Our Lady of Sorrows is Our Lady of Hope

Our Lady of Sorrows is Our Lady of Hope

By Sister Isabelle, O.C.D. A few months ago, I received word from my mother that my Aunt had been found without a pulse in the inn where she was staying. She had already passed away several days before they found her and we still do not know how she died. My beloved...
Look on the Star, Look to Mary

Look on the Star, Look to Mary

By Sister Marie Estelle, OCD “Ave Maris Stella”- Hail Star of the Sea, is an ancient title for Our Lady. It hails from a time when transportation relied heavily on ships on the sea. As a guide sea captains used a compass and the stars to get them safely to port....
Zeal is Faith and Love in Action

Zeal is Faith and Love in Action

By Sister Meredith, OCD As a second year novice, I was sent to live with our elder sisters at the Casa Nazarena Convent, lovingly referred to as “Casa”. It’s the home for our sisters in need of assistance in their daily living due to age, sickness, or both. I recall...
Learning How to Forgive (Part 2)

Learning How to Forgive (Part 2)

By: Sister Carmelina, OCD In part 1 of this blog, I reflected on the first steps to move from anger to forgiveness in the New Year. The secret is reaching a deep spirit of consent to the circumstances of my life which moves me to accept myself as well. Knowing that...
Learning How to Forgive (Part 1)

Learning How to Forgive (Part 1)

By: Sister Carmelina, OCD The new year, new hopes for the future, new ideas for a better me. Oh yes…. A better me…. Hhhmmm…. What does that mean? There are so many levels of me. Where do I start? Definitely my relationship with God should be the first area to...
How the Holy Spirit Leads Us to a Deeper Relationship with Christ

How the Holy Spirit Leads Us to a Deeper Relationship with Christ

By: Marta Timar Of the three persons of the Blessed Trinity, it is perhaps the Holy Spirit who is hardest to grasp. Most of us understand God (the Father) to be The Creator, the one who holds the entire universe in His hand, the author of life. Jesus, the second...
The Secrets of Your Grandmother’s Rosary

The Secrets of Your Grandmother’s Rosary

By: Sr. Shawn Pauline, O.C.D. The phone rang. A terrible accident had just occurred. One of her grandchildren had just been in an accident on the farm. The faith I witnessed in that moment was enough to never forget my grandmothers’ rosary. It was my cousin Drew. He...
Authentic Friendship-Learning From Mary

Authentic Friendship-Learning From Mary

By Sr. Elizabeth Therese God made us for communion, and as women, we have been given an incredible gift. In fact our fundamental value as women is our ability to receive the other, our gift of receptivity that is characterized by our self-gift, giving the gift of...
What exactly are indulgences?

What exactly are indulgences?

By Marta Timar There are many Catholic teachings shrouded in misunderstanding, and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that indulgences rank fairly close to the top of that list. Understanding what indulgences are and what they are not can help clear up the confusion....
A reflection on Easter

A reflection on Easter

By Marta Timar The ultimate among Solemnities, the greatest among Feasts – Easter is the day we celebrate the crowning, central truth of our faith in Jesus Christ. Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar, more important than even Christmas. It is...
Where in the World Is Carmel?

Where in the World Is Carmel?

By Sister Timothy Marie, OCD An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling...
Courage:  It’s Time to Enter The Desert

Courage:  It’s Time to Enter The Desert

By Sister Mary Clare, OCD I’ll never forget one of my first summers in California with its desert climate. I was amazed that when the sun went down, so did the temperature, unlike my familiar humid eastern climate. I was equally amazed at the force with which the heat...
Mother Luisita’s Tips on Hope

Mother Luisita’s Tips on Hope

By Sister Gianna, OCD On March 1st, 1934, Mother Luisita wrote to one of her Sisters: “Today “The Month of Our Hopes” begins because it’s the month of our father St. Joseph. Let us try to spend this month with all possible fervor, and trust that he’ll...
A Valentine from Saint John of the Cross

A Valentine from Saint John of the Cross

 The Living Flame of Love by St. John of the Cross   O living flame of Love That tenderly wounds my soul in its deepest center! Since now You are not oppressive, Now perfect me if it be your will: Tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!   O sweet cautery,...
Healing Through the Hands of Our Mothers

Healing Through the Hands of Our Mothers

Lourdes and Luisita are two words which inspire very different thoughts in our minds. Lourdes- we think of Mary, Bernadette, grottos, water, and healing. Luisita; we think of our Mother foundress, Mexico, hospitals, schools, and religious persecution. The two...
Remembering St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Remembering St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Originally posted on: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2012/10/carmelite-sisters-remembering-st-therese-of-lisieux/ How is it that those of us living today know anything at all about this young obscure nun, Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, who...
His Power

His Power

Postulancy is the first stage of religious life and no matter how old one is, or how much life experience one has, this initial introduction to life in the convent has a way of dismantling any existing illusions of self-sufficiency.  Religious life is a supernatural...
Californians Pray as Assisted Suicide Becomes Law

Californians Pray as Assisted Suicide Becomes Law

by NR Interview Text taken from an article on the National Review Website   I noticed something beautiful in my inbox in recent days: People praying. While some statements and sentiments about prayer in the face of violence and death have gotten some media...
The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become...
God Is Enough

God Is Enough

We sisters are often asked to explain what our life as  consecrated women is like. Each time I am asked to do this, the same question lingers in my mind. How can I explain the in-explainable? Human words can never explain supernatural realities. Vatican II did a...
Lord, Open My Lips

Lord, Open My Lips

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) These words ring out in the chapel, breaking the silence of the early morning. It is still dark outside and our community of sisters, albeit still a bit bleary-eyed, has gathered to begin the...
May Crowning

May Crowning

May is the month traditionally dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. As part of our May traditions, Catholics around the world may celebrate Mary in a special way by having a “May Crowning”. In this ceremony, special veneration is shown to the Mother of Jesus...
Nothing Is Impossible to God

Nothing Is Impossible to God

Often when I introduce myself, people seem surprised. “I thought Carmelites were cloistered?” Occasionally there is a slight tone of suspicion in their voice, as if maybe we were escapees or something. I am always prompt to clarify things for them. While most...
Memories of Receiving the Habit

Memories of Receiving the Habit

On the day I received the religious habit, I was 19 years old and only a little more than 10 months in the Community.  The experience was a life-changing one as in our early formation we  knew that the Reception of the Habit was the beginning of our “spousal...