St Francis de Sales on Sadness

The enemy takes advantage of sadess to tempt the good… [he] is pleased with sadness and melancholy, because he is sad and melancholy himself, and will be so for all eternity; and therefore he wishes everyone to be like himself.

Evil sadness troubles the soul, leads it into disquietude, gives birth to inordinate fears, causes a distaste for prayers, dulls and oppresses the brain, deprives the soul of counsel, of resolution, of judgement and of courage, and weakens her energy: briefly it is like a hard winter which takes away all the beauty from the earth, and benumbs all living creatures; for it takes away all sweetness from the soul, and makes her almost paralysed and powerless in all her faculties.

If you should ever find yourself attacked by this evil sadness, make use of the following remedies: If anyone is sad, says St James, let him pray; prayer is a sovereign remedy, for it lifts up the soul to God, who is our only joy and consolation. But when you pray, make use of aspirations and words, whether interior or exterior, which tend to confidence in God and love of him, as: O, God of mercy! O God most good! My loving Saviour! God of my heart!…

Vigorously resist inclinations to sadness, and though it may seem to you that whatever you do in such a time is done oddly, sadly and half-heartedly, yet do not omit to do it; for the enemy, who tries to make us weary of good works by sadness, seeing that we do not fail to do them, and that when they are done with repugnance they are more meritorious, ceases to trouble us any longer.

Sing spiritual canticles, for the evil one has often been forced to desist from his efforts by this means…

It is good to occupy oneself with exterior works and to vary them as much as possible, in order to divert the soul from what causes the sadness, to purify and warm the spirit, sadness being a passion of a cold and dry nature.

Advertisements

The Jesus Psalter

The Jesus Psalter is believed to have been composed in England by the Brigittine monk, Richard Whitford, who called himself “the Wretch of Sion”. This devotion was near and dear to the hearts of English Catholics in the days of persecution. It was printed and sold separately as early as 1520, though no copy from that period is known to have survived. In the oldest manuscripts and books the text of the prayer was usually given in English with the various notes and instructions in Latin.
“There is no other Name under heaven given to men whereby we may be saved.” Acts 4:12

Begin by a devout bowing of the head or genuflection at the adorable Name of Jesus.
Part I
“At the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, and of things in hell; and let every tongue confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10,11)
First Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – have mercy on me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – have mercy on me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – have mercy on me.
————–
Jesus, have mercy on me, O God of compassion, and forgive the many and great offenses I have committed in Thy sight.

Many have been the follies of my life, and great are the miseries I have deserved for my ingratitude.

Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, who am unable to help myself.

Deliver me from setting my heart upon any of Thy creatures, which may divert my eyes from continually looking up to Thee.
Grant me grace henceforth, for the love of Thee, to hate sin: and out of a just esteem of Thee, to despise worldly vanities.
Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.
O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Second Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – help me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – help me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – help me.
————–
Jesus, help me to overcome all temptations to sin and the malice of my ghostly enemy.

Help me to spend my time in virtuous actions and in such labors as are acceptable to Thee.

To resist and repress the motions of my flesh to sloth, gluttony, and impurity.

To render my heart enamored of virtue and inflamed with desires of Thy glorious presence.

Help me to deserve and to keep a good name, by a peaceful and pious living; to Thy honor, O Jesus, to my own comfort and the benefit of others.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Third Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – strengthen me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – strengthen me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – strengthen me.
————–
Jesus, strengthen me in soul and body, to please Thee in doing such works of virtue as may bring me to Thy everlasting joy and felicity.

Grant me a firm purpose, most merciful Savior, to amend my life and atone of the years past:

Those years which I have misspent to Thy displeasure, in vain or wicked thoughts, words, deeds, and evil customs.

Make my heart obedient to Thy will; and ready, for Thy love, to perform all works of mercy.

Grant me the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which, through a virtuous life and a devout frequenting of The most holy sacraments, may at length bring me to Thy heavenly kingdom.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Fourth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – comfort me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – comfort me.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – comfort me.
————–
Jesus, comfort me and give me grace to place my chief, my only joy and felicity in Thee.

Send me heavenly meditations, spiritual sweetness, and fervent desires of Thy glory; ravish my soul with the contemplation of heaven, where I shall everlastingly dwell with Thee.

Bring often to my remembrance Thy unspeakable goodness, Thy gifts, and Thy great kindness shown to me.

And when Thou bringest to mind the sad remembrance of my sins, whereby I have so unkindly offended Thee, comfort me with the assurance of obtaining Thy grace by the spirit of perfect penance, purging away my guilt and preparing me for Thy kingdom.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.
blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Fifth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me constant
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me constant
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me constant
————–
Jesus, make me constant in faith, hope, and charity with continuance in all virtues and resolution not to offend Thee.

Make the memory of Thy passion and of those bitter pains Thou sufferedst for me, sustain my patience, and refresh me in all tribulations and adversity.

Make me ever hold fast the doctrines of Thy holy Catholic Church and be a diligent frequenter of all holy duties.

Let no false delight of this deceitful world blind me, no fleshy temptation or fraud of the devil shake my heart:

My heart, which has forever set up its rest in Thee; and is resolved to give up all things for Thy eternal reward.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
“Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” Phil 2:8.

Hear these my petitions, O most merciful Savior, and grant me Thy grace so frequently to repeat and consider them, that they may prove east steps, whereby my soul may climb up to the knowledge, love, and performance of my duty to Thee and to my neighbor through the whole course of my life. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … I believe in God …
Part II
“At the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, and of things in hell; and let every tongue confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10,11)
Sixth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – enlighten me with spiritual wisdom.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – enlighten me with spiritual wisdom.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – enlighten me with spiritual wisdom.
————–
Jesus, enlighten me with spiritual wisdom to know Thy goodness and all those things which are most acceptable to Thee.

Grant me a clear apprehension of my only good and discretion to order my life according to it.

Grant that I may wisely proceed from virtue to virtue till at length I arrive at the clear vision of Thy glorious majesty.

Permit me not, dear Lord, to return to those sins for which I have sorrowed and of which I have purged myself by confession.

Grant me grace to benefit the souls of others by my good example and to convert those by good council who have used me ill.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Seventh Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fear Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fear Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fear Thee.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace inwardly to fear Thee and to avoid all occasions of offending Thee.

Let the threats of the torments which shall befall sinners, the fear of losing Thy love and Thy heavenly inheritance, ever keep me in awe.

Let me not dare to remain in sin, but call me soon to repentance: lest through Thine anger the dreadful sentence of endless death and damnation fall upon me.

May the powerful intercession of Thy blessed Mother and all the saints, and above all, Thy own merits and mercy, O my Savior, be ever between Thy avenging justice and me.

Enable me, O my God, to work out my salvation with fear and trembling; and may the apprehension of Thy sacred judgments render me a more humble and diligent suitor at the throne of grace.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Eighth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace truly to love Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace truly to love Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace truly to love Thee.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace truly to love Thee for Thy infinite goodness and those great bounties I have received and hope forever to receive from Thee.

Let the remembrance of Thy kindness and patience conquer the malice and evil inclinations of my perverse nature.

Let the consideration of my deliverances and Thy gracious calls and continued protection through life shame me out of my ingratitude.

And what dost Thou require of me, for and by all Thy mercies, but to love Thee; and why, but because Thou art my only good?

O my dear Lord! my whole life shall be nothing but a desire of Thee: and because I truly love Thee, I will most diligently keep all Thy commandments.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Ninth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to remember my death.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to remember my death.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to remember my death.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace always to remember my death and the great account I then must render; that so being kept continually disposed, my soul may depart out of this world rightly in Thy grace.

Then by the gracious intercession of Thy blessed Mother and the assistance of the glorious St. Michael, deliver me from the danger of my soul’s enemies; and do thou, my good angel, I beseech thee, help me at the hour of death.

The, dear Jesus, remember Thy mercy; and turn not, for my offenses, Thy face away from me.

Secure me against the terrors of that day, by causing me now to die daily to all earthly things and to have my continual conversation in heaven.

Let the remembrance of Thy death teach me how to esteem my life; and the memory of Thy resurrection encourage me cheerfully to descend into the grave.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Tenth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – send me here my purgatory.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – send me here my purgatory.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – send me here my purgatory.
————–
Jesus, send me here my purgatory, and so prevent the torments of that cleansing fire, which, after this life, awaits unpurged souls.

Vouchsafe to grant me those merciful crosses and afflictions, which Thou seest are necessary to break off my affections from all things here below.

Since none can see Thee that loves any thing but for Thy sake, permit not my heart to find here any rest but a seeking after Thee.

Too bitter, alas! will be the anguish of a separated soul that desires, but cannot come to Thee, clogged with the heavy chains of sin.

Here then, O my Savior, keep me continually mortified in this world; that purged thoroughly by the fire of love, I may immediately pass into the everlasting possessions.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
“Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” Phil 2:8.

Hear these my petitions, O most merciful Savior, and grant me Thy grace so frequently to repeat and consider them, that they may prove east steps, whereby my soul may climb up to the knowledge, love, and performance of my duty to Thee and to my neighbor through the whole course of my life. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … I believe in God …
Part III
“At the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, and of things in hell; and let every tongue confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10,11)
Eleventh Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fly evil company.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fly evil company.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fly evil company.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace to fly evil company; or if I chance to come among such, I beseech Thee, by the merits of Thy uncorrupt conversation among sinners, preserve me from being overcome by any temptations to mortal sin.

Make me, O blessed Lord, ten remember always with dread, that Thou art present and hearest; who wilt judge us according to our words and actions.

How, then, dare I converse with slanderers, liars drunkards, or swearers, or such whose discourse is either quarrelsome, dissolute, or vain?

Repress in me, dear Jesus, all inordinate affection for the pleasures of taste and of the flesh; and grant me grace to avoid all such as would excite the fire of these unhappy appetites.

May Thy power defend, Thy wisdom direct, Thy fatherly pity chastise me, and make me so to live here among men as may fit me for the conversation of angels hereafter.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Twelfth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to call for help to Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to call for help to Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to call for help to Thee.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace in all my necessities to call for help to Thee and faithfully remember Thy death and resurrection for me.

Wilt Thou be deaf to my cries, who wouldst lay down Thy life for my ransom? or canst Thou not save me, who couldst take it up gain for my crown?

Whom have I to invoke but Thee, O my Jesus, whose own blessed mouth has pronounced, “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will relieve thee “?

Thou art my sure rock of defense against all kinds of enemies; Thou art my ever present grace, able to strengthen me to fight and conquer.

In all my sufferings, therefore, in all my weakness and temptations, will I confidently call upon Thee; hear me, O my Jesus, and when Thou hearest, have mercy.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Thirteenth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me to persevere in virtue.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me to persevere in virtue.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – make me to persevere in virtue.
————–
Jesus, make me to persevere in virtue and a good life; and never to draw back from serving Thee till Thou bringest me to my reward in Thy kingdom.

In all pious customs and holy duties, in my honest and necessary employments, continue and strengthen, O Lord, both my soul and body.

Is my life anything but a pilgrimage upon earth towards the new Jerusalem, at which he that sits down or turns out of the way can never arrive?

O Jesus, make me always consider Thy blessed example, through how many and great pains and how little pleasure Thou pressedst on to a bitter death; because it is the way to a glorious resurrection.

Make me, O my Redeemer, seriously ponder those sever words of Thine, “He only that perseveres to the end shall be saved.”

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Fourteenth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fix my mind on Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fix my mind on Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – grant me grace to fix my mind on Thee.
————–
Jesus, grant me grace to fix my mind on Thee; especially in the time of prayer, when I aspire to converse directly with Thee.

Control the wanderings of my mind and the affections of my heart; repress the power of my spiritual enemies who could then draw off my mind from heavenly things to thoughts and imaginations of vanity.

So shall I, with joy and gratitude, behold Thee as my deliverer from all the evils I have escaped, and as my benefactor for all the good I have received or can hope.

I shall see that Thou Thy very self art my only good; and that all other things are but means ordained by Thee to make me fix my mind on Thee, to make me love Thee more and more and be eternally happy.

O beloved of my soul, absorb all my thoughts here, that I may become worthy to behold Thee forevermore face to face in Thy glory.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
Fifteenth Petition
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – give me grace to order my life to Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – give me grace to order my life to Thee.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – give me grace to order my life to Thee.
————–
Jesus, give me grace to order my life to Thee, heartily intending and wisely designing all the operations of my body and soul, for obtaining the reward of Thy infinite bliss and eternal felicity.

For what else is this world, but a school to discipline souls and fit them for the other? And how are they fitted for it but by an eager desire of enjoying God, their only end?

Break my forward spirit, O Jesus; make it humble and obedient; grant me grace to depart hence with a contempt for this world and with a joyful hope of coming to Thee in the next.

Let the memory of Thy passion make me cheerfully embrace all occasions of suffering here for Thy love; whilst my soul breathes after that blissful life and immortal glory, which Thou hast ordained in heaven for Thy servants.

O Jesus, let me frequently and attentively consider whatsoever I gain, if I lose Thee, all is lost; and whatsoever I lose, if I gain Thee, all is gained.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and sincere lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory. Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one eternal God, have mercy on me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever world without end. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary …
“Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” Phil 2:8.

Hear these my petitions, O most merciful Savior, and grant me Thy grace so frequently to repeat and consider them, that they may prove east steps, whereby my soul may climb up to the knowledge, love, and performance of my duty to Thee and to my neighbor through the whole course of my life. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … I believe in God …

Sharing in the Family of Carmel

Enrollment in The Brown ScapularLatin

Priest – Ostende nobis Domine misericordiam tuam.
Respondent – Et salutare tuum da nobis.
P – Domine exaudi orationem meum.
R – Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
P – Dominus vobiscum.
R – Et cum spiritu tuo.
P – Oremus. Domine Jesu Christe, humani generis Salvator, hunc habitum, quem propter tuum tuaeque Genitricis Virginis Mariae de Monte Carmelo, Amorem servus tuus devote est delaturus, dextera tua sancti+fica, tu eadem Genitrice tua intercedente, ab hoste maligno defensus in tua gratia usque ad mortem perseveret: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

THE PRIEST SPRINKLES WITH HOLY WATER THE SCAPULAR AND THE PERSON(S) BEING ENROLLED. HE THEN INVESTS HIM (THEM), SAYING:

P – Accipite hunc, habitum benedictum precantes sanctissima Virginem, ut ejus meritis illum perferatis sine macula, et vos ab omni adversitate defendat, atque advitam perducat aeternam. Amen.

AFTER INVESTITURE THE PRIEST CONTINUES WITH THE PRAYERS:

P – Ego, ex potestate mihi concessa, recipio vos ad participationem, omnium bonorum spiritualium, qua, cooperante misericordia Jesu Christi, a Religiosa de Monte Carmelo peraguntur. In Nomine Patris + et Filii + et Spiritus Sancti. + Amen.

Benedicat + vos Conditor caeli at terrae, Deus omnipotens, qui vos cooptare dignatus est in Confraternitatem Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo: quam exoramus, ut in hore obitus vestri conterat caput serpentis antiqui, atque palmam et coronam sempiternae hereditatis tandem consequamini. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R – Amen.

THE PRIEST THEN SPRINKLES AGAIN WITH HOLY WATER THE PERSON(S) ENROLLED.

English

Priest – Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.
Respondent – And grant us Thy salvation.
P – Lord, hear my prayer.
R – And let my cry come unto Thee.
P – The Lord be with you.
R – And with your Spirit.
P – Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, sanctify + by Thy power these scapulars, which for love of Thee and for love of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Thy servants will wear devoutly, so that through the intercession of the same Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and protected against the evil spirit, they persevere until death in Thy grace. Thou who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

THE PRIEST SPRINKLES WITH HOLY WATER THE SCAPULAR AND THE PERSON(S) BEING ENROLLED. HE THEN INVESTS HIM (THEM), SAYING:

P – Receive this blessed scapular and beseech the Blessed Virgin that through Her merits, you may wear it without stain. May it defend you against all adversity and accompany you to eternal life. Amen.

AFTER INVESTITURE THE PRIEST CONTINUES WITH THE PRAYERS:

P – I, by the power vested in me, admit you to participate in all the spiritual benefits obtained through the mercy of Jesus Christ by the Religious Order of Mount Carmel. In the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. + Amen.

May God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and earth, bless + you, He who has deigned to join you to the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel; we beseech Her to crush the head of the ancient serpent so that you may enter into possession of your eternal heritage through Christ our Lord.
R – Amen.

THE PRIEST THEN SPRINKLES AGAIN WITH HOLY WATER THE PERSON(S) ENROLLED.

More From The Lectures of Titus Brandsma

All Called to Mystical Life.

It strikes us immediately that the blind brother, with
all possible stress, maintains that we are called to
the mystical life, all of us; that the mystical life,
the familiar intercourse with God, the experiencing
god, the enjoyment of God, is something God will grant
man on earth, nay, grants it to many if only they make
themselves susceptible to it and place no limit or
hindrance to His love. Those who have entered the Order
of Mount Carmel should keep in mind that God calls them
to the enjoyment of His presence even in this life;
that He wills us to contemplate Him, to lose ourselves
in Him; that we should regard this as the first and
highest obligation and never allow either study, work
or pastoral duties to push it into the background.

He is very emphatic in this. On the other hand, he
acknowledges the necessity of study, of preaching and
of other pastoral duties. But these should be grounded
on a more elevated contemplation. That was the reason
why he wished the younger members of the Order to be
set on the road of contemplation so that, grown up and
confirmed in this, they could never really lose that
habit of contemplation. Thus all their work would be
supported by the most intimate intercourse with God.

As emphatically as possible he rejects the idea that
the mystical life which does not consist essentially in
sights and visions, stigmata and levitations, but
simply in seeing God before us and with us and in us,
being consumed through love for Him, knowing the divine
fire within us and only wishing with God that it burn
and consume us — that this mystical life is not for
us, for every one of us. Naturally, he leaves the
disposition of this grace and its degrees to the good
pleasure of God. He does not want us to look upon
mystical life as something we can rouse in ourselves.
It is and ever remains a gift of God, but God has made
our nature susceptible to it. He does not want us to
disregard this susceptibility, to neglect developing in
and freeing it from such hindrances as lessen its
working in us. To this negatively directed preparation
he adds the more positive one of the steady practice of
virtue. Here it is clearly evident how nearly he is
related, on the one hand to St. Teresa and on the other
to Ruysbroeck; evidently both have influenced him. The
Devotio Moderna taken by Geerte Groote in its pristine
and noblest conception from Ruysbroeck has in this
respect been also adopted by St. Teresa. This is
especially true of the idea that man should not remain
inactive and leave everything to God but that a steady
activity in practising virtue and holiness is the first
and indispensable preparation for the higher grades of
mystical life.

The Order Is a School; a Family.

Our Order resembles a classroom in which we acquire
this practice of virtue, or a large family in which the
members strive together toward a common goal with
greater facility than is possible to individual effort.
In the spiritual life, no more than in ordinary life,
can we dispense with education, with teachers and with
guidance. It is an exception when God does not call in
the human aid of a community or of an Order to lift His
elect to the heights of sanctity. That is why it is so
significant that there are schools of mysticism in the
Church each with its own traditions, each following a
different road, but all emanating from one central
point, which is God Himself, and leading to one goal,
again not distinct with God. God has willed in Nature a
great richness and diversity. In the spiritual life He
also wills a variety, adapted to the diversity of
talents and the richness of forms under which He
communicates His graces. So also in His prescience He
called the Order of Mount Carmel into being and
overwhelmed it with graces. Its function would be to
form a school of mystical life, with a very personal
stamp which the leaders of the Order would preserve in
order that the Order would answer its peculiar
vocation. When God transplants into the garden of
Carmel the young seedlings that will open for Him like
flowers; when He calls to the Order so many fresh young
souls, glowing with zeal, then He desires that the
Order care for these souls.

Splendour of God’s Wisdom.

Next Brother John acknowledges openly that he fervently
wishes to make known the splendour of God’s wisdom
which wishes to do immensely more in man than it does,
but is hampered by the hindrances offered by man and
his frequent unworthiness. However, to him who pays due
respect, God’s Wisdom is lovely. It will fill all its
elect with its treasures, its loveliness, its gifts. It
will overwhelm them and reward them with the full
enjoyment of itself. The less they are intent upon it,
the more they shall partake of it. Mostly they do not
think of it, or they would give their life a thousand
times for God. In fact, they almost live beyond
themselves already, quite wrapped in God. And their
body is subject to their spirit.

Special Form of Prayer, “Aspiration.”

To attain this the Venerable brother insists moreover
on prayer and meditation, on a form of prayer which
might be called the continuation and permanent fruit of
prayer. Hendrik Herp, the Franciscan pupil of
Ruysbroeck, first employed the word which John of St.
Samson has taken over in his school, not as something
new in itself, but never before emphasized from this
point of view. John of St. Sampson has taken over this
form of prayer which is so perfectly in accordance with
the traditions of the old monks and also of the hermits
of Carmel. In his conference with the Abbot Isaac,
Cassian speaks about the use of ejaculations and
aspirations. Ven. John of St. Sampson further developed
this practice in a way that might truly be called
masterly. He has taught us the full beauty of this form
of prayer and brought it into use. He calls it with
Hendrik Herp, toegeesting, uplifting, or “aspiration”
and attaches to the latter word a peculiar meaning. It
is an exercise on our part and at the same time it is
thought to be extremely effective in making us share
the infusion of the abundance of divine grace because
it so greatly develops our receptiveness for grace and
absolutely opens our hearts to God. It is not simply a
loving dialogue; that is only the beginning and start.
It is a soaring to God, the bursting forth of a flame
out of our loving and glowing hearts. It is an attempt,
repeated again and again, to unite ourselves as closely
as possible to God, or rather, to reform ourselves in
God and conform ourselves to Him. It is an impulse, a
desire to lose ourselves in God and God does not
repulse us. He takes us to Him and we grow into one
spirit, we are filled with His spirit, we live his
life. How remarkable! We long for God because we are
filled with His spirit, with Himself. And because we
are filled with Him, we desire ever more to be filled;
we seek Him and so He fills us ever more. This practice
transcends all understanding, it transcends all display
of affection, it strives immediately to God and aims at
nothing else than being one with Him. Since intellect
and love are at the bottom of this “aspiration,” or
“uplifting,” it takes its stand there, yet one thinks
neither of intellect nor love, but only to gather its
fruit, the union. Nevertheless, in its growth it is an
exercise and many various steps may be distinguished in
it.

Four Steps to Aspiration.

The first step is the sacrifice of oneself and all
creation to God. In doing this it is best to focus the
offering all in one idea; that all is His, without
drawing special attention to one particular work of His
hands. We are to see God, not the creature; the
creature only in so far as is needed to mount up to
God. The second step is a request for His gifts; that
He Who is able to give them may give them; that He Who
is rich and mighty may diffuse this splendour. The
third step is the making of oneself similar to God, by
loving Him fervently and by desiring all to accept this
love and incite it in themselves. the last step is the
union of oneself perfectly to God. This includes all
the previous steps, but on a higher plane.

All this is far from easy, therefore the brother quite
understands that success does not come at once, but he
wishes us to take great pains. Gradually we shall
succeed. The exercise can, as it were, be ever more
intensified, till at length it grows into something
like an immediate seeing or grasping of God and grows
so familiar that it becomes second nature. All images
disappear; we pass above everything immediately to God.
Only we should not push this so far that we should want
to exclude Christ’s humanity from our upward flight to
God. He is ever to remain our Intercessor, our
Mediator.

Knowing by Not-Knowing.

Relative to the union with God in the innermost parts
of our souls, the Venerable John loves to speak most of
an all-surpassing, all-exceeding, all-overreaching
contemplation, which according to his expression draws
the subject quite into the object, perfectly unites the
subject with the loved object and so enthralls the
subject with the object that one is absolutely
possessed by the other. In this he sees a wonderful
interchange. The soul loses itself in God. Its
understanding, its total bewilderment is its richest
idea. It realises that it will know the Highest by not
understanding what it knows. It often cannot talk about
it, nor find words to express what it should want to
say if it had to, or were to, communicate anything of
the Unspeakable. Thus it is for the soul both light and
darkness at the same time. So they, to whom God has
given the highest understanding, speak in an
incomprehensible language, only to be understood by
those who have been uplifted to an equal height.
Besides, men of this kind should not like to speak
differently with others, unless God would desire it.

The Scintilla Animae.

The true pupils of the school of Carmel should be in a
high degree wrapped up in themselves, to find and meet
God in the innermost recesses of their souls. There God
goes to meet them. He grows by the meditations they
devote to Him and the love they dedicate to Him. He
grows in the innermost depths of their being till they
cannot hide Him any longer and He does not want to
remain hidden in them any longer. John of St. Samson
renews here the old theory of the scintilla animae, the
spark of the soul, of the synderesis or summing up of
everything in the first and simplest terms, from which
everything develops and which is gradually known in its
richness, but which should ever be kept in mind as the
ground and the first summary. In the innermost,
deepest, most essential part of us God is the being of
our being, life of our life, the reason of our
existence and of everything we do and are able to do.
There God is like a spark in our soul. He has kindled
fire in us — fire that imparts light and warmth, fire
that must flame up.

From Augustine Baker Holy wisdom : or, directions for the prayer of contemplation, extracted out of more than forty treatises

Amorous Aspirations

My Lord and my God.
Being infinitely peaceable and infinitely amiable;
infinite abyss of goodness, infinitely delicious and desirable;
O torrent of inestimable delectations and joys ;
O my all-sufficient reward ;
Thou art my only immutable good.
What do I desire but Thee I
O, draw me after Thee ;
Inflame me with the fire of Thy most fervent love.
O my God, my God and All,
Plunge me in the abyss of Thy Divinity, swallow me entirely,
and make me one spirit with Thee, that Thou mayest take Thy
delights in me.
Nothing but Jesus, nothing but Jesus.
O Jesus, do Thou alone live and reign in my soul.
My God, let me only love Thee, and that suffices me.

From the Lecutres of Titus Brandsma on Carmelite Mysticism

One of the great figures on whom St. Simon relied for
the building up of Carmel in the West was Henry de
Hanna or Henry Hane, an Englishman. He was a man who
achieved fame not only in England but also on the
Continent. He was St. Simon’s great collaborator, and
his influence was tremendous. In an ancient manuscript
at Oxford, three sermons are preserved which in my
opinion cannot be ascribed to anyone but Henry Hane.
They are in a collection of Sermons of Eckhart and his
school.. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the mysticism
of Eckhart was predominant in the German lands and the
mysticism of Carmel especially in these lands came
under its influence. In his works, however, Henry Hane
avoids the tendency to excessive subtlety which
characterises the works of Eckhart. He ever takes a
middle position between the intellectual school of the
Dominicans and the school of the Franciscans
emphasising more the affective method and the
importance of the will. Just as in the mysticism of St.
John of the Cross, the influence of pseudo-Dionysius,
the Areopagite, is clearly seen, so also in the system
of Hane we find the six degrees of the soul’s ascent to
God taken from the same source.

The Six Degrees.

The first degree is the opening of the soul to God:
“Open to me, my beloved,” says the Bridegroom in
Solomon’s Canticle. The second degree is reached when
God — and here is meant the Holy Trinity — draws the
soul up to himself and comes to dwell therein. God is
born in the soul. Quoting from St. Augustine, Hane says
that there is a re-birth when love and desire are
united. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is light, love,
joy and peace. Here there is already a departure from
the intellectualism of Eckhart, in the insistence on
the element of love as the means through which God is
born in us. The third degree is the transformation of
the soul in God. This takes place through the
indwelling of light. In this light the soul sins no
more and the beauty of God is seen in such a way that
the darkness of sin no longer appears. The soul becomes
oblivious of everything which is not God. It walks in
the light as a child of light. Gustate et videte,
“Taste and see”: first. the mystical experience of God,
and in its wake-illumination. First light breaks in the
soul and then in this light the soul sees the source of
light. But the soul must have this light before it can
see. In this connection, Hane uses a figure, afterwards
used by St. Teresa. “The soul must not try to fly
before its wings are fledged.” It must bear the yoke of
Christ and feel how sweet it is, before it knows who it
is who has laid the yoke upon it.

In the fourth degree God releases enormous energies in
the soul and the natural faculties of the soul are
elevated and become supernatural and deified. In the
effulgence of its new light the soul becomes keenly
aware of its own natural infirmities, but God draws it
above itself and in the realization of its own
infirmities, the soul understands ever more perfectly
the omnipotence of God and His condescending love. In
this way, to use St. Paul’s words, the soul goes from
light to light.

In the fifth degree there is complete union of the soul
with God. God takes the form of the soul and the soul
takes the form of God and is transformed in God. The
heavenly light penetrates the soul entirely and in this
heavenly light it sees itself. Air in the light of the
sun appears no longer air but only light.

In the sixth degree not only does the light shine in
the soul, but the soul is wrapped in the light. In the
midst of this effulgence, the soul, like a precious
stone, is pierced through and through with the
brightness of the light and reflects itself in it and
this light beams forth from all its facets. Now it is
all light. The soul becomes translucent and a mirror of
divinity, as Dionysius says of the Angels.

Ideas of Hane Familiar to St. Teresa.

Thus does Hane explain the coming of the Lord into the
soul. He exclaims with St. Paul: “Rejoice, the Lord is
at hand.” St. Teresa is in remarkable agreement with
Hane in many of the images which he uses; so much so
that it would seem as if Teresa were familiar with his
works. Like him, she insists in the first instance that
we should open our souls to God. Acknowledging our
sins, we should betake ourselves to God and being
consumed in God, we should be cleansed from our sins
and imperfections and be free to advance to His love.
She also knows the image of the Bridegroom knocking at
the door of our souls and waiting for admission.
Remarkable also is the stress laid on the necessity of
practising the virtues as a preparation, accompaniment
and fruit of mystical life. They have in common the
image of flying before the wings are fledged. By her
also love is emphasised as a means of union with God.
St. Teresa especially loves the image of the sun and
its light and the image of the precious stone, the
diamond, in whose inmost heart the light dwells,
shining forth on all sides. Not only in the deepest
meaning of the metaphorical language is there agreement
but also in the description of the successive degrees
of the mystical life. Henry Hane’s description and St.
Teresa’s are almost identical. Also it is most
interesting to note how both teach that the
supernatural is built upon natural foundations and that
the supernatural is the development of the natural
potentialities.

Old Tree Flourishing Again.

So we see that the old tree, transplanted to new
ground, maintained its growth. That growth was
influenced, of course, by new conditions but it
survived the storms and winters of its new environment.
By its inner vitality and the care of the Heavenly
Gardener, it struck its roots deep into the new soil.
At times the storms tore off a branch here and there,
and its life was threatened, but the old trunk could
not be destroyed. It put forth new shoots and its
branches spread wider than ever before. And now it
stands, not the least among the noble trees in the
great garden of the Church.

Edith Stein

“I even believe that the deeper one is drawn into God, the more one must ‘go out of oneself’; that is, one must go to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.”

From The Collected Works of Edith Stein
Self Portrait In Letters 1916-1942

translated by Josephine Koeppe, O.C.D., quote page 54
letter #45 to Sr. Callista Kopf, OP ,presumably sent to Munich

From the Lectures of Titus Brandsma iii

Double End of Contemplative Life: Ascetical and
Mystical

In this school the mystic life properly so called is
without reserve a pure gift of God. None-the-less, it
is set forth as the aim of Carmelite life, as the glory
with which God may crown our lives here below. This
carries with it the implication that Carmelite
spirituality must be concerned to produce these exalted
dispositions of soul with which alone this free gift of
God is compatible. It is true, however, that no
dispositions, however perfect, may demand this gift as
a right. It ever remains a free gift of God. On this
particular aspect of the mystical life, there has been
much discussion among the theologians and it is closely
connected with the question, which has been answered in
different ways, as to a special election or vocation to
the mystical life. On this question we have widely
differing opinions. Some lay great stress on the
mystical life as a special gift from God and as such
not the object of vocation. Others go further and say
we may not even desire such a grace, nor pray to obtain
it. In such a view there can be no preparation for the
mystical state, nor any question of suitable
dispositions; and although this school admits of
“receptivity,” still it declares that this receptivity
weighs as nothing in the balance because God grants His
gifts as He wills, nor can human effort increase or
augment that receptivity. This is the school of the
Oratio Infusa, in which the principal emphasis is on
the mystical grace as a free gift. Holding a contrary
position is the school of the Oratio Acquisita, which
rather puts human activity into the forefront and
sometimes in such terms as to imply that God, Who is
not to be surpassed in generosity, would be obliged to
grant this grace to those who use every effort to make
themselves worthy of it. This grace being the
legitimate crown of the spiritual life, the fact that
it is not granted to all is not a proof that He does
not wish to share it with all men. but only that few
have made themselves worthy of it.

Combination of Oratio Infusa and Acquisita: Happy Mean

The school of Carmel, at least in its representative
members, observes the happy mean between these two
extremes. According to the ancient document concerning
the Order’s spirit, the attainment of this high state
of mystical communion is put forward as the aim of all
Carmelites and all are obliged to conform their lives
to this lofty ideal, but at the same time the free
character of the mystical grace is insisted upon. St.
Teresa in her own masterly way describes how the life
of grace is built on natural foundations. The life of
grace even in its highest degree is ingrafted into the
natural and under its impulse the whole human
personality grows to its fullest maturity. She shows
how human nature is created by God with a
“susceptibility” for these exalted states of grace, but
on the other hand the practice of the virtues and the
actived contemplation must precede, accompany and
follow the mystical experience. That is why, after
giving glory to God as the giver of all gifts, she lays
particular emphasis on the practice of prayer and
virtue. May I say how gratifying it is to me to put
before you this idea of the spiritual life of the
Order? It has been the constant tradition of Carmel. We
find it in the beginning. It is the spirituality of the
“Institution of the First Monks.” The Carmelite life
has a twofold end. We obtain the first by our toil and
virtuous efforts, aided by divine grace. It consists in
offering to God a holy heart, free from actual stain of
sin-the other is communicated to us by a free gift of
God, ex mero Dei dono, not only after death but even in
this life, and consists in tasting in some way in the
heart and experiencing in the mind the strength of the
Divine presence and the sweetness of the glory from on
high.

Carmel, unlike the children of our day, is not afraid
of the mystical life. The spirit of the Order does not
regard it as doing violence to nature but knows that
nature in the last analysis is destined for such
perfection. Nor is the mystical way the only way. Great
sanctity may be achieved without mystical graces and
favours. This is apparent from the lives of many
saints. It is enough for those on Carmel to live in
God’s presence, in loving humility, content with what
the good God may send. Time and place are of little
importance. Sometimes on earth the flower blooms in all
its glory in the garden of God but most often comes
only to bud. But in heaven all God’s flowers will open
in the glory of the Sun. If the good God, like a good
gardener, brings some to perfection here, others
hereafter, that is His own mysterious choice

So again let us insist that the school of Carmel
demands preparation, the exercise of the greatest
virtue. Our lives must be ordered, oriented in the
direction of the Order’s aim.

Common Way: Characteristic Virtues

In order to appreciate better in what this training
consists, let us consider in brief three points
emphasized by our Rule. The introduction reminds us
that many of the things in the Rule are common to all
who bind themselves by the three vows, to lead a life
of perfection.

Purity

But it brings the Vow of Purity into special
prominence. It is true that in the beginning, the Vow
of Obedience was understood to contain the other two.
Obedience is a virtue that implicitly contains all
others. But among these virtues there is one which has
a particular glory and the Rule singles out that of
Purity to emphasize its excellence. Our service of God
should be characterised, it says, by a pure conscience
and a pure heart. The Order sees as its good exemplar
the Mother of God, the Virgin of Virgins. In the
clothing ceremony of the Carmelites, the white mantle
is put on with the admonition that it should ever be a
reminder of the following of the Lamb without spot.

Recollection

A second point emphasised by the Rule is silence and
recollection as a necessary condition for a life of
prayer. Active recollection, by which we put ourselves
and keep ourselves in the presence of God, has always
been regarded as the essential preparation for
communion with God in the mystic life. Just as the
Prophet did not hear the voice of God in the storm, but
in the gentle breeze, so the heart of the spiritual man
must not be shaken by the storm but must listen for
God’s voice in the silence of its own interior. The
constitutions of the Order have always stressed this.
To recover recollection of spirit has ever been the
first step of all reform.

Spiritual Armour

Thirdly, let me remind you of a third chapter of the
Rule, which recalls so vividly the crusading spirit.
That particular chapter is full of the noise of battle.
But it is no longer the battle against the Saracens,
but against a more terrible enemy of the holy land of
our own souls. It bids us buckle on a spiritual armour
of six pieces. The first is the cincture of chastity,
which must be put on in penance and mortification. By
mortification is meant not only corporal penances but
also the bending of our will to the will of God as the
most direct way to purity of heart. In His Will, says
Dante, is our peace. To unite our will with God’s means
a continual effort at self-conquest. So the Ritual
speaks of the girdle as a chain which binds us and
causes us to be led by another.

The second piece of spiritual armour, the breastplate,
protects the most vital part of the combatant. Your
breast must be protected with holy thoughts. They must
fill your heart and strengthen it inwardly and defend
it as with impenetrable armour. The cuirass of
righteousness is the third piece we put on. It is
difficult to walk in armour but facility comes with
practice. We must wear our armour as true knights of
Christ, not bring dishonour on our arms. We must wear
our habit with the understanding that it marks us out
as following Him, Who is God.

Then the shield of faith. Only a living faith can
sustain us against attack. Without a living faith, our
vocation is meaningless. Our faith is the source of all
our power. It is the faith which gives us our life’s
purpose and direction. Half-faith can accomplish
little. But a living faith is a creative and an
unfailing source of strength and energy.

The fifth piece is the helmet of salvation, symbol of
hope and confidence. The helmet protects the head —
with it we can walk with head erect and no fear can
overcome us.

But armour is to protect us; we need weapons for the
warfare. For a sword we have, sixthly, the word of God.
It must be in our hearts and on our lips. All is to be
done in His name. God’s holy name is the watchword
given to us by our Rule.

Through the parable of the two standards, St. Ignatius
taught his disciples to see life in terms of battle;
the following of the great leader for the greatest of
all causes. The same idea is contained in the chapter
of the Rule we have been considering. For if the spirit
of the Order is characterised by modesty and
simplicity, it also inherits the high and spirited
chivalry of the Crusaders. In this there is nothing
harsh and militaristic but it is the gracious gallantry
of the true knight who lays his sword on the altar of
his Lady to undertake in love and simplicity the most
lowly services she may demand.

Carmelites, Busy Bees

James of Vitry has compared the contemplatives of
Carmel to busy bees. Over the great moors they fly in
their quest for honey. Away from the dust and grime of
life, in the cool and open spaces, they collect their
honey-store. For worldlings it is an arid place and
uninviting, but for them the desert blooms as the rose.
In early autumn every little sprig of heather on these
moors puts on its royal livery and the rough places
glow from end to end in the purple symbol of penance.
Deep in those tiny bells the honey lies. Is not this a
perfect image of our lives? All the myriad sprigs, the
simple duties of our daily round, done in the spirit of
love and penance, bloom along the autumn moorland of
our lives. They are rich with honey. So like the busy
fees, let us build up our spiritual store from the
actions of our daily routine.

From the Lectures of Titus Brandsma ii

The Little Flower dreamt of conquering the world for
God and to realise this dream she entered a convent
where she was quite shut off from the world and then
cried out, transported with joy, that her dream had
come true. Only he can grasp this who has penetrated
into the secrets of God’s grace; who understands that
in praying for grace and in sacrificing our life in
union with the Sacrifice of Calvary, God’s Grace is
obtained. In this the chief part of pastoral care and
of missionary work consists. This is the most splendid
and intimate joining of the active and contemplative
life, not in one person but in the mystical Body of
which we are all members. We must be glad that the
unity of the mystical Body of Christ recreates even the
most secluded life, spent quite shut off from the world
and in the service of God, making it a fit soil for
missionary work, from which the latter can ever draw
new sap of God’s grace. This thought has led to the
foundations of Carmels in the missionary countries
also. Over and above the other sacrifices, these
Sisters give up their country and climate and take a
lifelong farewell of parents, relations and friends of
their own. This idea drew little Therese in desire to
Indo-China. “Here,” she writes, “here I am loved and
this affection is very sweet to me. But that is just
why I dream of a convent in which I should be unknown,
in which I should have to bear the exile of the heart
as well. I should like to go to Hanoi, to suffer much
for the good Lord. I should like to go there to be
lonely, to have no single consolation, no single joy on
earth.”

Besides, the sight of these convents in the missions
keeps alive the idea of the value of the Apostolate of
prayer, both for those who practice it and for those
who remain outside. It is edifying to see how
missionaries themselves vie with each other in founding
Carmelite convents: how Popes and Bishops insist on the
building of these houses; how the Pope, to further this
thought, has made little St. Therese to be the patron
saint of all mission work as well as the work of the
reunion of Churches.

We Should Imitate the Little Flower.

This should indue all who are called to the spiritual
life of Carmel but especially those who cannot now, or
who can no longer, take an active part in the
Apostolate of the Church — to regard contemplation as
the better part of the Order and should urge them to
follow as strictly as possible the contemplative life,
calling down the indispensable blessing of God on the
activity of the others.

From the small convent of Lisieux St. Therese has
preached her “Little Way” by sweeping the corridors and
washing dishes, cleaning the oratory and working in the
garden, by nursing the sick and helping the needy, by
studying at the proper time and reading what the mind
requires for its development. She has so conquered the
world. It is no wonder that this conception of inner
life of the school of Carmel, laid down in her Story of
a Soul, has drawn thousands to Carmel, that in our
busy, hurrying time she stands high, like a lighthouse
in a churning sea.