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


The Feast of Saint Joseph

Brothers clothed on the Vigil of the Solemnity of St. Joseph

Photo Credit: Father James Geoghegan, OCD

On March 18, 2017  the Carmelite community of Mount St. Joseph in San Jose, CA clothed four postulants with the Carmelite habit.  These novices now have begun their year-long novitiate as new Carmelite brothers in the Province.

In the picture above from left to right: Bro. Colin Livingston, Bro. Matthew Knight, Bro. Frank Sharma and Bro. Dustin Vu.

We ask you to keep all these men in your prayers, as well as our other friars in formation.

Saint Joseph and Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Josephs Convent, Avila Spain. Photo Credit: thespeakroom.org

Known in Avila as “El Convento de las Madres,” this convent is particularly important because it was the first foundation of Santa Teresa in spreading the reform of the Carmelite Order. It dates from August 24, 1562, Saint Bartholomew’s Feast Day and was dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Santa Teresa was particularly devoted. On the façade is the image of Saint Joseph with Baby Jesus by Giraldo Merlo, a gift from Felipe III.

The current church is the work of Francisco Mora, who built it between 1607-1610 at his own expense, as an expression of thanks and favours received through the mediation of Saint Teresa. It rises above the humble houses that formed that first convent, built on land first acquired by her sister Juana and assisted by her brother Lorenzo.

The convent is still occupied by cloistered nuns who follow the rules of Our Holy Mother.   (Source: Avila Tourist Information, August 2015)

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday May 21, 2017.

57th Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction. Discalced Carmelite Friars, Mount St. Joseph Monastery. For more information, contact friendsofthecarmelites2@gmail.com

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


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