Holy Mother Foundress-Saint Teresa of Avila, Carmelite Reformer

15 October 2014

Today is one of the happiest Feast Days in Carmelite convents all over the world. Our Holy Mother “Foundress” Saint Teresa of Avila’s Feast Day is on the Roman Calendar on October15th. Interestingly enough Pope John Paul II anniversary of his papacy is the same day. Why interesting? Most do not know that John Paul wanted to become a Carmelite and was turned down twice because the Bishop of Krakow wanted him to be a Diocesan priest.

John Paul throughout his Papacy showed much affection towards the Carmelites. In fact, the day I saw him in Baltimore with the Carmelite Sisters I was with attending his parade, we were treated to a surprise. We were in habit and were holding signs in Italian saying: “The Carmelites love JP II !” He looked at us & responded in Italian as the Popemobile came to a dead stop. The priest he was with rolled down the window and he shouted out the window, “And John Paul loves the Carmelites too!” in Italian of course!!

St. Teresa of Avila Feast Day

St. Teresa (1515-1582) was born in Avila and died in Alba, Spain. When only a child of seven, she ran away from home in the hope of being martyred by the Moors; in this way, she said she could come to see God. At the age of eighteen she joined the Carmelite Order and chose Christ as her heavenly Spouse. With the help of St. John of the Cross she reformed most of the Carmelite convents and founded new ones. She reached the highest degree of prayer and through prayer obtained such knowledge of divine things that in 1970 Pope Paul VI named her the first woman Doctor of the Church.


Also well known as St. Teresa of Jesus and honored by the Church as the “seraphic virgin,” virgo seraphica, and reformer of the Carmelite Order, ranks first among women for wisdom and learning. She is called doctrix mystica, doctor of mystical theology; in a report to Pope Paul V the Roman Rota declared: “Teresa has been given to the Church by God as a teacher of the spiritual life. The mysteries of the inner mystical life which the holy Fathers propounded unsystematically and without orderly sequence, she has presented with unparalleled clarity.” Her writings are still the classic works on mysticism, and from her all later teachers have drawn, e.g., Francis de Sales, Alphonsus Liguori. Characteristic of her mysticism is the subjective-individualistic approach; there is little integration with the liturgy and social piety, and thus she reflects the spirit of the sixteenth and following centuries.
Teresa was born at Avila, Spain, in the year 1515. At the age of seven she set out for Africa to die for Christ, but was brought back by her uncle. When she lost her mother at twelve, she implored Mary for her maternal protection. In 1533 she entered the Carmelite Order; for eighteen years she suffered physical pain and spiritual dryness. Under divine inspiration and with the approval of Pope Pius IV, she began the work of reforming the Carmelite Order. In spite of heavy opposition and constant difficulties, she founded thirty-two reformed convents.

Read more at BattleBeadsBlog…


SynodWatch14: Bishop Morlino gets it and @CatholicLisa does also!

6 October 2014

Bishop Morlino: The real underlying issue of the synod is the mind-body split

posted By Lisa Graas
at her Blog, LisaGraas.com

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Last night, I watched a video of Bishop Morlino’s speech at Institute of Catholic Culture on the topic of the upcoming synod on the family. In the speech, he gives voice to the core reality of Christian life that I have been trying to preach from my little housetop in the context of identity in Christ. Identity in Christ is just one of the many teachings involving Christian family life that are denied by what Bishop Morlino refers to as the “mind-body split.” The mind-body split is essentially a relativist claim. It is claimed that what you believe in your mind is the reality that you must live, that there is not objective reality that you must adhere to.
Watch the video here.

Excerpt from Bishop Morlino’s speech, emphasis mine:

I used to tell college students all the time in the Seventies and the Eighties, the mind-body split is going to ruin society, and we’re getting close. We’re a lot closer now than we were in the Seventies and the Eighties.
So, Familiaris Consortio, the nuptial meaning of the body, the sacredness of the one flesh union, the place of God’s presence where he can indeed step in and create new life; a space, the one flesh union that belongs to God in a very special way.
The Instrumentum Laboris for the synod. What is an Instrumentum Laboris? It means the outline of the work we’re going to do. The Instrumentum Laboris is not a document that offers Catholic teaching. It’s an agenda for a meeting. This is what we’re going to talk about this October when the synod gets together.
bishop morlino offering EF MassIt’s an extraordinary synod. It means all the presidents of the bishops’ conferences throughout the world and a small group of others that the Holy Father appoints. An extraordinary synod is different from a general synod. When we have the general synod in 2016, we bishops get to elect other bishops besides the president of the conference to go. It’s bigger. So this extraordinary synod that’s coming up in October is preparatory for another larger synod to be held in a year, 2016.
So, this is the agenda for the meeting. These are the questions that we want to talk about, and they’re all the questions with regard to the family that we’ve discussed so far, and then some. There are more issues to be brought up, but the real underlying issue of the synod which just stays beneath every question and every topic is the mind-body split, and if one were to read the Instrumentum Laboris that way, you see that it’s about many different issues, but in the end it’s about one thing, the relationship of the human mind to the truth. Whether human freedom is meant to dominate nature and biology, or whether human reason should be accountable to nature, and so direct freedom according to the Natural Law.

Please go to Lisa’s site by clicking HERE to finish the article before listening to Bishop Morlino’s speech. This truly is the best starting place before listening to any of the information coming out of the Synod. Bishop Morlino is my Bishop and I know that his mission is a clarion call for Catholics to be faithful to Truth…no matter what.


† A Prayer or Blessings against Storms †

3 October 2014

Editor’s Note: With storms in our forecasts often causing loss of life, injury and loss of home and property, we thought we would feature this post previously published.

While praying this prayer, note that the Crosses featured in the prayer are a direction to bless oneself with the Sign of the Cross wherever indicated. Our Always Catholic Prayer Warriors which include Religious as well as our staff here, praying for our readers intentions.

Jesus Christ The King of Glory has come in Peace. † God became man, † and the Word was made flesh. † Christ was born of a Virgin. † Christ suffered. † Christ was crucified. † Christ died. † Christ rose from the dead. † Christ ascended into Heaven. † Christ conquers. † Christ reigns. † Christ orders. † May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning † Christ went through their midst in Peace, † and the word was made flesh. † Christ is with us with Mary. † Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root David, has won. † Holy God! † Holy Powerful God! † Holy Immortal God! † Have mercy on us. Amen!


The Littlest Flower in Heaven… the greatest Saint of modern time!

1 October 2014

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: “My God, I love You!”

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”. She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood.” She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.” Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God’s love affair with us. She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.
“My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death,” she said. “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.” Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese’s signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her “little way.” She has been acclaimed “the greatest saint of modern times.” In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church – the only Doctor of his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and her “Little Way” is a spirituality that the modern world can embrace and with it, find our way to Heaven. When we look at this young woman from a time long ago, we might doubt it, but take a moment, learn about her spirituality that allowed her to become a Doctor of the Church. I think you will be very surprised that she was indeed, “the greatest Saint of modern time”. (Pope Pius XII)


A letter to Heaven: My dearest Saint Therese….

1 October 2014

My dearest Saint Therese,

Happy Feast Day my sweet sister Therese! I know you are looking down from Heaven releasing a bucket of roses for us. Great thing about being a Trad Catholic is that I use the Traditional Calendar also, soooo….. I get to celebrate you today and on the third of October! Tuesday AND Thursday I will be attending the Extraordinary Form and the Masses will be all yours!

Thank you for allowing me to have you in my heart from age five. As you already know, my mom gave me a children’s book about you and your life and a statue for my nightstand that October to celebrate your Feast Day. It wasn’t until years later did I realize how special Feast Days are and how they are celebrated in Religious Life bigger and better than birthdays!

I want the world to still know and love you as they did shortly after your death when your “Story of a Soul” was published for the secular world to read. Oh, how the world took to you!!! You have stood the test of time, but now it’s time for kids to find out about you.

Those of us who have read and re-read “Story of a Soul” like a Jane Austen novel know the truth about you. The sanitized, sugary sweet life most people think you had we both know was not the case. There isn’t a 12-15 yr old out there particularly in America who wouldn’t identify with your struggles, particularly the emotional ones.

So, my darling Carmelite sister in Christ, it’s time to hawk your book again. I promise you, this is my task. You have always answered my pleas for help when I prayed to you. Now it’s my turn to say thank you.

I care for a sweet young lady who went through much troubles as a child. She reminds me of you so much. I read your story to her at a young age and she reads it again and again to this day. She became close to you and you never left her. Today she is a devout young Catholic of 20 who bears your name from Confirmation. Thank you for that also.

See, I owe you much. We all do. Your hardest times brought you your greatest holiness. This is the lesson and the legacy you have given us. Your “Little Way” to Heaven, so simple, yet so profound it brought you the title of Doctor of the Church. Well, know this: this Carmelite here prayed like crazy for that beautiful day when you joined Holy Mother Teresa of Avila as the SECOND Carmelite in that exclusive club. (also only the third woman)

Perhaps the most interesting thing about you though is that people of all faiths have a devotion and relationship with you. Imagine my surprise when attending a wake of a Methodist woman who had your holy card with her words thanking you on the back for staying with her during her suffering before she died. I came home with that card and still use it to mark a page in my breviary as it reminds me of your draw to ALL SOULS!

I know it’s because your vocation was to become “Love itself”… Well, you have succeeded. A job well done, sister!

 

With all my love and devotion,

Sofia

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Saint Therese is the patroness of AlwaysCatholicBlog along with Saint Joseph. We ask that you pray to each of them asking that we do God’s Will here at this little blog. God love you!

Some Saint Therese “Eye Candy” Photos of our “Greatest Saint of Modern times”

For a complete bio, click here from Carmel.net Therese


The Essential Happiness of Heaven

26 September 2014

Heaven pic

The Essential Happiness of Heaven

We shall see Him as He is. (1 St. John iii. 2.)

The one central source of Heaven’s happiness will be the Vision of God. We shall see Him face to face in all His Divine beauty; everything will be swallowed up in the absorbing delight of gazing on the majesty of the Most High. From this fount of joy all other joys will spring. This will in itself be Heaven. If the lost in Hell could see God for a single instant. Hell would at once become Heaven to them.

Why is this? Because in God are united every perfection and every beauty and every joy and every delight that exist or can exist, and all in an infinite degree. Every other joy is but a shadow as compared with the substance, a grain of dust compared with the loftiest mountains, a drop of water compared with the ocean. O my God, help me to despise the passing joys of earth when I think of the joy of seeing Thee!

The Beatific Vision will not convey the same degree of happiness to all who gaze upon it. It will depend upon our union with God on earth, on our faithfulness to grace, on our personal sanctity. One star differs from another star in glory. All will be happy in Heaven, but the happiness of some will be incomparably greater than that of others. What folly then if we let slip any of the eternal reward for the sake of some perishable trifle or miss any opportunity of adding to our of heavenly delight!

Pray that you may appreciate your heavenly treasure and strive continually to add to it.

Source: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com

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