the old Sepulveda Pass with it’s winding and twisting road. (no freeways then)

To keep myself from being too worried I began reflecting on things that had happened at the doctor’s office.  The usual procedure when the lunch hour came, the doctors, nurses, and the office staff would go to lunch designating one office girl to remain and keep the office open.  On this particular day I was the one to stay.  All at once this woman came into the lobby with a very small child in her arms. The woman was in a panic. Their German Shepard dog had attacked the little girl and tore a large patch of her forehead and scalp, which was laying back on her hair.  She also had a cut at her eye lid with the tear duct hanging out.

As I was trying to get the necessary information from her and at the same time trying to reach a doctor for this emergency, Dr. M L came back to the office early.  I breath a sign of relief and thanked God for having him return early.  Since I was the only one there, Dr. ML said, "Come on Helen, you will have to help me stitch this child’s wounds." Without hesitation I took the child from her mother and we went back to the emergency surgery room. I was fascinated as I helped him stitch this child’s scalp back in place, she looked just like he was sewing up a rag doll.  I wondered if he would be able to do the same with her eye lid. And yes, he did and it was a beautiful job. Her mother was over joyed with relief when she first saw her  little girl again.  Dr. ML had created a masterpiece, I thought as I thanked God, how wonderfully he works through the doctors .

When we arrived at  the doctors office Chris had fallen asleep in my arms on the trip over the mountain pass.  She did not even wake when he examined her.  He said, "Helen, I don’t think she has polio.  It is so painful that when you move anyone who has it they will scream out in pain." I replied, "I don’t care Dr. Trimble, I know she has polio." I didn’t tell him God had told me, I didn’t want him to think I was a nut case. (God forgive me I was very young then.)  He said , "Well the only thing you can do then is to take her to Los Angeles County General Hospital and let them do a spinal tap." And so we did!

We waited seven hours in the lobby while people went into the treatment rooms with their children. Some leaving them there and some taking them home.  They kept us waiting and when they finally did come out to tell us what was wrong with her they said, "We did not believe this child had polio until we did the spinal tap. Yes, she does have it. You will have to leave her here in the contagious disease ward."

We received all the help she needed from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (the March of Dimes) and the Sister Kenny Foundation. She received years of physical therapy until I was told that the therapy would no longer help her, that she would need many surgeries which could not be done until she reached age nine.  As I left the therapist’s office I said, "O God, wouldn't it be great if she could go to the Shriners Hospital when the time comes?" She was about six years old and we would have to wait for three more years.

One day my neighbor, Don,  came to our backyard fence and asked to speak with me. He told me that our neighbor across the street, Mr. Carey,  wanted to sponsor her for the Shriner's Hospital but was afraid I would be offended.  I exclaimed,  "O my God, that is answer to prayer, of course we would be delighted to have him sponsor her."  He did and she had five major surgeries on her hip, leg and foot.  All this at no cost to us.  I still tear up with gratitude for what God did for us and still does for me.

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Now I would like to try and express what it is I have learned in my inner walk to and with Christ.   St. Teresa of Avila has told us that prayer is talking to God. Brother Lawrence has told us the we must Practice the Presence of God. The Bible told me that "The Kingdom of Heaven was within." Carmel teaches us that our goal is to become divine or one with our Lord.

As I have said, I learned to talk to God, all the time as I grew up. That was all I realized for some time, then one day I realized what St. Paul was saying when he wrote, "I am in travail until Christ be formed in you." and that I must decrease so He could increase, then it would no longer be I but Christ in me doing things. This seemed to be an unobtainable goal at first until I realized I could not accomplish this only He could accomplish this in me as I yielded to Him.

When we are born, we are like a computer that has not had any external programming. We only have that which is our internal drive system. Or in other words our built in guidance system, which is our direct line to God in us. We are sons of a King and are given full use of the Garden of Eden, as long as we do not partake of the tree of: "THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL." Remember it is not the tree of "KNOWLEDGE," but it is the tree of "THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, or POLARITIES, EITHER, OR.

However, we can not escape it. We are taught to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil by our parents, siblings, teachers, religious leaders and the so called authorities in our lives.

Depending on where you were born and what customs you were raised with, that becomes your programming. For example the polarities in life such as good – bad, right - wrong, black - white, man – woman, etc…. We lose the knowledge of His law placed in every man's heart at birth, or that which we call our conscience. It is an inward knowing of yourself. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him." We spend the rest of our lives on the quest to re-union with God and re-entry into" The Garden of Eden." Or as some call it, The Mystical Marriage, Nirvana, Bliss, Paradise or the Heavenly Jerusalem. We are usually set on course because of our suffering which causes us to ask why.  The heart, sometimes called the manger where Christ is born, is broken.  The Lord "loves a broken heart and a contrite spirit."

Remember the bible tells us Jesus rent the veil (or curtain) between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies making it possible for us to enter into the Holy of Holies, which is our heart, and there to behold his word that is written on our hearts. He promised that if we kept his commandments he and his father would come and dwell with us.   Hebrews 8:10-12

He also told us that the Kingdom of Heaven was within, so it would seem that we need to go within to find the Kingdom and St. Paul tells us that we are the temple of God. If our body is the temple of God then it is reasonable to think of our hearts as the Holy of Holies. This means that we must become our own high priest, that entered the Holy of Holies once a year, and meet the Lord there. He calls us we do not take the honor upon ourselves but we are called by him to an inward journey. I have heard it said, "Have you opened your heart and let Jesus in?" But I would rather ask, "Have you opened up your heart and let Christ out. So he can take control of your life, and then it is no longer you or I, but Christ that dwells in you and me that does the work."

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St. Paul wrote, "What agreement has the Temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

                                    'I will live in them and move among them,
                                     and I will be their God,
                                     and they shall be my people.
                                     Therefore come out from them,
                                     and be separate from them, says the Lord,
                                     and touch nothing unclean;
                                     then I will welcome you,
                                     and I will be a father to you,
                                     and you shall be my sons and daughters,
                                     says the Lord Almighty'."

And in another place:

"This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach everyone his fellow or everyone his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord," for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

What a glorious promise!  Which was fulfilled when our Lord hung on the Cross, to give us this new covenant.

You can find this quote in Hebrews,
Chapter 8, verses 10 to 12.

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        Helen Carlin, OCDS   

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   [ St. Therese of Lisieux the "Little Flower"    I   St. Teresa of Avila  I  St. John of the Cross ]
[ Sr. Francoise-Therese, V.H.M. Edith Stein--St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross ]  
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[ Our Inspirational Page  I  Pope John Paul II  I  Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
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From time to time I would like to share with you some things of interest, things that make us think about our relationship to God our Father, like the following by our parish priests Rev. Gregory Moys:

     "The evangelist, Billy Graham, told this story about himself. He was in a small rural town one day to give a sermon at one of the Baptist churches. He had a letter to mail, but had no idea where the local post office was. He met a young boy while walking through town and asked him where the post office was. The boy gave him the directions to the post office. Billy was very grateful and invited the boy to come to the town Baptist Church that evening where he would preach a sermon on how to get to heaven. The boy told Billy that he wasn’t really interested in attending the talk. When pressed by Billy as to why he didn’t want to come, the boy replied that if Billy couldn’t even find the post office, how would he ever know where heaven was.

     If we apply this rather humorous story to our own everyday lives, we might be able to show others the way to heaven, but if someone were to ask us, "Where can I find God,? We might stumble a bit, especially if we have to rely on directions from our own experience. We suddenly realize that striving to know everything there is to know about God and heaven is not enough. We have to know God personally. That means God has to always be first and foremost in our daily lives. He cannot be someone we e-mail a short note or call occasionally to maintain some personal contact.

     The Samaritan woman in the 4th Chapter of John’s Gospel encountered Jesus in the course of her everyday chores. She listened to Jesus tell her about himself, about her desire for his water of life and her own personal life. The woman went back to her village and told everyone about Jesus and her experiences with him. Many of the villagers came out to meet Jesus and invited him to stay with them. And "many came to believe in him because of his word. Later, the villagers told the woman that "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."

     That is how we will come to know God. "Knowing" a person is based on two-way communication. We may talk, but, considering the Persons whom we address and experience, we need to listen more attentively and allow God to "speak" to us in the innermost depths of our daily lives. We need to be silent. We need to practice silence. And God, who knows our desires will come to us and make his dwelling within. And we will come to know God as we are known. And we will not have to give directions to heaven because we are already there...God in us and we in God.

During World War II, Nazi concentration camps were filled with suffering, deprivations and death... man's inhumanity to human life. Many prisoners witnessed the death of their friends. Elie Wiesel tells about one such time in his book, "Night." One evening, Elie Wiesel watched his friends die. As they died, he heard someone near him repeat the question, 'Where is God? Where is God?" This is the same question we ask when things don't go our way or God doesn't answer our sometime fervent prayers when we want God's immediate divine intervention. When we are deprived of something that we really want, but probably don't need, we ask a similar accusatory question, 'Where is our King?' Wiesel heard the question over and over and then he said quietly to himself, 'He is here, hanging on the gallows."

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus through his inter- mediary, John, compliments the Christian community of Ephesus in Asia Minor, (i.e., modern-day Turkey) for their diligence in proclaiming and safeguarding the faith that has been entrusted to them, but asks them why they have fallen down in keeping alive their original fervor of their love for God. It is a question addressed to us today. Do we still love him, as we once did as children who held nothing back because we loved and trusted him so much?

How often do we stop to pray to God? How often do we even stop to spend even a small fraction of time listening to God who longs to share with us his love and invitation to love him more deeply and more dearly? We have to overcome our fear that if we spend a little more time with God talking and listening to him, he might ask .. to change our ways and make more room for him in our comfortable, busy hectic lives. We might even love him more to the point that, instead of saying or talking about loving God, we risk becoming God centered lovers who look for God everywhere and in everyone and see what God sees.... his kingdom in our hearts, re-creating and renewing his kingdom already present in our hearts. May his 'kingdom come, his will be done!'"

Sincerely Yours in Christ, our King,

Fr. Gregory Moys


   [ St. Therese of Lisieux the "Little Flower"    I   St. Teresa of Avila  I  St. John of the Cross ]
[ Sr. Francoise-Therese, V.H.M. Edith Stein--St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross ]  
[ Secular Carmelite Information  I  The Carmelite Order The Brown Scapular  ] 
[ Our Inspirational Page  I  Pope John Paul II  I  Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
[ Elijah Prophet of God  I  Sr. Lucia, the Last Visionary of Fatima ]
The Martyrs of Compiegne   I   About Helen Carlin, OCDS   ]
[   St. Teresa of the Andes   I   Home Page

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