Monday, December 11, 2006

St. John of the Cross - Carmelite Feast (and fast) Day Approaches

All secular Carmelites join in fasting on the day before certain feast days. Thursday, December 14, 2006 is the Feast of St. John of the Cross.

For those who don't know about St. John of the Cross....

Who was St. John of the Cross?

Online collection of his works

A few quotable quotes:

"Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water"
(Maxims & Counsels)

"The Father spoke one Word which was His Son, and this Word He always speaks in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul." (Maxims & Counsels)

"Keep this in mind daughters: The sould that is quick to turn to speaking and conversing is slow to turn to God" (Letter to Ana de Jesus)

"The soul that journeys to God, but does not shake off its cares and quiet its appetites is like one who drags a cart uphill" (Sayings of Light and Love)

"Be joyful and gladdened in your interior recollection with Him, for you have Him so close to you. Desire Him there, adore Him there."(The Spiritual Canticle)

"The soul in which God alone dwells has no ohter function than that of an altar on which God is adored in praise and love" (Ascent of Mount Carmel)

These quotes came from a booklet I picked up about 25 years ago in a Catholic bookstore and I recently learned that not only is it still being produced, but there are many other Carmelite flip-card booklets for other saints. You stand it up and just flip it each day for another Carmelite quote.

These are made by the Carmelite sisters in Terra Haute, Indiana and can be found through a few online stores. I'm not sure if they can be obtained through ICS Publications, but perhaps someone could check it out.

Here is one source: Monastery Greetings


While daily Mass is not obligatory for secular Carmelites, if you are local and can squeeze it in, consider assisting at Holy Mass at Assumption Grotto during Advent this Tuesday or next evening at 7:00pm . The Priests of Opus Angelorum have been doing a beautiful and rarely seen (in the US) "Rorate Mass" which originated in German-speaking countries. It is quite meditative to be in total darkness only under candlepower through the entire Mass. This includes an altar and altar steps aglow with candles, and candles on stands so the readings may be done. There are no lights used!!! This only happens during Advent so there are two more to catch. Fr. W.S., ORC provided me with a write-up which goes into the history and details of this Mass as it was done originally, and as it is done today.

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