November 15, 2008

All Carmelite Souls

November 15 - All Carmelite Souls - Commemoration
(When November 15 falls on a Sunday the Commemoration is celebrated on November 16)

Today we remember all souls who have gone to their rest and belonged to the Carmelite family: those who wear the Scapular devoutly, third order members, brothers, sisters, nuns and friars. Please remember them in your prayers, that they may enjoy the Beatific vision in the company of Our Lady and the entire heavenly court. Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Remembering Our Departed Carmelites
I live without living in myself,
And in such a way do I hope,
That I die, because I do not die.
I live now outside of myself,
For I die of love,
Because I live in the Lord,
Who wanted me for himself;
When I gave him my heart,
I placed this sign on it:
I die, because I do not die.
This divine prison
Of love with which I live
Has made God my captive,
And my heart free.
And it causes such passion within me
To see God as my prisoner,
That I die because I do not die…
I wish to reach him, dying,
For so greatly do I love my beloved,
That I die because I do not die.

-- Vivo sin vivir en mí by St Teresa of Avila

"Lord, You are the glory of those who serve you. Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters, united in following Christ and His Mother by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel. In your mercy grant them everlasting sight of you, their Creator and Redeemer."

From the works of St. Teresa of Jesus

All of us who wear this holy Carmelite habit are called to prayer and contemplation. This is what we were founded for. We are descended from those holy fathers of ours on Mt. Carmel, those who went in search of that treasure –the priceless pearl we are talking about –in such solitude and with such contempt for the world.
We must remember those holy fathers of ours who have gone before us, the hermits whose lives we are trying to imitate. We must remember our real founders, those holy fathers whose descendants we are. It was by way of poverty and humility, we know, that they came to the enjoyment of God.

On the subject of the beginnings of orders, I sometimes hear it said that the Lord gave greater graces to those saints who went before us because they were the foundations.

Quite so, but we too must always bear in mind what it means to be the foundations for those who will come later.

For if those of us who are alive now have not fallen away from what they did in the past, and those who come after us do the same, the building will always stand firm. What use is it to me for the saints of the past to have been what they were, if I come along after them and behave so badly that I leave the building in ruins because of my bad habits?

For obviously those who come later don’t remember those who have died years before as they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is to insist that I am not one of the first, and do not realize what a difference there is between my life and virtues and the lives of those God has endowed with such graces!

Any of you who sees your Order falling away in any respect must try to be the kind of stone the building can be rebuilt with –the Lord will help to rebuild it.

For love of our Lord I beg them to remember how quickly everything comes to an end, and what a favor the Lord has done in bringing us to this Order, and what a punishment anyone who starts any kind of relaxation will deserve. They must always look at the race we are descended from–that race of holy prophets. What a num- ber of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal.

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