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Holy Spirit - source of peace

Source of peace, Light, come and enlighten me.

These are the first words of a prayer to the Holy Spirit from the carmelite sister Mariam Baouardy - Mary of Jesus crucified.


                                        



Mariam Baouardy, born on January 5, 1846 in Ibillin, Galilee, died on August 26, 1878 in Bethlehem. Pope Francis canonised her on Mei 17, 2015, together with another Palestinian sister and two other sisters.  


Let us pray for peace in the Middle East.

Let us pray for Christians there.


Mariam calls us to wake up:

Let us go and wake up the universe!


Three prayers of her: Mariam_Baouardy_- Holy_Spirit



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On the way to Pentecost


As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love...

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15)





With this words from the Farewell Discourse, Jesus gives us a mission: to grow in love.


A few years ago, Sr Helena from Carmel of Oirschot (NL) has been intervewed. This is the text (Dutch) with pictures: De_liefde_wordt_steeds_sterker (Love becomes stronger).

Translation in French: L'amour_devient_de_plus_en_plus_fort

She says: Maybe you could imagine that love for God becomes less intense when you get older. This is not true at all. Love becomes stronger. This is wonderful.


Unless age or circumstances, we can grow deeper in the mystery of Gods immense Love.



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Christ is risen !

The last words of the risen Christ in the Gospel of Matthew (28:20) are:

And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.





Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (Carmelite friar, 1614-1691) tried to live every moment, relying on this Presence. Living in the Presence of God was his prayer.


Short biografy and several quotes: Lawrence_of_the_Resurrection


Conference in Carmel of Baltimore: Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection and the Practice of the Presence of God


Teresa of Avila emphasizes how important it is just to be with her True Friend. Just living in His Presence.


Video: Teresa of Avila - the Presence of God


He is risen, indeed !


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Holy Week

The solitude of Jesus on the way to the cross. We know that Life will flow there.





Video: the Way of the Cross



Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me ? (John 18: 11)


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Lent - meeting God  (on the way to the Holy Week)

During the 40 days of Lent we can make time and create some space for a meeting with God.  We are accompanied by several biblical figures, now:


Martha, Mary and Lazarus -  three very different meetings and many emotions
John 11: 1-44



Raising of Lazarus - Catacombs of Rome, circa 300


Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was ill. After two days, he decided to visit him. When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. There is a first meeting with Martha (v. 20-28). Then Martha called her sister Mary.


When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping, ..., he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?"...
Jesus began to weep.


Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days."
Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"


Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound  with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.
Jesus said, "Unbind him, and let him go."



Tears, anger, sadness... Do we allow ourself to show our emotions with God?

"Unbind him, and let him go". What Jesus says is liberating. Do we truly understand what he tells us?


A few verses later, the atmosphere of Holy Week comes closer:

So from that day on they planned to put him to death. (John 11: 53)



Prayer for peace


More than ever we should pray for peace. Let us light this candle during the 40 days of Lent.



When you pray...



Special prayer for peace - March 26

For the carmelite family and all those who want, all over the world: 1 hour of silent prayer for peace.

This is connected with the celebration of the 500th birthday of Teresa of Avila on March 28.


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Lent - meeting God (4)

During the 40 days of Lent we can make time and create some space for a meeting with God.  Now we are accompanied not by a biblical figure, but by Teresa of Avila. On March 28, 2015, her birthday will be celebrated all over the world.


New video: Teresa of Avila - the Presence of God





The quotes are from Teresa of Avila (Interior Castle 7.1 and Way of perfection 26 and 29). The video is an invitation to mental prayer and reminds us what a privilege it is to be with our "true Friend".



Prayer for peace


More than ever we should pray for peace. Let us light this candle during the 40 days of Lent.



When you pray...



Special prayer for peace - March 26

For the carmelite family and all those who want, all over the world: 1 hour of silent prayer for peace.

This is connected with the celebration of the 500th birthday of Teresa of Avila on March 28.


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Lent - meeting God (3)

During the 40 days of Lent we can make time and create some space for a meeting with God. We are accompanied by several biblical figures, now:


Abraham and Sarah - where hospitality might lead to...



Abraham, Sarah and the three angels


The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, "My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree...

They said to Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?" And he said, "There, in the tent." Then one said, "I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed within herself...

The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord ?" (Genesis 18: 1-14)




Maybe we can let these questions arise:


Do we want to create some space in our heart where God can rest?

Do we have a good sense of humour in our relationship with God? Are we open for something unexpected?

Do we think sometimes that something is too difficult and that God can do nothing about it?


Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels whithout knowing it. (Hebrews 13: 2)



Prayer for peace


More than ever we should pray for peace. Let us light this candle during the 40 days of Lent.



When you pray...



Special prayer for peace - March 26

For the carmelite family and all those who want, all over the world: 1 hour of silent prayer for peace.

This is connected with the celebration of the 500 birthday of Teresa of Avila on March 28.


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Lent - meeting God (2)

A woman from the Gospel - a light touch






Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. (Matthew 9: 20-22; see also  Mark 5: 25-34 and Luke 8: 43-48)


Touching the cloak of Jesus,
being touched by his gaze...

A healing meeting with Jesus,
a healing meeting with God...


Maybe we can let these questions arise:


Do I need Jesus? Do I need God?

And with Teresa of Avila: do I believe that God can work wonders in me ?


Now then, if when Jesus went about in the world the mere touch of his robes cured the sick, why doubt, if we have faith, that miracles will be worked while he is within us and that he will give what we ask of him, since he is in our house ? (Teresa of Avila, Way of perfection 34.8)


Prayer for peace


More than ever we should pray for peace. Let us light this candle during the 40 days of Lent.



When you pray...




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Lent - meeting God


During the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to the Holy week and Easter, we can make time and create some space for a meeting with God. We will be accompanied by several biblical figures. The first one is:


Elijah - a sound of sheer silence



Sculpture of Elijah: Marc Arcis


Bible verses: Elijah_a sound of sheer_silence


No spectacular natural events, but an angel and a gentle breeze... 
A meeting in the sheer silence of a breeze.



Prayer for peace


More than ever we should pray for peace. Let us light a candle for this purpose during the 40 days of Lent:



When you pray...


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Teresa of Avila - fifth century celebration


New video in English: Let nothing disturb you





The poem Let nothing disturb you (Nada te turbe) is combined with quotes related to the foundation of carmelite monasteries by Teresa of Avila herself. The end of the poem is deeply engraved in her heart: God alone suffices (solo Dios basta).


Reminder: on March 28 2015, the fifth century of her birth will be celebrated all over the world.

More about Teresa of Avila



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New Year - 'en route' in 2015




                                          Carmel of Oirschot with snow


To be 'en route'... We would so much like to know where the route leads and its final destination. But to be 'en route' is different, especially when it is with God. Let us receive these quotes from a prayer written by Thomas Merton deep in our heart:


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

...
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.



A blessed 2015 for all of you !