Is My Prayer Good Enough?

Is My Prayer Good Enough?

Question: Dear Sister, My prayer experiences don’t seem good enough or holy enough, long enough or intense enough. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can pray better?Answer: Dear Friend, Yes, I do have a few suggestions. That’s easy…First of all, I suggest not...
Those Pesky Reptiles

Those Pesky Reptiles

Dear Sister, In the Interior Castle, St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things?Those “pesky reptiles”! When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well,...
Can a Lay Person Be a Carmelite?

Can a Lay Person Be a Carmelite?

Question: Can a layperson be a Carmelite, or is it only for those who are called to be priests, nuns, and sisters?Among the many graces Our Lord bestows, some begin as a little seed planted in the depths of the soul. In due time, that seed blossoms into a pull toward...
To Clean or Not to Clean…

To Clean or Not to Clean…

Yes, it is the time of year that we are faced with the grim reality of spring cleaning. The boxes that haven’t been touched in years need to be opened, the clothes that are no longer in fashion need to be donated, and the never-ending cleaning list needs to be...
Distractions During Prayer

Distractions During Prayer

Question:I have a hard time dealing with the silence that prayer requires. My mind never stops racing every time I sit down to pray. I heard somewhere that St. Teresa of Avila had the same problem. Do you know how she overcame it? Is it possible to overcome this...
Formation in Virtue

Formation in Virtue

The Childhood of Mother LuisitaFor Don Epigmenio de la Peña, June 21st was a special day. It was the birthday of his beautiful wife, Maria Luisa. On that day in 1866 there was another significant occurrence. As the angelus bells were ringing, his little daughter,...
Receive the Holy Habit of Carmel

Receive the Holy Habit of Carmel

Monday, March 25, 2013, began like any other day.  We arrived in the chapel for morning prayers, Divine Office, and Mass.  It was a clear, crisp southern California morning, with the almost-full moon still visible in the northern sky.  An atmosphere of expectancy...
Distractions During Prayer

Silence & Solitude

What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer?  What thoughts have crossed your mind when you have read the Gospel narrative of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and Martha “stewing” in the kitchen because she was left alone to do the...
Sometimes Prayer is So Frustrating

Sometimes Prayer is So Frustrating

 Dear Sister,  In the second mansion St. Teresa strongly emphasizes the need for perseverance. Can you help me understand how this works in a practical way? I really struggle to keep a consistent prayer time and to stay focused when I pray. Sometimes it is so...
Spiritually Stuck, Pt 1

Spiritually Stuck, Pt 1

Dear Sister, I feel like I am stuck in mansion somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I...
Spiritual Detachment

Spiritual Detachment

Dear Sister, In your recent series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful  by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could...
Spiritual Detachment, Pt 2

Spiritual Detachment, Pt 2

In our first post, we defined and illustrated what attachments are and how they can hinder our flight to God. In this post, we will talk a bit more about attachments and then provide a few questions and guidelines to help us identify our own attachments. Attachments...