St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross

St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross

 There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.-Saint Thomas Aquinas Picture in your imagination a recreation room in a Carmelite monastery of nuns or in a Carmelite Friary! A young Carmelite nun spots a pair of castanets on a shelf,...
Getting To The Heart of the Matter

Getting To The Heart of the Matter

How many times have you heard the expression, “GET TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER!”? St. John of the Cross loses no time on that one for he counsels us, ” Where there is no love, put love and you will find love.”To  better understand the place of...
If You Only Knew…Saint Teresa and the Waters of Prayer

If You Only Knew…Saint Teresa and the Waters of Prayer

Jesus tired and thirsty sat down at a well and there encountered a Samaritan woman who had come to draw water. Asking her for a drink,“He said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him and he would...
The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to...
Carmelites From Everywhere…Virtually

Carmelites From Everywhere…Virtually

October 15th is Saint Teresa of Avila’s feast day and it marks the beginning of the year long celebration of the centenary of her birth.  Each branch of the Discalced Carmelite family made its own contribution to the festivities held in San José, California,...
To God With Love From St. Teresa

To God With Love From St. Teresa

St. Teresa and Way of PerfectionTo God with Love,I am yours, I was born for You:What do You want me to do?Teresa of JesusThese words taken from one of St. Teresa’s poems could easily have been penned by her in a letter to God. The phrase “I was born for...
2 Doctors, 2 Ways, 1 Goal: St. Teresa and St. Therese

2 Doctors, 2 Ways, 1 Goal: St. Teresa and St. Therese

Many of you probably have seen the 1965 film entitled The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp and Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. The first verse of the theme song goes like this:Climb every mountain,Search high and low,Follow every...
Meditation and Contemplation – What is the Difference?

Meditation and Contemplation – What is the Difference?

Dear Sister Mary Colombiere,I have heard of meditation and contemplation and sometimes the words seem to be interchangable.  Is there a difference between the two?Let us begin by saying that the basic difference between meditation and contemplation is that meditation...
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...
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...
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...