Carmelite Monastery, Wolverhampton
The Midland Carmel
Some Personal Reflections

PRAYER, in my opinion, is nothing more than a friendly conversation with ONE whom we know loves us. [St. Teresa of Jesus, of Avila]
Only when we meet JESUS can we find release for that anxiety in which beats and pulses all that is more profoundly human: the search for TRUTH, the relentless demand for what is GOOD, the hunger for FREEDOM, the yearning for BEAUTY, the voice of CONSCIENCE. He alone is the solution for every problem; He alone is the true salvation of the world; He alone is the HOPE OF HUMANITY. [Pope John Paul II]
"Let not your hearts be troubled; BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME. In my Father's house there are many mansions." (John 14:1)
Prayer for the sick:
My God, you have created me to do you some definite service. I have my place in your plan; I may never know what it is in this life, but I will be told it in the next. So I will trust you in all things. If I am sick, may my sickness serve you. If I am worried, may my worry serve you. If I am in sorrow, may my sorrow serve you. If I am exhausted, may my exhaustion serve you. If I am sleepless, let my wakefulness serve you. May this offering accompany missionaries and all who labour and suffer to make Jesus Christ known to all the world. Amen.
[c.f. Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman]
"...they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "STAY WITH US, FOR IT IS TOWARDS EVENING AND THE DAY IS NOW FAR SPENT". So he went in to stay with them." (Luke 24:20)
"Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world". (Matthew 28:20)
Watch thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch or weep tonight and give thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend thy sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest thy weary ones. Bless thy dying ones. Pity thine afflicted ones. And all for thy love's sake. [St. Augustine]
MY FAVOURITE PRAYER: "The Rosary is my favourite prayer. Such a wonderful prayer! Wonderful in its simplicity and its depth. In this prayer we repeat again and again the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel and from her cousin Elizabeth. The Church in its entirety associates itself with these words. On the background of the words "Ave Maria" the soul visualizes the main events in the life of Jesus Christ. At the same time our heart is able to include, in the Rosary's mysteries, all the facts composing the life of the individual, of the family, of the nation, of the Church and of humanity. Personal happenings, and those concerning others, especially those nearest to us and that we care for most. In this way, the Rosary's simple prayer echoes the rhythm of human life. A prayer so simple and so rich! From my deepest heart, I exhort all to recite it." [Pope John Paul II]
(If you would like to learn to say the Rosary, or if you already know how to say it and would like some help with it, click on the 'Links' button and then on 'Prayer Web Sites' to find a helpful site.)
Trust the past to the mercy of God,
the present to His love,
the future to His providence.
[St. Augustine]
However pressing the needs of the active apostolate, Religious Institutes which are totally devoted to contemplation must continue to play their wonderful role in the Mystical Body of Christ, in which 'all members have not the same office' (Rom 12:4), their members giving all their time to GOD ALONE in silence and solitude, praying continuously and willingly doing penance.
[Vatican II, P.C.7]
There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
for this I long,
to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple.
(Psalm 26:4)
Oh, then soul, most beautiful among creatures, so anxious to know the dwelling place of your Beloved so you may go in search of him and be united with him, now we are telling you that you yourself are his dwelling and his secret inner room and hiding place. There is reason for you to be elated and joyful in seeing that all your good and hope is so close as to be within you, or better, that you cannot be without him....
Desire him there, adore him there. Do not go in pursuit of him outside yourself. You will only become distracted and wearied thereby, and you shall not find him, or enjoy him more securely, or sooner, or more intimately than by seeking him within you. There is but one difficulty: Even though he does abide within you, he is hidden. [St. John of the Cross]
Prayer to St. Joseph:
St. Joseph, like the people of your time, and like us today, you were familiar with doubt, worry, anguish and suffering. Your desire was to be attentive to the manifestations of God's will. Help us to identify how we can best overcome our difficulties.
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never has it been known that anyone who asked for your help and sought your intercession was left unaided. So, please, St. Joseph, graciously hear and grant our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, dispose my heart to receive Thee: create in my heart openness and freedom by Thy grace, so that Thou canst pour into it what pleases Thee. Take away from me whatever is an obstacle in Thy way, thrust aside whatever obstructs Thy work in me and holds me back, complete in me what is wanting to me and increase whatever leads to Thee, so that Thy superabundant grace may cleanse me in the light of Thy coming. Amen. [Mother Julia Verhaeghe]
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
[Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi]
Let us fall deeper and deeper into His eternal stillness, truth, peace and love. As the stone falling into the sea, the deeper we fall, the safer we are.
[M. Mary of Jesus]
In the Will of God is my peace.
May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last. [Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman]
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied,
Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way!"
[M. Louise Haskins]
O Blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in Thee.
Let Thy mighty calmness reign over me.
Rule me, O Thou King of gentleness, King of peace.
[prayer ascribed to St. John of the Cross]
My joy is His truth that inspires me.
My joy is His life that draws me to Himself.
My joy is His will calling me.
My joy is His word leading me on.
My joy is His peace that gives me rest.
My joy is His grace that pardons me.
My joy is His strength that guides me.
My joy is the blessing of His cross.
My joys are His sufferings that weigh me down.
My joys are His marvels that overwhelm me.
[Mother Julia Verhaeghe]
Love is a totally pure flame which is nothing else but God Himself Who is loving Himself within our poor hearts. [M. Mary of Jesus]
O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
(Psalm 62:2-9)
VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF CHRIST AND SEAT OF WISDOM, open our hearts to receive your divine Son and make them like your own heart, full of your own wise and generous LOVE:
a love that brings true peace to our lives and to those of many others;
a love that creates an atmosphere of joy and radiates a sense of security to all those with whom we live day after day;
a love that strengthens our will when sacrifice is demanded and that urges it on to virtue, while keeping us always kind and gentle;
a love that gives us strength to deny ourselves and to carry the spiritual burdens of others;
a love that does not flee from sacrifice, but that can carry the daily cross with persevering trust;
a love that is willing to serve without looking for any satisfaction or reward, and is thus able to alleviate the troubles of others;
a love that enables us to be silent about ourselves and to heal many spiritual wounds through our own reparation and penance.
Mother of Divine Wisdom, hear our prayer. [Mother Julia Verhaeghe]
O GOD, make me brave.
Let me strengthen after pain,
As a tree strengthens after rain,
Shining and lovely.
As the blown grass lifts,
Let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me braver.
Life brings such blinding things!
Help me to keep Thee in sight
Knowing, all through the night,
That out of dark comes light.
Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father's table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.
[St. John of the Cross]
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