In this Edition:
- The Lenten Season
- Website News – Lenten Devotions and Gift Certificates
- Community News
Dear Friends of Carmel,
God’s Blessings to all during this holy time of Lent. Although our news will be brief because of the Lenten silence and discipline, we wanted to reach you with what we hope will be instructive, edifying, and helpful counsels for spending this holiest of seasons fruitfully. It is a time, yes, of deep examination of conscience and remembrance of our sins, and a time fasting and penance. But it is best to see Lent for what it is most of all: a season of love—of directing of our steps more surely to God, our first Beginning and our Last End. It is the season of zealous conversion! Keep in mind the virtues God wishes to instill through our poor, but loving efforts: humility, true sorrow for sin, confidence in His mercy, trust in His Will. For “Thus says the Lord: I will not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live.” Let us pray with the Church, who prays for all her children: “O God, the Restorer and Lover of innocence, direct to Thyself the hearts of Thy servants!”
Please visit the Lent page in the Catholic Devotions section of our website to learn more about what the “experts” teach about Lent. No one can teach us like the Saints, gifted scholars, and theologians of the Church.
As always, we wish to encourage you towards spiritual growth through good spiritual reading. Remember that God has used this important work of the spiritual life to convert and sanctify His best friends: behold St. Augustine, St. Ignatius, and St. Teresa! In addition to our new page for Lenten books, some of the Sisters have prepared brief “reviews” of favorite books we ourselves have found helpful to make progress in our life with God:
For those who are trying to enrich their spiritual life this Lent, Spiritual Combat is a book worthy of consideration. The book will lead you point by point away from the spiritual traps, pitfalls, and illusions which snag so many souls and arm you with all the spiritual weapons you need to overcome your passions, find God, and in the end, carry off the victory in that ever raging battle for your eternal salvation. —Sister M.
I found What Jesus Saw From the Cross to be a superb companion to the reading of the Gospel and the texts from the Lenten Liturgy, as well as a powerful aid to meditation and prayer. With fine scholarship, lyrical style, and a wonderful gift for teaching, Fr. Sertillanges gives us in his reflections a profound insight into the mind and heart of Christ. Jesus contemplates all things in a spirit of prophecy and remembrance because He sees from the viewpoint of Eternity! This book is a real treasure! —Sister N.
Lent is the perfect time to strive to increase our appreciation of the Blessed Sacrament. How to Get More Out of Holy Communion (First published in English as Holy Communion in 1940) reveals the riches imparted to souls by Our Lord in this greatest of the Sacraments. The author is a saint, St. Peter Julian Eymard, who founded the first community of priests dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, and his wonderful reflections and admonitions are the fruit of his hours spent before the Holy Eucharist. He was a master at softening and encouraging the soul to greater love of Our Lord in this mystery. The chapters in the book are short and easy to read in one sitting, but full to the brim with devotion based on the solid truth of doctrine. —Sister L.
We also thought you might be interested to know that, according to the Carmelite custom and Ceremonial, the Imitation of Christ is the only book to be read in the evenings of Lent during Collation (our evening meal).
For a second year, we are recommending also the Lenten devotion of Stations of the Cross. The Sisters love to use the special Stations Crucifixes as an aid when they make the Stations of the Cross privately. We are now able to offer these at a lower price than previously.
We now have a new gift certificate feature on our site that makes them easy to purchase and easy for the recipient to redeem. They can now be sent to the recipient by e-mail instantly or on a scheduled date, or you can print the gift certificate right on your own printer and deliver it yourself. Our new gift certificates are easy to redeem right in our on-line shopping cart, they do not expire, and they have no fees. Perhaps you need a gift quickly and don’t have time for us to make one of our handcrafted items. Also, sometimes it’s difficult to decide just what to get for someone. These gift certificates make wonderful gifts and allow recipients to choose exactly what they would like.
Lastly, this time of year we are often asked to recommend gifts for First Communicants. Please see our selection of First Communion Gifts, and note especially our new First Communion crucifixes, imported from Germany.
- On February 11th was the Final Profession of Vows and reception of the black veil for our oldest novice. This crowning event in the formation of any Carmelite nun was a jubilant event for the community and for the guests who attended.
- Coming up on March 18th is the Clothing Day of our young postulant. This is the day Sister receives the Holy Habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Another festive day, for which we decorate the grille and choir with garlands and roses.
- Yet another young lady of 19 will enter Carmel after Easter. Please keep all of our young vocations in your good prayers.
- Here in our area, we have witnessed the most severe winter since 1913. Those two back-to-back blizzards the week before and the week after Christmas dumped 21” of snow on us. The melting snow is rather like a receding glacier, and though most of it has melted, we still have 3-4′ drifts sitting in the shade of the trees and enclosure wall. But winter is not over yet in Colorado, and weather experts warn to expect a wet and cold March. We shall see…
Please be assured of our prayers for you during these Holy Forty Days. May God cleanse us by this sacred fast so that we may celebrate the Paschal Solemnity with pure hearts!
Your Carmelite Sisters