Our Inspirational Page

 




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God is not Someone out there, but a loving Presence deep within us. Contemplation is not long hours of meditation on a far-off deity, but a loving surrender of ourselves to this inner Presence, a letting go and trusting in the guidance of the One within.                                                       Helen Carlin, OCDS

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"God became man, so that man could become God."  St. Augustine



The true essence of the Church cannot be found in its earthly institution but must be sought in the spiritual life of the Church which takes place in the heart of man; for it is within the heart that Christ reveals itself. Once Christ reveals itself to a soul, the heart becomes a battleground where the Initiate fights his way toward complete Christ consciousness, or "the mind of Christ" as St. Paul wrote.
This battle is the lifelong struggle of the spiritual nature of the Christ in us and the human nature of man, it is sometimes called, "Unseen Warfare," and is the essence of the spiritual life of the Initiate. In conducting this struggle the soul becomes purified in order to allow the Christ within to take control of our lives. As St. Paul also said, "I am in travail until Christ be formed in you." This is the true and ultimate purpose of the Mystical Church, that it become no longer I but Christ who dwells in me, or as St. Teresa says, our Divinization..            

                                                                       Helen Carlin, ocds

 

"The Carmelite , then is the successor of the prophets as witness to the desert vocation of Israel, that is, of the Church: a reminder that we do not have on this earth a lasting city, and that we are pilgrims to the city of God. But more specifically, the Carmelite seeks, by his preaching and by the witness of his contemplative life, not merely to bring the Gospel message to the people at large, but above all, and in a special way, to lead others in the ways of prayer, contemplation and solitude. The Carmelite Apostolate has, ideally speaking, this very special modality of its own. It is a contemplative apostolate to other potential contemplatives. It is an apostolate of interior prayer. It is a ‘school of prophets.’ It teaches, indeed, but what it teaches above all is the way of the hidden life. And here above all, memo dat quod non habet. No one can give something which he does not himself have." 
                                              Thomas Merton,   "Disputed Questions" 

 


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"This Presence of God ... if practiced faithfully, works secretly in the soul and produces marvelous effects and draws down to it in abundance the graces of the Lord and leads it insensibly to the simple gaze, that loving sight of God everywhere present, which is the most holy, the most solid, the easiest, the most efficacious manner of prayer. "
                                      
"When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to doing so: I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself.  If I fail not, then I give God thanks,  acknowledging that it comes from Him." 
                                                                                 Brother Lawrence, OCD

 

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"There have always been solitaries who, by virtue of a special purity, and simplicity of heart have been destined from their earliest youth to an ermitical and contemplative life, in some official form.  These are clear and uncomplicated vocations.

It is not of these I speak but of the paradoxical, tormented solitaries for whom there is no real place; men and women who have not so much chosen solitude as have  been chosen by it.  And these have not generally found their way into the desert either through simplicity or through innocence.  Theirs is the solitude that is reached the hard way, through bitter suffering and disillusionment." 
                                                                                 Thomas Merton, Disputed Questions


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"It is an essential feature of the Carmelite spirituality to consider Christ as the bridegroom of the soul and to find in that living union (spiritual marriage) the most perfect transformation into God, for we should bear in mind that Christ realizes in Himself the highest unity of God and creature. The progress of a spiritual person toward God is rather the progress of God in him or her. The ascent to the mountain on a person's part corresponds to the more real descent of God into his/her being. What ultimately matters is not our ideas, or our experiences or our denying this or doing that; what 'matters' is not a method of prayer or a peculiar way of life. The all-important thing, the unique and the ultimate end of man is sanctity, union with God, transformation in God, divinization of our full being. The reason is clear: I am not more mine, but it is God that is in me and I in Him.  That is the Christian Mystery of Christ!"         
This is from the Preface of St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle


St. Teresa of Avila said, "Prayer is conversation with God."

"Whoever doesn't use a little effort now, to be sufficiently recollected to see the Lord within herself, would have been much less likely to stay at the foot of the cross with Magdalene, who saw the death of Christ with her own eyes."  St. Teresa of Avila

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It was St. Teresa's uncle who gave her "The Third Spiritual Alphabet" by
Francisco de Osuna  when she was ill and at her fathers home, when he
came to visit her family.

 

To live the life of holiness outlined in the Gospel it is not necessary to leave the world and go live in a monastery. Perfection is for all, according to the way of life in which God calls each man or woman. Holiness consists in being like Christ, following Christ and surrendering our lives so that "He lives fully in us." A more exact idea of holiness is found in the living of the commandment of love that is prescribed by Christ, telling us that we must love God with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole strength, and our neighbors as ourselves.

The history of the Church shows that the saints who were the most prayerful were the most effective in the apostolic life. The saints did not live for themselves, but found that in serving their neighbor they were serving Christ Himself. "Whatever you do to the least of these, my brethern you do unto me"!                     Helen Carlin, OCDS



Next to silence, music is the closest thing to God.



 

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