Is there any place in the inn?

While Mary and Joseph where in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son, Jesus, and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2: 6-7).


Is there any place in our inn ?

Is there any place for God, becoming human in Jesus, in our hart ?

Do we want to create space in our heart, so that God can make his home in it ?

Merry Christmas !


John of the Cross (december 14)

This year with the poem Dark_night

Has John of the Cross written the Dark night during his imprisonment in Toledo or after? There are different opinions. The darkness of his cell was probably determinant for the theme of the dark night.

At the end of the poem the person entirely  relies on God:

All things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares...

We can also listen to this poem, a beautiful song in Spanish: en una noche oscura


Advent - a time of hopefull waiting

For now the winter is pas
t... the time of singing has come... the fig tree puts forth its figs
(Song of Songs  2: 11-13)


The Song of Songs is not usually read during Advent, but the quotes above give an orientation to the waiting: HOPE.

The Gospel read on the first sunday of Advent tells us: Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come (Mark 13: 33-37).

Do you already hear the birds singing?

During the 'hard winter' of his imprisonment, John of the Cross wrote the Spiritual Canticle. At the end of the poem, he writes about the song of the sweet nightingale. Faith and hope, even in the dark winter.

The poem:  Spiritual_Canticle


Teresa of Avila (october 15) - fifth century celebration

Teresa of Avila is born on march 28, 1515 in Avila. The fifth cetury celebration starts on october 15, 2014 and will last one year.

New video in French: Dieu seul suffit
and Dutch: God alleen is genoeg (God alone suffices / solo Dios basta)

The video in English will come later.

With the poem  Let nothing disturb you (Nada te turbe) and quotes from the Foundations we can realize, together with Teresa of Avila, that God alone suffices.  Water, one favourite theme of Teresa of Avila is very present in the video and there is much light.

Video already existant in English: A walk through the Interior Castle

More over Teresa of Avila on the specific page.


Therese of Lisieux (october, 1st) - a little piece of straw

With a little piece of straw, we can  maintain a vast fire...

Therese_of_Lisieux -_Little_pieces_of_straw

Therese of Lisieux refers to Teresa of Avila. A little piece of straw, as a sign of love, even in darkness and aridities.


500th birthday of Teresa of Avila

The fifth century celebration of the birth of Teresa of Avila will start on octobre 15, 2014 and last one year. Teresa of Avila is born on march 28, 1515 in Avila.

Solo Dios basta - Carmel San José, Avila

For the fifth century celebration, a virtual choir of Carmelite Nuns from all over the world sings the well known words from Teresa of Avila: Nada te turbe. The music has been composed by Sr Claire Sokol ocd from the Carmel of Reno: Virtual choir of Carmelites - Nada te turbe.

Spanish text: Nada_te_turbe

English: Let_nothing_disturb_you


Edith Stein (August 9)

New video with a poem of Edith Stein, written in january 1940, when WW II and persecution against the Jews were already in progress.

German (original language): Edith Stein - Am Steuer

French: Edith Stein - Au gouvernail

Dutch: Edith Stein - Aan het roer

Years before, in april 1933, Edith Stein already gave a forewarning in a letter to pope Pius XI. Letter in German (original language): Edith_Stein_Brief_Pius_XI. In English: Edith_Stein_letter_to_Pius_XI .

With the poem of Edith Stein, let us pray for peace and ask for receiving the courage to never remain silent when humans are discriminated.


Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)

Mary and Child: Madonna of la Soterraña Avila (13th century)

As from the 12th century, Mary has an important place in Carmel.

In the years where their Rule has been written by St Albert, the hermits of Mount Carmel decided to own the name of Mary because they had no founder. It became the "Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel". More about history: the hermits of Mount Carmel.

Their first chapel has also been dedicated to Mary.

On the picture above we see the Madonna of la Soterraña in Avila. This emphasizes the place of Mary in de reformation of Carmel. Tradition has it that Teresa of Avila took off her shoes and left them before this statue of Mary when she quitted the monastery of the Incarnation for ever in 1563, on the way to the monastery of San Jose (first foundation).

Let's pray in silence with Mary: "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).


Update Beatitudes - Pope Francis has sent a letter to young people of the Netherlands:
Letter_Pope_Francis to young people of the_Netherlands

He emphasizes the revutionary character of the Beatitudes. Good to read, not only for young people!


Peace is fragile

In days where peace is endangered, the Beatitudes (Matthew 5 and Luke 6) question us.

New video: the Beatitudes

Let us pray for peace. It starts in our own heart. Let Christ inhabit our heart and try to say together with Paul: it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

May Christ live in me and me live in Christ.

This year we are focussing on the writings of Teresa of Avila.
In the poem "Aspiration to eternal life", she expresses her aspiration to the Beloved, her True Friend:

I_live without living in myself

We can also listen to this poem, a beautiful song in Spanish, full of life:

Vivo sin Vivir en Mi


                                 Teresa of Avila - Carmel of Reno

Teresa of Avilas (Teresa de Jesus) was full of life, the Life of Jesus.


Pentecost - Spirit of Peace

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:1-2).

John of the Cross wrote about this event: Holy_Spirit

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability... In our own languages we hear them speak about God's deeds of power (Acts 2:4,11).

This year, a very special event will take place on Pentecost (afternoon): Pope Francis will pray together with President Mahmoud Abbas, President Shimon Peres and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Link to the invitation.

Let us pray that the Spirit of Peace touches their hearts, in their own language.

Update  June 9:

Link to the prayer.

We are still praying.


Ascension -  praying in the upper room

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdraw from them and was carried up into heaven (Luke 24: 50.51).

A story that invites us to be silent...

During centuries, artists tried to illustrate the Ascension:

Giotto (1304-1306) - John Singleton (1775) - Salvador Dali (1958) - Peju Alatise (2011)

Paul tries to put it into words: When it says, 'He ascended', what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended for above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things (Ephesians 4: 9-10).

Then (after the Ascension of Jesus) they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey. And when they had entered the city, they went to the upper room... All continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1: 12-14).

Praying in the upper room until Pentecost... Silently...

Our saints of the Carmel are quite silent about the Ascension of Jesus. Teresa of Avila has written a spiritual testimony about the Trinity in the time between Ascension and Pentecost:



Christ is risen!

But the angel said to the women: do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.

He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.

Go quickly and tell his disciples  'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him'.

Matthew 28: 5-7

Truly, He is risen


Holy Week

Having loved his own

who were in the world,

Jesus loved them to the end.

John 13: 1

                                                                                                  Georges Rouault - ecce homo

During the last months of his life, John of the Cross wrote this letter: put_love


Lent - on the way to the Holy Week

New video: the Way of the Cross

These words of Jesus  can accompany our meditation :

No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord (John 10:18).

At this moment, the tension between Jesus and the Pharisans was already high.


                               Georges Rouault - Christ mocked by soldiers

Fix your eyes on the Crucified, contemplate Jesus suffering... These are important elements of the mental prayer for Teresa of Avila. A few quotes from her :


Lent - Give me this water

Third sunday of Lent: de Samaritan woman (John 4).

Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water.

Jesus said to her: "Give me a drink".



If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you: "Give me a drink", you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.


But whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.


The Samaritan woman:
Come see a man who told me everything I have done.

Could he possibly be the Christ?

                            Georges Rouault - Miserere

Water, living water: an important topic for Teresa of Avila. About this Gospel: Teresa_of_ Avila_Gospel_Samaritan_woman


Lent - Ash Wednesday

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites...

When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites...

Gospel of Ash Wednesday (Matthew 6)

New video: When you pray...

Lent can be a period of questioning ourself about what we do and why we do it.  Are we true with ourselves or are we  just acting?


                       Georges Rouault - Miserere


Preparation to Lent

My only ambition is to be able some day

to paint a Christ

so moving that those who see Him

will be converted.

Georges Rouault

Teresa of Avila wrote that mental prayer is nothing else than being with a friend and Christ is our True Friend.

About mental prayer, a text in two parts edited in december 2012 (Dutch):


New video: Therese of Lisieux-my vocation,

with quotes from the Story of a Soul and a touch of humour.


New video: A walk through the Interior Castle , with quotes from this book written by Teresa of Avila


A page "news" for the English version of  Carmel en route.

Let's inaugurate it with the first video translated in English: The Fountain by John of the Cross.


A blessed 2014 for all of you

"The Lord bless you and keep you!

The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you!

The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!" (Numbers 6: 22-27)