“O Emmanuel!” (God with us) This is the last of the “O Antiphons,” and it will be sung today during Vespers. It is the final heartrending plea of Holy Mother Church before the great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. We must all make this plea our own, perhaps more than ever before in our own lifetimes. Read More….
Most people desire peace. They desire peace of mind and of heart, peace with themselves, in their families and friendships, peace at work and at home. They have a constant yearning for it, but so often, it seems ever out of reach. Perhaps it seems out of reach because many don’t know what peace really is. In this newsletter we discuss what peace is and how it is attained.
In WEBSITE NEWS we remember some chaplets that would be good to pray in these times, most especially the Rosary, which was recommended to us by Our Lady of Fatima: "Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace in the world."
In COMMUNITY NEWS we describe a “normal” day at Carmel, from the time we rise in the morning until the time we go to bed at night. Read more…
We share a few thoughts and meditations as we get ready to start the season of Advent and a new Liturgical year.
In WEBSITE NEWS many suggestions for spiritual reading and show samples of some of our new Christmas card designs.
In COMMUNITY NEWS thank God for the blessing of the new building and share some pictures from our daily work. Read more…
It has long been the custom of Catholic Religious Orders to have a separate day, usually in November, to honor their own particular saints. Today, November 14th, is Carmelite All Saints Day . Again, just as on November 1st, the emphasis is on those whose feast day is not on the regular liturgical calendar, and those "unknown" Saints. We would like to introduce you to a few of these Carmelites - holy, prayerful, apostolic, heroic, and in love with Christ Our Lord: St. Peter Thomas, Blessed John Soreth, Blessed Fances D’Amboise, Sister Marie of Saint Peter, Mother Elias, and many others.
In WEBSITE NEWS we discuss the importance of Patron Saints, and the practice of using or wearing patron Saint medals. Of course there are preparations to be made for the season of Advent, and we are still working on our new website.
The biggest announcement in COMMUNITY NEWS is the start of a new building project. Read More….
All too often, November finds many of us racing into the celebratory mood of Christmas, without a thought of Advent, that preparatory season of light penance and prayer. Father Delp, who wrote from his WWII cell in Nazi Germany, had many beautiful reflections on this holy season that are applicable today: "Advent is a time of being deeply shaken, so that man will wake up to himself…. Perhaps what we modern people need most is to be genuinely shaken, so that where life is grounded, we would feel its stability; and where life is unstable and uncertain, immoral and unprincipled, we would know that, also, and endure it… erhaps that is the ultimate answer to the question of why God has sent us into this time, why He permits this whirlwind to go over the earth, and why He holds us in such a state of chaos and in hopelessness and in darkness… More, and on a deeper level than before, we really know this time that all of life is Advent."
We don’t forget, during this month of November, our brethren the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Briefly meditating on their sufferings reminds us of the need to pray for them: “Purgatory, in all truth, the workshop of infinite justice. Divine severity and rigor are exercised there with an intensity that, to us on earth, is unknown... On the other hand, purgatory is the masterpiece of the heart of God, the most marvelous artifice of His love.”
In WEBSITE NEWS we touch on the history and symbolism behind the Advent wreath, a beloved Catholic custom during these days before Christmas. We also introduce our new relic badge of Our Lady of Guadalupe, briefly remember the story of this great apparition and patron of the Americas, as well as studying the intricate symbolism contained in Her image.
COMMUNITY NEWS contains the completion of our new shrine to Our Lady of Fatima. Read more…
The practice of the presence of God, remaining always in God’s presence, is a beautiful practice that will aid us in our spiritual life and help us prepare for the feast of Christmas. Brother Lawrence, a humble Carmelite Lay-brother, was a mast of this method of prayer. “Although he passed his life in retirement, still there is nobody in any state of life who cannot draw great profit from learning about his conduct. He will teach persons engaged in the world to address themselves to God, to ask His grace for doing their duty, even while they are performing their business.” – Practice of the Presence of God
In WEBSITE NEWS we look forward to Christmas, remembering that so many of the Christmas customs we have spring from our Catholic Faith and have deep Christian symbolism. We especially look at the custom of having a Nativity set and the history behind the Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments. We have also expanded our offering of Liturgical music.
Christmas preparations are busy in Carmel, and we document just a few of them in our COMMUNITY NEWS. Read More….
The “Christmas Novena” is a beautiful short prayer to help us prepare for the great feast of Christmas, Starting on the Feast of St. Andrew. St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter, was known for his great love of the Cross and is a reminder to us where what the Nativity was only the beginning of, Christ’s act of Redemption. “O good Cross, made beautiful by the body of the Lord; long have I desired you, ardently have I loved you, unceasingly have I sought you out; and now you are ready for my eager soul.” – St. Andrew
Early December we have the Feast of two Carmelite Martyrs, Blessed Denis of the Nativity and Blessed Redemptus of the Cross.
In WEBSITE NEWS we review the history behind the Miraculous Medal, and study the deep symbolism and lessons contained in its design – a design made by the Blessed Mother Herself! We also added an Advent chaplet to our site.
In COMMUNITY NEWS we update you on our many projects, and deal with a subject that is constantly being enquired about. “Please tell us how you became Sisters.” Every person’s path, story behind their vocation, is unique. Read More….
The liturgy, as Saints and Doctors of the Church so often instruct, is the most fruitful source for individual spiritual life, personal prayer and progress in our union with God. This is vividly brought before us at this time of year, as we end the liturgical year and begin another. The liturgical texts of Advent bring before our minds and hearts the sentiments we should have as we prepare for the two-fold coming of Christ, both at Christmas and then again at the end of time: “The Lord shall come to save the nations, and the Lord shall make heard the glory of His voice in the joy of your heart.” (Isaias 30:30)
In WEBSITE NEWS we give suggestions for Christmas gifts, including many new books for children that have been added to our site.
In COMMUNITY NEWS we share our joy with you at one of our Novice’s final profession and veiling. The ceremony of receiving the black veil is both a symbolic and moving one. Read More….
Advent once again, and we recall the beautiful lessons it teaches us - the preparation for the renewal of the First Coming of our Lord in hiddenness and mercy, and the preparation for His Second and Final Coming in judgment. In this Advent letter, we tell you about Stephene, a customer who became a friend and shared with us a Christmas poem she wrote about having a gift to give to Our Lord Himself on His birthday.
In COMMUNITY NEWS we share are story of trying to stain some stores in freezing weather as well as preparations for Christmas. Read More….
Beginning another liturgical year is meant to bring us all back to a vivid remembrance of God's purpose and plan of Redemption—and the call to holiness that His redemptive work has won for us. "Now during the season of Advent, our Lord knocks at the door of all men's hearts—at one time so forcibly that they must notice Him, at another, so softly that it requires attention and vigilance to know that Jesus is asking admission. He comes to ask them if they have room for Him, for He wishes to be born in their house.” – Abbot Dom Gueranger
In WEBSITE NEWS we give some good gift ideas for Christmas.
In COMMUNITY NEWS we give answers to some of the questions most frequently asked us by our readers: What do the Sister eat? What do the Sisters read? Do the Sisters use medicine and medicinal herbs like the monasteries of old? Read More….