Archive for July, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who is Our Lady of Mt Carmel?

Who is Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


I feel very inadequate to post most anything on this blog, but especially today regarding Our Lady of Mt Carmel. I had forgotten her until months after my reversion to the faith. Now I know it was my Heavenly Mother who all along kept faithful watch over me and brought me home.

A blessed feast day to all my Carmelite friends… especially to Joyce and Theresa, two of the sincerest and most faithful people I have met online since I began this blog. Thank you both for kindness to me.

According to the most ancient Carmelite chronicles, the Order has its origins with the disciples of the prophets Elias and Eliseus. They lived in caves on Mount Carmel. They honored the Queen of Heaven as the Virgin who is to give birth to the Saviour. When the reality replaced the symbol, the pious ascetics of Carmel were converted to the Christian Faith. In the 12th century, many pilgrims from Europe who had followed the Crusaders came to join the solitaries. A rule was established and the Order began to spread to Europe.

Amid the many persecutions raised against the Order of Mount Carmel, newly arrived in Europe, Saint Simon Stock, General of the Order, turned with filial confidence to the Blessed Mother of God. As he knelt in prayer on July 16, 1251, in the White Friars’ convent at Cambridge, She appeared before him and presented him with the well-known brown scapular, a loose sleeveless garment destined for the Order of Carmel, reaching from the shoulders to the knees. It was given as an assurance, for all who died wearing it, of Her heavenly protection from eternal death. An extraordinary promise indeed, but one requiring a life of prayer and sacrifice.

Devotion to the blessed habit spread quickly throughout the Christian world. Pope after Pope enriched it with indulgences, and innumerable miracles put their seal upon its efficacy. The first of them was worked at Winchester on a man dying in despair, who when the scapular was laid upon him by Saint Simon Stock at once asked for the Sacraments.

In the year 1636, a certain gentleman, member of a cavalry regiment, was mortally wounded at the battle of Tehin, a bullet having lodged near his heart. He was then in a state of grievous sin, but he had time to make his confession. Afterwards a surgeon probed his wound, and the bullet was found to have driven his scapular into his heart. When it had been withdrawn he soon expired, making profound acts of gratitude to the Blessed Virgin who had prolonged his life miraculously, thereby preserving him from the irremediable death of his soul.

At Lourdes in 1858, the Virgin chose to make Her last apparition on July 16th, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the day the Church commemorates Her apparition to Saint Simon Stock. And at Fatima on October 13, 1917, it is as Our Lady of Mount Carmel that Mary appeared when She said farewell to the three children. Throughout the ages, the Queen of Carmel has always kept a faithful watch over the destinies of Her cherished children on earth.



posted by Caroline  |   1:00 PM  |   3 comments
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bl Kateri Tekakwitha ~ Jesus Must Be My Only Love

Here for us is yet another example of a saint who got the full view of earthly life at a very young age and overcame in her daily struggles by focusing not on the hostility of her times nor the ravages she suffered from disease, but on the Eucharist and Christ crucified.

“I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.”

Bl Kateri Tekakwitha

I admire these young saints whose lives exemplify virtues I’m still struggling to imitate at my age: humility, obedience, patience, purity and the spirit of sacrifice.

She died at the age of 24….

Bl Kateri, pray for us.


posted by Caroline  |   4:14 PM  |   0 comments
Thursday, July 14, 2011

St Henry, Emperor and Benedictine Oblate

St Henry
I had no idea…

While Keeping Vigil

Benedictine Oblates living and working in the world have two holy patrons: Saint Francesca of Rome whom we celebrated in March, and today’s Saint Henry. One of the things related about Saint Henry is that, on arriving in any town, he would spend his entire first night there in a vigil of prayer in a church dedicated to the Holy Mother of God. When he arrived in Rome in 1014, he spent the night in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome’s Bethlehem. While keeping vigil, he saw the “Sovereign and Eternal Priest-Child Jesus” enter to celebrate the Holy Mysteries. Saints Lawrence and Vincent assisted Our Lord as deacons. A throng of saints filled the basilica; Angels chanted in choir. It is noteworthy that in Henry’s vision Christ the Priest is a Child. One wonders if he was not keeping vigil before the altar of the Crib of the Infant Jesus in Saint Mary Major, a place of grace for countess souls through the ages.

Read More

St Henry was a monk in the midst of the world who felt it was His basic task to contemplate the face of Christ.
He represents every man who, while living in the world, is not entirely at home in it. “Set your minds on things that are above,” says the Apostle, “not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:3).
—via: Vultus Christi

posted by Caroline  |   12:27 AM  |   2 comments
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keep Singing in the Cellar

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations.

—Psalm 89:1

These uncertain times we live in feel like when my dad used to ask me to go down in the basement alone to do chores. It was always a dark descent even when the lights were on …even in the daytime. I’d fight him and pitch a fit..but he’d still ask me to go. My memory plays back the hollow sound of the wooden steps with each click of my shoes on the way down. I can still hear it and feel the fear.

It’s almost as if the Lord has resuscitated this memory to help me remember the faith of a child and how He strengthened me to do what I was asked even though I was afraid.

We need to know how to courageously continue on in our faith even when it appears the bottom is falling our of our country and the church.

Dad…I can’t go down there.

How will you know if something happens to me?

He would say,

I’ll be right here in the kitchen.

But I can’t see you.


I know where you are.

And if you’d like…you can sing.

When you stop singing, I’ll know something’s wrong.

So. I’d go down the steps…singing all the way and do you know I never tried to test him by stopping. I just trusted he could hear me.

I’d do the laundry, soak the codfish, put the games away…..and sing. He even reminded me that singing was praying twice.

That’s how I survived in that dark basement;

Singing, praying and trusting that my father knew exactly where I was; and that he could hear me.

If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.

—Psalm 139:11-12


posted by Caroline  |   8:57 PM  |   2 comments
Monday, July 11, 2011

40 Days for Life ~ Pray to End Abortion

For the next few months I will be posting announcements for a friend who coordinates the 40 Days for Life campaign locally. I used to go out to the sites and pray with them, but I’m not able to anymore for reasons I will share at another time. There’s always a story.

I offered to use my site to help her organize and mobilize our people and parishes.

If you have never participated or would like to see your parish join in this effort to end abortion, perhaps this is your opportunity to pray, fast and become involved in a campaign in your area.

40 Days for Life


From Laura:

Dear 40 Days for Life Friends,

Well it has been a very busy summer so far for the volunteers of 40 Days For Life Clearwater! We are glad to announce our updated schedule of Churches who have committed to come out and pray.

Our shift hours will be 7am-9am, 9am-11am, 11am-1pm, 1pm-3pm, 3pm-5pm Mon-Fri. 1pm-5pm for Saturday & Sunday. Our Spanish Community will be out on Saturdays and we are trying to get commitment from various Knights of Columbus for Sunday.

The dates for the Fall 40 Days for Life Campaign will be:

9/28/11 -11/6/11.

9/28  St. Luke’s

9/29  St. Michael Arc Angel & St. Patrick’s

9/30  St. Ignatius

10/4  St. Thomas Aquinas

10/6  Espiritu Santo

10/7  St. James

10/8  St. James

10/9  St. Cecilia’s

10/10 St. Cecilia’s

10/11  First Lutheran

10/12 First Lutheran

10/13  St. Catherine’s

10/14  St. Michael’s Dunedin

10/16  St. Michael’s Dunedin

10/17  St. Jerome’s

10/18  St. Vincent DePaul

10/20 Espiritu Santo

10/24  Life path Community Church

10/25  St. Vincent DePaul

10/26  St. Jerome’s

10/27 St. Luke’s

10/28 St. Catherine’s

11/3 Espiritu Santo

11/4 St. Ignatius

I will keep you updated with any new Churches who come on board. Please start your bulletin announcements and get your plan in place for getting your prayer warriors signed up to come out and pray!

We are in need of shift captains…so please contact me if you can help!

Peace and blessings to you all!

Laura Rosa


Clearwater 40 Days for Life

posted by Caroline  |   5:14 PM  |   0 comments
Monday, July 11, 2011

Solemnity of St Benedict ~ Always Welcome

St Benedict of Nursia

There was a man of venerable life, blessed by grace, and blessed in name, for he was called “Benedictus” or Benedict. From his younger years, he always had the mind of an old man; for his age was inferior to his virtue. All vain pleasure he despised, and though he was in the world, and might freely have enjoyed such commodities as it yields, yet he esteemed it and its vanities as nothing.

The Second Book of the Dialogues

Containing the Life and Miracles of Saint Benedict of Nursia (A.D. 480-547)

I am so blessed to have been given the gift of the oblate life. From a very early age I had a longing for God I couldn’t explain and never quite saw life through the same prism as my friends. The Lord took that longing and saved the best wine for my later years after I had already been vowed to the vocation of marriage and had children. He has blessed me with a family of brothers and sisters, some whom I won’t meet until heaven but others I know from the monastery and am affiliated with and some online.


That’s the first word of the Rule of SB and probably the greatest lesson I’ve learned since I began to read it 4 years ago.

There’s a Brother at the abbey who brings joy to my heart every time I see him. He doesn’t say much … but he’s always smiling.

One day I was late coming out of the oblate meeting and wanted to stop at the abbey bookstore before it closed. I was rushing because I had a long drive home and the clouds were building up in the late afternoon sky. I had to beat the rain.

As I ran up to the entrance of the bookstore I see Brother J slowly open the door and smile as I approach.

Oh, I said as I stop in my tracks and drop my arms in defeat.. Am I too late? Are you closing?

No…he said with a smile that lifted up the the ‘no’ to sound like a welcome. I’m opening the door for you because…

I’m so happy to see you.

The genuine sweetness of his welcome followed me into the store where he listened attentively to whatever tale of woe I was telling him.

He helped me looked for the book I wanted and he said the next time he opened the door for me I should remember…

It will always be for a welcome….and to listen.

A blessed and grace-filled Solemnity of St. Benedict to all. Let us all pray for each other and for all the Benedictine family throughout the world and throughout time, from the Abbot Primate to the freshest Oblate novice. Give thanks for this holy, striving Family of ours. Were there no St. Benedict and no Holy Rule, no Benedictine Order, how many of us reading this would never have known one another, We have so much to be grateful to God and to St. Benedict for. May God “lead us all alike to everlasting life!”

—Brother Jerome Leo


posted by Caroline  |   3:25 PM  |   2 comments
Sunday, July 10, 2011

His Word Shall Not Return Void

Vincent van Gogh–The Sower

A sower went out to sow;

….so shall My Word be that goes forth from my mouth;

my Word shall not return to Me void,

but shall do My will achieving the end

for which I sent it.

—Isaiah 55 10-11

Hold onto the promises of His Word and Scripture.

They cannot fail.


posted by Caroline  |   2:09 PM  |   0 comments
Sunday, July 10, 2011

At the End of the Day…He’s Not Going to Own Me

Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, both held hostage and sexually assaulted in two of the nation’s most famous missing children’s cases, are becoming victims advocates by taking their stories to the media in the next few days.

In a preview of Sunday’s show, Sawyer told Good Morning America that Dugard has come away from her time in captivity with what appears to be a healthy outlook.

“She looks with unflinching clarity at what was done to her. The handcuffs, the sexual abuse – she talks about it, she tells about it,” Sawyer said about the interview. “But at the end of the day she says, ‘He’s not going to own me. I will stare it down and I will not be afraid.’”

christian post

Talk about it …stare it down…I will not be afraid ..

That’s exactly what it takes to make sure he never owns you.

Praise the Lord for these courageous young women.


posted by Caroline  |   12:49 AM  |   1 comments
Saturday, July 09, 2011

Pray for the Church in China

Feast of St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Saint Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese diocesan priest who was martyred with his 119 companions in 1815. Among their number was an eighteen year old boy, Chi Zhuzi, who cried out to those who had just cut off his right arm and were preparing to flay him alive: “Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian.”

The Church in China still suffers today. Pray for the state controlled church as it continues to defy the Vatican

and self appoints it’s own bishops.

Pope Benedict XVI has composed a prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, asking the worldwide Church to join in prayer for Chinese Catholicism.

In China, devotion to the Virgin Mary centers on the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, in Shanghai.

May God sustain all the Chinese faithful who suffer for Christ.



Picture and text on St Augustine Zhao Rong

catholic culture

posted by Caroline  |   1:28 PM  |   0 comments
Friday, July 08, 2011

Wise as Serpents…Innocent as Doves

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;

so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

—Matthew 10: 16

To continue on from yesterday’s post.. once you find your voice and begin to proclaim ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand’ you might run into a slight situation. You will soon find out that you are a sheep in the midst of wolves and no one wants to hear what you have to say.

In the gospel today, we learn from Jesus that it’s no mistake….That is the commission He calls us to. He tells us it will be a glorious but hazardous work.

The feast of the Chinese martyrs tomorrow will remind us of that. We are put here, as St Paul says,

for the defense of the gospel

—Philippians 1:16

However, when you’re trying to separate men from their sins, some would rather see you imprisoned or dead.  This is why we must pray for our priests and all of us who are sent to share the good news. It’s a spiritual battle we’re in and without prayer we won’t be able to withstand the assaults– for not all have faith.  (2 Thessalonians 3:2)

Then Jesus gives the instruction:  First,

Be wise.

In Proverbs, Solomon tells us that’s the principle thing and the profits of it are better than silver, gold or rubies. Nothing compares to it. Without it you will not have the skill or knowledge to discern God’s ways. So why then, since the serpent is usually likened to the enemy, would Jesus tell us to be wise….like that? A serpent eats dust, he’s deceitful and venomous…he hisses and throws off his own skin.

Yet, there are some characteristics of the serpent that combined with the grace of a dove bring beautiful balance .

The serpent is subtle…but his eye is sharp. (Genesis 3:1) Knowledge of the Scriptures and tradition of our church give us a sharp spiritual eye to see people and situations from God’s perspective.  He’s also crafty, cunning, smart and shrewd…not likely to be charmed by others.

When you combine that with the innocence, meekness and purity of a dove, now you have a powerhouse with which to meet the lost sheep.

You have the prudence, wisdom and knowledge to reprove the sin….but the gentleness to love the sinner.

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him.

—Leviticus 19:17

You know when to speak and when to keep silent.

Now in those days the counsel which Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the oracle of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.

—2 Samuel 16:23

You can sense the difference between a season of grace and the time when God is pruning a tree to bear more fruit.

You can be serious, but cheerful…

You can see danger coming from far away and in an instant take to flight on your wings .

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.

—Matthew 10:23

Amen, come Lord, Jesus.


posted by Caroline  |   7:50 PM  |   0 comments