Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD: The Eucharist and SaintTeresa

PART I

PART II

(Click on the triangle to play the audio.  Below is a rough transcription of the conference)

In John 6, Jesus refers to himself as ‘I am’ – Jahweh. As Catholics, we sometimes are repulsed by the name Jehovah because we associate this with ‘Jehovah Witnesses’ and their often anti-Catholic teaching.

When God revealed His name ‘I am who am,’ this revealed who God is. It is a metaphysical expression that God is of another dimension – He is far and above creation in essence. Everything of His creation is a reflection of His beauty, His truth, and His goodness. Everything witnesses to the grandeur of God. However, none of this can fully capture who He is in His essence; this is beyond human comprehension. He is transcendent as well as eminent.

In the Western church, we lose sight of His transcendence, and we need to recapture what was at the heart of Christian mysticism. He is the only one for whom there is no origin.

God’s essence is to exist; He is the cause of our becoming. He is ultimately, supreme perfection, the absolute Absolute, that of which nothing greater can be conceived, ultimate Reality – Being itself. All these philosophical terms point to His supernatural being. He cannot be comprehended by our human understanding, though all of creation points to Him.

No image can capture God, but in the incarnation, we ultimately see God, for the God-Man, Jesus Christ, reveals the face of God. Because of the incarnation, we have a person who is tangible to help us relate to God. He gives us access to the magnificent mystery of God. He enters into full relationship with us through His Son. Jesus is God made man who made God visible.

Through the Eucharist, especially, Jesus becomes tangible in our hands; the Eucharist is at the heart of the life of the Trinity. It enters into the mystical relationship and is given to us as a foretaste of the eternal banquet. Love’s true nature is to come down. God in his humility came down to our level to raise us up to Him.

Jesus wants to feed us from heaven. In Toledo, St. John of the Cross writes a series of poems titled Romances, about God’s love for us – the divine romance. Through the Eucharist, we are being drawn into this love.

In our Catholic tradition, every saint has discovered and seen the reality of what the Eucharist is, and have freely made that as the center of their lives – the Holy communion that leads to the Holy Trinity.

Saint Teresa describes her experience of the Holy Eucharist – “in a moment, all the darkness of the soul disperses.” All afflictions of soul and body can leave in a moment through the Eucharist – exhaustion, negative sarcasm, critical spirits – can wear out our spiritual journeys but in one moment, God can alleviate us from all that weight.

In the Eucharist, Saint Teresa sees the “extraordinary majesty of God” so that “the whole experience seemed to annihilate” her. When we contemplate this truth through the eyes of faith, we’re able to acknowledge in our hearts the reality of God’s presence, though by its physical nature, we only see something very insignificant.

This mystery points to who we are as the Body of Christ. To the eyes of the world, we are ordinary human beings, with faults and defects, just like anybody else. Yet through grace, the God of heaven and earth lives in our hearts and calls us His Body and calls us to be Light for the World.

What does it mean to be Light for the World? This is not meant to be egocentric or narcissistic. It means that we must be united to the sufferings of Christ; we must experience the contradictions of the cross and experience that suffering in union with the cross. It means being His ambassador for the sake of the family. God can use us as instruments of salvation for those whom we most love. We must love Christ on the cross. This love is not about loving suffering itself – loving the bare cross without Jesus– but loving Christ on the cross.

It is true that Jesus is disguised in all creation. God is everywhere, but not everything is God.

St. Teresa recognizes the immensity of the Deity “concealed in something as small as a host…wisdom so wonderful…the stone that was rejected has become the cornerstone.” The universe revolves around the cross and resurrection, and the Eucharist enters into the victory of God’s eternal now, of love that overcomes every evil.

Where there has been destruction, the cross is somehow at work. Saint Paul says that all creation groans for the coming of the freedom that comes in Christ; all creation shares in the redemptive act. The great saints, starting with the Greek Fathers and greatest saints of the Early Christian Church and the East, understood and wrote often about this mystery.

Saint Teresa contrasts the experience of prayer possible through Communion as opposed to prayer outside of the Eucharist, mental prayer or meditation. As Christians, meditation for us means the gaze of faith on some truth that is revealed to us that expresses something about who God is and who we are.

Our spiritual life must be well-formed through proper meditation and an understanding of who God is – and then – we can go into emptiness, into the cloud of unknowing and enter into the embrace of God. In the early states of meditation, we must have proper formation. We are to use our sense to reflect on the truth of the faith that can help us deepen our relationship with God in a way that changes and transforms us.

Holy Communion is entering into God’s eternal Now. I am, Now, in the present moment. God exists to abide in the eternal now, in the sacrament of the moment, and we are called to enter into that. The present moment, where God is to be encountered, is liberating and takes us into the fullness of who God is – embracing all things, all of creation in one act of love. Whenever we celebrate communion, we enter into that experience.

God wants to make Himself enfleshed in you, now, and this happens through the Eucharist. It is an amazing marriage between heaven and earth.

Saint Teresa says, “There’s no reason to go looking for Him further away.” He is present in the humble wafer as He is in the great cathedrals. We must find that treasure in ourselves especially – and in unexpected places and people. Jesus comes not simply for us to adore Him in the tabernacle, but He comes down so that we may be His tabernacle.

What is keeping you from keeping the treasure of heaven within yourself? How is God asking you to find the priceless pearl within you?

When we start to love ourselves the way God loves us, then we can love others more freely, and see God everywhere. The key to this liberty of grace is our true awareness of God’s deep love.

SOURCE: 2018 OCDS Meeting Conference, Santa Clara, CA

Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD: The Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast Day Homily by Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD – Mount Saint Josephs Carmelite Monastery, San Jose, CA  (2018)

NOTE: Click on the triangle to play.

(Fatima, 2017)

A PRAYER

Abba, Father. We exalt you, through Yeshua, your awesome Son, our beloved Savior, who promised that we who believe in You through Him, that supernatural wellsprings would open up inside of our souls, springing up Your infinite presence.

We exalt You, Lord. We magnify You.  In  allowing our hearts to be exposed to Your light, and coming before Your Face in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, may the impact of Your profound mercy embrace us, Lord, for You are Emmanuel, God with us. The same yesterday, right here, right now, as You are in eternity.

Lord, overwhelm us with Your love and Your truth that we may be consumed and taken ever more deeply, and closer to You. Father, I pray in Jesus, that all our guardian angels may intercede and stand watch at our side, that all the entities that are opposed to our alliance with You may be bound, diminished, and expelled.

May the Holy Spirit saturate us in all the areas we need to be instructed and loved, to find freedom and hope. I ask Saint Gabriel, the first to announce the gospel to give us His blessing, that we may experience new birth in the Word, that Jesus may be made flesh in our humanity.

With Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we magnify you.  Lord God, we come before You as our King. We ask You to come in triumph and reign. Rain down the triumph of Your Spirit. Overshadow us with the power of the Most High that we may understand how truly awesome and real, how ravishingly great you are.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end, AMEN.

May almighty God, bless us, protect us from evil and bring us to everlasting life.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

(SOURCE: Opening Prayer, Young Adult Retreat 2011. “The True Rebellion of Saints”)

Copyright Fr. Robert Barcelos, OCD, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Click the image below for the Novena prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, followed by: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mt. Saint Joseph Carmelite Monastery, San Jose, CA, Feast Day July 16

 

Father Robert Elias, OCD: As certain as the dawn

The Tax Collector and the Pharisee, Creative Commons

Click on the triangle to listen to the audio.

Jesus addresses the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee to those who believe themselves to be most righteous, yet despise others.  The Pharisee does the right things for the wrong reasons; what he does has no effect because he sees himself as more superior rather than loving. Jesus reminds us that our loving relationships must grow. Love for others is a necessary condition to truly grow in our relationship with God and our knowledge of Him.

Father Robert Elias, OCD: seek yourself in Me

Click on the triangle to listen to the audio.

During one of her locutions, Saint Teresa heard Our Lord speak the words, “Seek yourself in Me.”  Saint Teresa understands these words to mean that God meets us and accepts us where we are in our lives, and our thirst and love of the truth is Someone, Yahweh moving among His people.

SOURCE: Order of Discalced Secular Carmelite (OCDS) community meeting, March 2018.

Father Robert Elias, ocd: confidence in God & mothers day

NOTE: Click on the triangle to listen to Father Robert’s Homily on 5/12/18 on confidence in God –and Mothers Day as he discusses “Seasons of the Heart” by John Welch, O. Carm., Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, and his past.

Painting by Brother Frank Sharma, OCD

 

 

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Saint Thérèse the Warrior

Date: January 1889, several days after Thérèse’s clothing. Photo Credit: Fr. Gombault

Father Robert explains Saint Thérèse’s methods of overcoming her temptations  and “natural antipathy” in the context of her community:  “I want to be charitable in my thoughts toward others at all time,” she says, for our thought life is where the battles for our souls begin and play out. He also talks about Saint Thérèse as a warrior in the darkness of her spiritual purgation as she lay dying of tuberculosis.

Click on the triangle to play – Please do not download.

Copyright 2017, Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. All Rights Reserved. 

REMINDER OF UPCOMING EVENTS! – We hope that you are able to join the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites of the CA-AZ Province in spirit by keeping these evangelization efforts in your prayers.

November 2-5 2017: OCDS (Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites) Congress in San Antonio, Texas.

Saturday, November 11, 2017: A retreat day offered by the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites of Santa Clara, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At the Carmelite Monastery 1000 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara, California. Everyone is welcome! For more information and to register, click here

An Encounter with St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin  -Three conferences by Maureen O’Riordan of Philadelphia, Pa., curator of “Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway

 

Sunday, November 12, 2017: “A Map of the Way of Confidence and Love of St. Thérèse of Lisieux,” 3:00 pm at Mt. St. Josephs Monastery, 12455 Clayton Road, San Jose, California. The conference and question and answer period will end before 5:00 p.m. You are welcome to stay for Evening Prayers and Benediction with the Carmelite Fathers and Seculars. No registration or tickets necessary. Free-will offering welcome.

Audios on the conferences and other talks by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, Father James Geoghegan, OCD, and Maureen O’Riordan, will soon be available on http://thespeakroom.org/ for purchase.

 

 

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Fatima and holy audacity

NOTE: I am reposting this talk with much better audio, so you can learn more about Jacinta’s beautiful soul. Big thanks to Jackie Johnson OCDS of St Therese, Alhambra for providing this recording for us!

AUDIO: To listen, click on the triangle on the left.

SOURCE: Homily by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. Fatima Pilgrimage, June 2017. All Rights Reserved

(Fatima Pilgrimage organized by sweet and spirit-filled Caroline of Syversen Touring.)

Reading 1 – 2 Cor 3:4-11
Brothers and sisters:
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit
for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit;
for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious
that the children of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses
because of its glory that was going to fade,
how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious?
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious,
the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory.
Indeed, what was endowed with glory
has come to have no glory in this respect
because of the glory that surpasses it.
For if what was going to fade was glorious,
how much more will what endures be glorious.

The First Call: Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, July 22

797px-Alexander_Ivanov_-_Christ's_Appearance_to_Mary_Magdalene_after_the_Resurrection_-_Google_Art_ProjectChrist’s Appearance to Mary Magdalene,  Alexander Ivanov (1835)

Mary Magdalene, with her eyes of love and faith, was the first to be called by Christ to share the good news of His resurrection.  Mary Magdalene, with her utmost confidence in Jesus, was the first to testify and bear witness to His glorified body, despite opposition and ridicule from the apostles.  She was the first evangelizer. When the men who were closest to Jesus had given up hope, she called them back to Him, and they responded.   St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

We, like Mary Magdalene, are called to share and live in the joy of Christ’s resurrected body, though some are called to a consecrated life. Do you know anyone who might have this particular call?

The Call: Discalced Carmelite Friars – Western Province

http://discalcedcarmelitefriars.com.  “As Teresian Carmelites we strive to live a zealous life of allegiance to Jesus for the salvation of souls, in the contemplative and missionary spirit of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross.”

Source: Discalced Carmelite Friars, Western Province (May 2015)

 

The Call: Discalced Carmelite Nuns

“These are Movie Clips compiled to reach out to the modern viewers about the Carmelite Vocation, Carmelite Saints, and Carmelite Spirituality. Featuring Carmelite entrance, investiture, solemn vows. I wanted to depict Contemplative life as a powerhouse of prayer and sacrifice, love of God and the world, and interior joy. The Video Clips are taken from the movies of the following carmelite saints: St. Teresa De los Andes, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and Edith Stein.

There are several movies that the clips are showing. You can buy these movies at any Catholic Bookstore or Amazon online: (1) Thérèse with actress Catherine Mouchet (2) Edith Stein: The Seventh Chamber (3) St. Teresa of the Andes Miniseries (4) The Passion of the Christ (5) Therese with actress Lindsay Younce. Also recommended Carmelite movies: Saint Teresa of Avila with actress Concha Velasco” (MaryVeronica JMJ).

Source: MaryVeronica JMJ Discalced Carmelite Nuns (2011)