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St Therese of the Child Jesus Memorial, Virgin & Doctor of Church

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“Those who concentrate on the life and doctrine of this child of Carmel who died at the age of twenty-four are seized with wonder and admiration. They discover, in fact, that her contribution to spirituality is as original as it is profoundly traditional. They also discover that hidden under the Gospel-like simplicity of her message of ‘the little way of childhood’ is a spiritual structure both... Read More

Distractions during Prayer

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Difficulties, Featured, Prayer, Sr. Laudis

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Q. I have a hard time dealing with the silence that prayer requires. My mind never stops racing every time I sit down to pray. I heard somewhere that St. Teresa of Avila had the same problem. Do you know how she overcame it? Is it possible to overcome this problem? I am very frustrated but still committed. Christ has given everything for me and I won’t give up. Even so, I am struggling. A. Someone... Read More

What Aspect of Carmelite Spirituality is Most Helpful for Prayer?

September 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Featured, Prayer, Sr. Laudis

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Q.  What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer?  A.  What thoughts have crossed your mind when you have read the Gospel narrative of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and Martha “stewing” in the kitchen because she was left alone to do the serving? Why didn’t Mary see the serving needs and get up and help? What she did see was the person of Jesus and that... Read More

Carmelite sisters at the Movies – For Greater Glory – Viva Christo Rey!

June 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, Sr. Laudis

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles rarely go to the movies, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to be a part of a premiere showing of For Greater Glory. Seventy-five of our sisters immediately said “yes” to the gracious invitation of Archbishop Jose Gomez. Why? Because it was during those days—the days of the horrendous religious persecution in Mexico... Read More

I am stuck in my spiritual growth… how do I get unstuck? This is frustrating! Part II of II

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, I feel like I am stuck in mansion somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I should be growing but I am not. In our first post in this two part series we talked about a few of the reasons we get stuck... Read More

I am stuck in my spiritual growth… how do I get unstuck? This is frustrating! Part I of II

Q: Dear Sister Carmen, I feel like I am stuck in mansion somewhere in mansion one or two. Is this normal? Where do most people get stuck in the journey through the mansions and is there any common way you can suggest that we get unstuck? Maybe I am just impatient. I feel like I should be growing but I am not. A: Teresa posits conformity to God’s will as the first principle of spiritual growth In... Read More

How can we mature through the first few rooms of the Interior Castle?

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Q: Dear Sister Carmen, in your last post you provided a really helpful summary of the first few mansions. You mentioned that they are “rooms of humility.” I would be grateful if you could help me understand the kinds of prayer that help us mature through these first few rooms. I have been advised to practice meditation for which Fr. John’s Better Part is a wonderful resource. Is this also consistent... Read More

What does St. Teresa mean by “pesky reptiles”?

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Dear Sister Carmen, In the Interior Castle St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things?” Those “pesky reptiles!” When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me share with you the reaction of a group of... Read More

Dark night or depression?

Dear Sister Carmen, I am struggling with prayer – it is very dry and I feel very alone but I have not given up. I believe I am in the dark night but I am also melancholy by temperament. How can I discern what I am experiencing? I don’t have access to a spiritual director because of my remote location. Am I depressed or in the dark night or both? I know you can’t know everything about... Read More

Sometimes prayer is so frustrating I just give up… what can I do?

December 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Difficulties, Prayer, Sr. Laudis

Dear Sister Carmen, in the Second Mansion of the Interior Castle, St. Teresa strongly emphasizes the need for perseverance. Can you help me understand how this works in a practical way? I really struggle to keep a consistent prayer time and to stay focused when I pray. Sometimes [prayer] is so frustrating that I just give up. I know this doesn’t help but what can I do? Many doors have a sign... Read More