Teresa Linda: Our Lady of Fatima 100th

“Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” by Brother Frank Sharma, Mount Saint Josephs Monastery 2017. All Rights Reserved

Finally and most importantly Our Lady of Fatima teaches us how to pray. With both her arms and her Immaculate Heart extended to mankind, in one instant, the image above the basilica spoke of a three-fold movement of prayer: adoration, personal offering and thanksgiving, and supplication.

More specifically, she helped me to understand the message of Fatima and that the prayers she requested of the children were not to be taken lightly. Our Lady’s simple requests, given to three shepherd children before the outbreak of World War I and World War II, are even more relevant and pressing today.

Simply put, she requested that:

1) we pray the rosary daily for peace in the world

2) we offer the difficulties of our daily responsibilities as a spiritual sacrifice for the conversion of unbelievers and to make reparation for the offenses against Christ

To establish peace in the world, Our Lady specifically asked Sister Lucia in a vision – to ask the pope, in union with the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

According to a letter written by Sister Lucia on November 8, 1989, the consecration was completed by Pope John Paul the II on March 25, 1984 and accepted by Our Lady (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, Part I, 204). However, in 1929, Sister Lucia explains that though the conversion of Russia is certain and that the consecration would be complete, the consecration would happen very late; the world in the meantime – would go far, far astray.

She says, “Our Lord complained to me, saying: ‘They did not wish to heed my request! Like the King of France [In 1689, Louis XIV was asked by Saint Margaret Mary to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ], they will repent and do it, but it will be late” (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words Part I, 196).

The countless upheaval of human lives by violence and the rising hatred in our present time, make it evident that the consecration was indeed late in coming; yet the answer to the confusions of today’s world can be found Our Lady’s two simple requests.

Admittedly, it is easy to lose the essence of Fatima in questions with answers that lead to nowhere. What do the Three Secrets reveal about the end of time? Is the apocalypse close by? Did the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart really happen?

Yet, everything that is needed is contained in Our Lady’s requests, and the three Fatima children knew it. After the 1913 apparitions in Fatima, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia spent every moment of their lives doing two things: they prayed the rosary for peace and they offered spiritual sacrifices for the conversion of unbelievers.

I don’t recall ever learning how to pray the rosary, but I always knew how to pray it. As a child in the Philippines, I wore the rosary around my neck and prayed it into the late hours of the night to ward off spirits.

When my husband and I moved to California with our children, I would pray the rosary as an act of nostalgia, and as a way of keeping the bond between me and my relatives on the east coast alive. Using St. Louis de Montfort’s formula I consecrated my life to Our Lady, and slowly learned to pray through the decades as instructed by St. Teresa of Avila, as a means of mentally walking with Jesus and Mary.

As the years progressed, I found myself neglecting the daily rosary, though I prayed it regularly. But in Fatima, our Lady reminded me again to pray the rosary daily and specifically for peace: in my heart, in my husband and in each of my children, in America, among our leaders, in our priests, among refugees, among warring factions, in Israel and the Middle East…each decade of each mystery of the rosary could be offered for a different need for peace.

Secondly, our Lady asked the children to offer spiritual sacrifices for the conversion of people who do not believe in her Son and as an act of reparation for the offenses against Him. Holiness is not about being ‘spiritual’ but about being completely incarnate in the world, as Our Lady and Jesus were.

This understanding came clearly to me on our last day in Fatima. The group had just sat through a Mass commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. The experience was powerful, supernatural, and difficult at the same time. We sat in the open heat and I had to regularly make sure that my mom was drinking enough water or had a fan to cool herself. When the heat got overwhelming, I showed her how to drape the white handkerchief we would later wave at the end of the Mass, over her head so that it would shade her face. Though she usually easily gets headaches, she made it through three hours with very little trouble.

By the end of the Mass, I was feeling elated, unable and not wanting to speak to anyone. All I wanted to do was listen to the bells toll and withdraw into my hidden place with God, as I filmed everything around me. Just as I finished circling the plaza with the camera to focus on the bells and the statue of Our Lady on the Basilica, my mother started calling me.

“Linda! Teresa! Teresa Linda!”

At first I ignored her, wanting to keep my interior peace untouched for as long as possible. I saw the white tail of handkerchief that was draped over her head just minutes before, flying through the camera’s view. She was swinging it back and forth to get my attention.

I sighed, offered my impatience to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, said a quick good-bye to the image of Our Lady on the Basilica, turned off my camera, and walked toward my mother. The heat had affected her blood pressure and she needed to get back to our room immediately.

Every moment of our daily life is an opportunity to make a spiritual sacrifice of love. I was being more faithful in attending to my mother’s needs and spiritually offering my will, than in feeling spiritually renewed and believing that I was in contact with God. The more authentic experiences of God are through our faithfulness in our relationships in our daily lives.

I later learned that the statue of Our Lady that mesmerized me was one that Sister Lucia oversaw meticulously and with constant attention. In Visions of Fatima (2017), Father Thomas McGlynn, explains how Sister Lucia would even make changes herself on the priest-artist’s model just so every detail would be as accurate as possible, as she had remembered it.

No wonder the image above the Basilica spoke to me so powerfully.

Copyright 2017 Teresa Linda, thespeakroom.org

 Living the Marian Consecration

In an interview with Catholic San Francisco following the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Cordileone invited the faithful to continue to bring the Blessed Virgin into their lives in “very concrete ways,” including the following.

  • Individuals praying the rosary daily
  • Families praying the rosary weekly
  • Frequently making a good confession
  • Frequently participating in adoration
  • Fasting and abstinence
  • Accompaniment of immigrants

Teresa Linda: Our Lady of Fatima 100th

Fatima 2017, Photo Credit: thespeakroom.org

This October marks the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition to the children at Fatima, and last May, I was fortunate to be able to go on pilgrimage to this holy site with my mother and a tour group organized through Syversen tours.

At Fatima, my mom and I shared a small room in a modest hotel run by Dominican nuns. Our window faced the back courtyard, and when we opened it in the morning to keep the room cool for the rest of the day, we would be greeted by the coo-ing of pigeons and doves and the flutter of their wings as they flew from one rooftop to another. Though my mom and I were always together, from the time we landed in Portugal, God would take each of us in our own separate, private journeys of healing.

Every night at Fatima, pilgrims from throughout the world say the Rosary in multiple-languages and parade slowly around the square. During the first evening, like most pilgrims, I was drawn to the statue of Our Lady that stands all day in the small outdoor chapel, at the site of the holm-oak tree, where she first appeared – the image was being carried on a small platform. She wore a crown, her hands folded in prayer, after Our Lady of Victory, for whom the Portuguese owe gratitude for a miraculous wartime victory.

Since it was our first night, nobody in our tour group carried the cupped candles held by most of the pilgrims. A Portuguese child, seeing that a priest in his brown cloak had no candle to raise up when it was time to honor Our Lady, gave her own to Father Robert Barcelos, our spiritual leader for the pilgrimage. I looked at my mother and my heart was content.

On the second night at Fatima, Our Lady made herself known to me. The air was cool and when the crowd rounded a bend, my gaze fell on the stone statue on the Basilica’s façade. It was easy to miss her. When facing the Basilica, Our Lady is hidden behind the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She also stands between the striking grand-sized, imposing images of Saints Jacinta and Francisco. Always present, rarely seen – that is the way Our Lady moves.

But once I saw her, immediately, I understood so much of what I didn’t know before.

Our Lady of Fatima reveals her love to us. I saw her heart and for the first time in my life, I understood clearly that Our Lady was constantly offering her heart to mankind, and that in staying close to her Immaculate Heart, she desired to lead and guide us directly into the Sacred Heart of Christ.

In the Philippines the images of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are ubiquitous. They hang side by side on window-sills, car mirrors, and especially as part of the front walls of homes. In America, many of my extended family and friends have posters somewhere in their homes of Jesus and Mary, their hearts at the center of their breasts, crowned with thorns and burning with fire.

Unlike the images of the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus that I had grown up with, the heart on the statue of Our Lady above the entrance of the Fatima Basilica, was on her left, and was a three-dimensional image outside of her body. From this, I understood something else.

As a Mother, Our Lady of Fatima shares in and experiences the pains and joys of the world. I saw the thorns that pierced her heart and I understood that she suffered greatly for her loving concern for mankind and for the offenses against her Son. There have been so many countless moments in my motherhood when I have had to bear the pain in my heart for my children, and at times, it has been excruciating. It is a pain that every mother, often times, suffers hidden and alone.

Our Lady has carried the pain of watching her son suffer on Calvary and the joy of being the first to witness His resurrection – in her Immaculate Heart. And in so doing, she carries all our pains and joys.

As our Mother, Our Lady of Fatima yearns for us to enter her embrace. Most images of Our Lady of Fatima, have her hands folded together in prayer, but the statue above the Basilica is that of Our Lady holding her right hand up with the left-hand slightly bent downward. I have used that same position countless times to support my children as they learned to walk, to lift them up into my arms when they needed comfort, and to embrace them.

Our Lady constantly holds the world in her love and prayers of intercession and desires for us as her children to stay close to her

As a Mother, Our Lady of Fatima teaches us how to love ourselves. She helped me to understand that I didn’t have to be the perfect daughter to be loved by God, and that the world was held together by Him and not my efforts.

With a Mother’s gaze, Our Lady looked down from the façade of the Basilica so that I could understand the unconditional love of her Immaculate Heart, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was a love that touched me despite of all my imperfections. (to be continued)

Copyright 2017 Teresa Linda, thespeakroom.org. All Rights Reserved

 Living the Marian Consecration

In an interview with Catholic San Francisco following the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Cordileone invited the faithful to continue to bring the Blessed Virgin into their lives in “very concrete ways,” including the following.

  • Individuals praying the rosary daily
  • Families praying the rosary weekly
  • Frequently making a good confession
  • Frequently participating in adoration
  • Fasting and abstinence
  • Accompaniment of immigrants

Teresa Linda, ocds: the wall

Avila, 2015. Photo credit thespeakroom.org
Avila, 2015. Photo credit thespeakroom.org

THE WALL                                       Avila, Spain (8/15/15)

In my heart,
Dwells my King,
Along with His court of angels, saints, and principalities.

It is a sacred inner dwelling place,
Attacked a thousand times a day,
By arrows of pride, anxiety, and unforgiveness
Arrows that are meant to be an attack
On the God of Peace.

With prayer,
The mercy of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
And a thousand acts of the will,
The fortress of my soul is built and strengthened,

That I may be alone with my All,
Free to gaze into His loving eyes,
To touch the wounds on His hands, His side, and His feet,

With total abandonment.

SOURCE: St. Teresa’s 5th Centenary Spain Pilgrimage.  Avila, 2015

Copyright 2017, TL. All Rights Reserved

Mercy in Today’s New Political and Social Era

 

A local rally. Photo credit: thespeakroom.org

NOTE: I wrote this piece in November 2016, but I am reposting it for those who didn’t read it before. It seems even more relevant today,  in light of this week’s events in Charlottesville, VA.

by Teresa Linda, ocds

As a Catholic trying to live faithfully in the secular world, I could not let this election pass like any other. During my evening class, I asked my students to respond to the prompt, “I am hopeful/concerned about the results of the election.” The students in this class are representative of the diversity of our nation. They range in age from eighteen to over fifty years old. Three served in the wars in the Middle East. They are both immigrants and native-born Americans. They are multi-racial and cross socio-economic lines.

I shared with them that personally, I was hopeful because the process was making everyone in individual, institutional, and even in systemic levels question themselves in ways that were not so obvious before. Those who are reeling are asking, “What was it that we did not see? What blinded us? Why were we blinded?” Those questions are starting points for developing humility and healing.

Then my students shared their responses. Some students were hopeful because they believed that America could become great again, for they had seen too many family members lose jobs and homes.

Other students were fearful. One of my Latino students admitted that the lives of the people he loved would most likely be up-ended by deportations in the coming months. Another student said that the previous night, a group taunted her and her older brother to go back to “where they came from” and threw rocks at them. Though she knew the suffering of war and poverty first-hand, she could barely hold back her tears of humiliation; it didn’t matter at all to the young men demanding that she leave the country, that she was a veteran who had recently returned home from defending our nation’s freedoms.

I am a Filipina and in the last two months, I too have been yelled and leered at on three separate occasions for taking too much space on the sidewalk, at the parking lot, and in a restaurant. That has never happened before.

The hidden biases that lay dormant for decades have risen to the surface, and our national woundedness is being revealed. The Catholic Bishops have recently gathered to show support for refugees and immigrants. Yet despite the rampant acts against human dignity and the multitude of opportunities to stand up against it, very, very few voices of national leadership have taken a strong moral position against the rising acceptance of hate as a new norm.

As Secular Carmelites and a people who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, we cannot be complacent or allow ourselves to participate and feed on these divisions.

As a Catholic I am greatly relieved and thrilled that the tides are turning and that the value of the life of the unborn will be recognized more than it has been in the past decades, for the Church teaches that abortion is a ‘grave evil.’ However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church also states that “sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the greatest” (1860 CCC). Jesus says, “from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy” (Matthew 15:19).

Therefore, the willful choice of hate with malice from the heart is among the greatest evil. In Uganda, the location of one Carmelite mission, evil is defined as anything that doesn’t preserve life, which I would posit, includes acts that diminish an individual’s personhood.  People are certainly experiencing deliberate malice against their personhood in their daily lives, at work, through social media, and in their schools.

Thus, though I value the life of the unborn, I cannot overlook the suffering and the trampled human dignity of the living. When asked about his thoughts on the results of the election, Pope Francis replied, “I do not give judgments on people or politicians, I simply want to understand what are the sufferings that their approach causes to the poor and the excluded.”

In Matthew 25, Our Lord separates his own sheep from the goats based on actions that illuminated the true character of His followers and their attitudes toward the vulnerable: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” We must be compassionate, empathize and pray for America’s urban poor, the displaced homeless, the immigrants, and the marginalized. We must be wary and alert, not only of the rise of hateful attitudes against the vulnerable, but our own tendencies to keep the reality of those wounds invisible to ourselves.

God can only work if we are aware of both our own woundedness and the woundedness around us so that we can bring these before Him in prayer and healing. “To receive His mercy, we must admit our fault.” For grace to abound it must “uncover sin” and “probe the wound before treating it” (CCC 1848). We must keep our hearts open and avoid any support of a mentality that destroys, wounds, or offends charity and love and turns us away from God (CCC 1855).

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mocking…at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice, Christ secretly becomes the source from which forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly” (CCC 1851). All year the faithful have been walking through Doors of Mercy throughout the world. Today, Jesus is knocking at the other side of that door, waiting for us to respond to Him so that He can reveal His Mercy.

We are living in a new era. Our daily lives and choices is a walk with Jesus among the crowds in His Passion. Will we stay and walk with Him, or will we run away and cower? Remaining faithful in love and prayer against “murderous hatred” toward the poor and marginalized, Christ incarnate in this world, in this “hour of darkness” can open inexhaustible graces. This is especially true as the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy draws to a close. God’s graces are waiting to be poured out on mankind a thousand times more generously than when Mary Magdalene poured perfumed spikenard over the foot of Christ.

But to close our eyes to the reality of Christ incarnate, to encourage any form of division in Christ’s One Body, One Church “makes men accomplices of one another and causes …violence and injustice to reign among them…They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a ‘social sin’” (CCC 1869). Immigrants and refugees do not leave the land of their ancestors on a whim. Children living in violent neighborhoods and difficult family situations do not aspire to be homeless, drug addicts, gang members, or prostitutes.

When we come before Christ, will He address us as He did the Church of Ephesus in Revelations?  –“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked…Yet you have lost the love you had at first” (Revelations 2:2-4). Or will we share in the Mystical love in Song of Solomon when the Lover pours fragrant oils and spices upon His beloved and proclaims, “There is no blemish in you…Your head rises upon you like Carmel… How beautiful you are, how fair, my love, daughter of delights!” (Song of Solomon 7:6-7)

As Secular Carmelites and Christians, let us be like Our Lady, who never turned her eye away from Jesus in His Passion. Let us be mindful and prayerful of our apostolic call to love, unity, and holiness.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. All our Carmelite Saints, pray for us.

Copyright 2016. Teresa Linda @thespeakroom.org. All rights reserved.

Teresa Linda, ocds: Church of our Fathers

Requiem for Syria 5 by Khaled Akil, www.khaledakil.com
Requiem for Syria 5 by Khaled Akil, www.khaledakil.com

For a long time, You were nothing but a statue of grey, speckled stone.
An idol.
An image in my imagination, or passing across the television screen.
An unfulfilled longing.

A false god.
A forgotten love.
A distraction…Or so I thought.

Where did you go, oh Father,
Protector of children abandoned to violence?
I wondered, again and again.

You were always there.
It was I who had turned the other way.

But you, in your faithfulness, gently placed your crucified hands on my cheek
And turned my gaze back to your gaze, so that I could see into Your eyes.

No longer a statue of cold stone, but a father, a heart spilling with joy and laughter.
No longer a passing image, but You in Papa Francis himself, smiling and loving me.
No longer an absent God, but a Father in heaven who brought all my worlds into Your healing embrace through the gift of Your Son.

SOURCE: Papal Visit to Philadelphia, October 2015

Copyright 2017 TL thespeakroom.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

Charles Seagren, ocds: prepare your hearts

Readings: Rm 10:9-18, Ps 19, Mt 4: 18-22

How does Jesus come to us?
That’s what we prepare for during Lent.

He comes as a baby born of Mary
which we celebrate at Christmas.
He comes in the Eucharist
which we celebrate at every Mass.
He comes on the Last Day, the Day of decision,
and we prepare for Him
with prayer and the sacraments
and works of mercy.

But He also comes in the most ordinary way
when we least expect Him.
We might be mending our nets on the seashore
talking our ordinary talk,
doing our everyday things
and there He is.

There’s no host of angels,
no fanfare.
He says, Come after Me
and keeps on walking.

Are we ready?
Do we leave our nets and follow?
Do we have the time
or are we just too busy
with our job our family our previous commitments?

Do we ask Him to come back tomorrow?

This Lent, prepare your heart
to hear and believe and follow.
Christ comes at an unexpected time
and keeps on walking.

SOURCE: Homily 2015. Menlo Park, CA

Copyright 2016 Charles Seagren. All Rights Reserved

Teresa Linda, ocds: O Blessed Trinity

Requiem to Syria 2 by Khaled Akil, www.khaledakil.com
Requiem for Syria by Khaled Akil www.khaledakil.com. Read this to learn about the artist.

Abba, Father

We thank you and praise You,
For giving us Your Son,
Human and Divine,
Yet He turned His cheek
To His oppressors
And allowed Himself
To be pierced for our oppressions
So that in Him and through Him,
Who gave us the gift
Of the Holy Spirit,
We could experience life from death
In our very beings –
In the caverns of our own hearts.
Living Flame,
Indwelling Blessed Trinity
O Fire of Love
O Blessed Trinity!
We adore you, We love you.

SOURCE: Lent 2016

Copyright  2017, TL thespeakroom.org. All Rights Reserved

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 Try the Daily Disconnect as part of your Daily Meditation

podcast-288x162 click onto the image or the link above

Teresa Linda, ocds: You have given us everything

Requiem for Syria by Khaled Akil www.khaledakil.com
Requiem for Syria by Khaled Akil www.khaledakil.com. Read this for the Artist’s Statement.

You, oh Lord, have given us everything
Before the world came to be, You were I AM,
Already offering Yourself to us in love and beauty

Lord, teach us the path of Our Lady and St. Joseph,
Who, in darkness of sand storms, clung to the One, the Child Jesus,
And in so doing, loved without bounds.

Let our hands not trouble themselves,
With matters that will only bind them,
Preventing us from embracing You into our hearts

For in giving of Yourself, oh Lord,
You’ve opened for us the gift of others,
That in You, we can love with a love that burns tenderly.

May we respond with desire for You, oh Lord, and You alone.

SOURCE: Lent 2016

Copyright 2016, thespeakroom.org, TL, ocds. All Rights Reserved

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 Try the Daily Disconnect as part of your Daily Meditation

podcast-288x162 click onto the image or the link above

Our Father – by teresa linda, ocds

IMG_7402

Note: On May 2017, by the grace of God, I will make my Definitive Promise as a Secular Carmelite. This is what I wrote for the Council. The statue above is the same image I describe in this piece, but decades later.

The discernment process to become a Secular Carmelite takes several years: at least one year as an Aspirant, two years until the first Temporary Promise, and then three years more before the Definitive Promise, a total of at least six years – all under the guidance of a Council, a teacher (Formator), a priest who serves as Spiritual Assistant, and if available, an individual who serves as spiritual director.  And after that, a lifetime of continued Formation.

From the time I began my journey as a Carmelite Aspirant in 2011 until well into my Temporary Promise in 2014, I experienced a very long, dry, and humiliating process of letting go of my control of those things I thought belonged to me or somehow earned by right: my family on the east coast, my career, my children’s upbringing, financial stability, my health – and my marriage.

After I came to terms with having to let go of what I then believed mattered most, God withdrew Himself from me for over two years. He felt completely absent; I felt isolated and alone, and I never knew if I would have the strength to make it through each day. Still, I persisted in my prayer life, and committed to faithfulness in the limited ways I knew how.

Everything changed after I prayed at the foot of the tomb of Saint John of the Cross in Segovia, Spain in 2015, during a pilgrimage for St. Teresa’s 5th Centenary, led by Father Robert Barcelos, my community’s Spiritual Assistant.

Saint John’s sepulcre is located behind the church altar, elevated above the tabernacle, and surrounded by a square walkway. All the other pilgrims chose to sit in the pews and pray facing the sepulcre, but I found my place of prayer hidden in plain sight – behind the tomb, with Saint John’s uncorrupted body above, and Our Lord inches from me in the tabernacle.

I took off my worn sandals, carefully put my bags down on the floor, knelt, held my hands open, and recited the prayer I had been praying since I took my Temporary Promise: “Here am I Lord, for I am nothing, and You are everything in all that I am, and all that I will be.”  I asked for Saint John of the Cross, along with Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Elijah, and the Carmelite saints to intercede for me. I asked for Our Lady’s prayers and mantle of protection.

When I got tired of kneeling, I simply sat, feeling the cold marble at the bottoms of my feet. I felt like a little girl again, leaning upon the shadow of a wall to escape the Philippine heat and waiting to be reunited with my father in the United States.

Nothing ‘happened.’

But when I walked from behind the tabernacle and faced the other pilgrims sitting in the pews, praying, I knew with certainty that God had touched me and had gently turned my gaze away from my own ego – and upon Him.

In my Christian walk, I always marveled at Jesus’s first words to the apostles after His resurrection: “Peace be with you.” I wondered, why – if that was such an important promise – so few believers, including myself, knew first-hand of that peace. At the foot of Saint John of the Cross’ sepulcre, Christ gave me that breath of peace, and despite the continued challenges of my life and my shortcomings, that peace has never left me.

Since then, He has given me a mission, one I understood while in prayer during Lent 2016. Everything about the speakroom and the various apostolic fruit that have come out of the site, have been rooted in my attempt to be obedient to Our Lord.

When I was four years old, my father was given the rare opportunity to work as an engineer to pave a life for us in America. But he had to leave four children and a wife – who in one year, had delivered a baby and buried another. During that time, a monument of the Lord’s Prayer was built in the park behind our house, the same park where my little sister was buried.

After visiting my sister’s grave. I would stand before the image of Jesus, seated on His throne, and contemplate the Lord’s Prayer behind Him. No matter what visited us in the three years my earthly father was abroad, I grew in my relationship with God the Father. By His Grace, my faith  never wavered.  I understood that because God desired that His “will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven,” then it followed that Jesus was on earth with me, as Our Father was in Heaven. I rested in that love and companionship.

As I grow in my Carmelite vocation, I find that I am only trying to find my way back to the simple and confident faith I had as a child. One of my most common prayers now is: “Come Holy Spirit. Give me the grace to enter into the Sacred Heart of Christ, that I may come to know the face of my Heavenly Father.”

To see the face of Christ is to see the face of the Father. To come before the Father in Christ is to be resurrected before Him as His beloved child. And it is the Holy Spirit that makes these movements between the human, and the eternal divine possible.

Copyright 2017  teresa linda – the speakroom.org , ocds

‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth.  Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’

 Try the Daily Disconnect as part of your Daily Meditation

podcast-288x162 click onto the image or the link above

Charles Seagren, ocds: prepare your hearts

Readings: So 2: 8-14, Ps 33, Lk 1:39-45

There’s an old saying:
Have nothing in your house
which is not both beautiful and useful.

It’s good advice
for our hearts as well.

Today Jesus stands behind our wall,
looking through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
What does He see?
Are we ready to welcome Him
into our home?

He stands outside looking in
and now He calls us:
Arise, My beloved, my beautiful one,
and come.

As soon as we hear His voice
something stirs within us.
It’s the beauty that we are,
the beauty we forgot we are.
And the infant leaps in our womb,
the child of God that each of us is
leaps for joy
when we hear His voice.

Winter is past
and the time of pruning is here,
the time to prepare for the salvation of Christ.

He breaks down the walls that divide us.
He cleans the Temple of our heart
till nothing remains
but what is beautiful and useful,
the praise of His glory
and the good of our neighbor,
nothing remains but love.

SOURCE: Homily 2015. Menlo Park, CA

Copyright 2016 Charles Seagren. All rights reserved.