Sunday, January 22, 2006

The short course in Carmelite Spirituality: Fr. Christopher explains it all to Holy Cross

Hello OCDS from the Santa Clara Carmel of the Infant Jesus,


This morning at 8:30 mass at Holy Cross Church, Fr. Christopher presided. (I'd last seen him at 2 yesterday afternoon towards the tail end of the March for Life in San Francisco. Most of us OCDS who attended had a brief Carmelite encounter together for a few minutes at the end of the day. More about that in a separate email.)


"Hi, Father Christopher," I said as I ducked past him in the Holy Cross vestibule on my way to the choir loft. "We meet again," he said.


Out of the three readings and the Psalm for today, Fr. Christopher somehow managed to give a homily that was a short course on Carmelite spirituality for the parishioners in the pews, weaving in quotes from our holy mother St. Teresa and from St. Therese, our two women doctors of the Church.


He concluded that we should start with one minute a day, going inside ourselves with God, into that Interior Castle, that faceted crystal full of light. He also compared it to a beautiful garden. The God that we meet there is beyond all of our longings.

After we do that for a minute at a time, we will of course be drawn to spending two minutes, then three and more. And then we will come to know that being with God within us is to be highly desired more than any of our other activities.

We could use that kind of talk as an incentive for us OCDS members to spend our required amount of time in contemplative prayer. How about this for an idea? We could make posters with slogans to bring in new members:

Come to Know the God of Our Longings On One Minute A Day.

Back to Basics: Live the First Commandment First

Hooked on Contemplation: Mysticism For Everybody

As we say Fr. Christopher's homework assignment over and over again, Thy Kingdom Come, we will come to know the rest of it:

The Kingdom of God is within you.

Just riffing on the theme,

In Carmel,
Roseanne

(That reminds me of a quote I once read from a Carmelite Mother Teresa Bilecki. Mysticism isn't sublimated sex. Sex is sublimated mysticism.)
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