Reflections on Receiving the Holy Habit

By: Sister Mary Louise, O.C.D.


Wedding dresses, graduation gowns, first communion clothing, prom gowns, these are all familiar these types of clothing as are the special celebrations for which they are worn. They help mark significant moments in life. Worn for a few hours, they are then packed away as precious reminders of an event that has passed. Last Sunday, March 16, three young women were clothed in beautiful garments as a way of marking a certain moment in their lives. The difference was that after a few hours these “gowns” were not packed away. But early Monday morning the young women again put them on.. and again Tuesday morning… and Wednesday…and they will continue to wear them for the rest of their lives. This is because we are not talking about satin and silk but the holy habit of Carmel.

What is the significance of the clothing that we as Carmelites wear? What does it mean to be clothed in the garment of our Immaculate Mother? The answer was clear in the Sacred Heart Chapel on Palm Sunday: conversion. But it wasn’t so much that a message was preached, as that a conviction shared in a radical way by each sister was expressed verbally. It was a tangible experience of the presence of sisters who have persevered to the end in the life long struggle of conversion, of sisters with whom we have made it through another day, as well as sisters with arms outstretched eager to begin a life of continual striving for the perfection of charity. They have been approved to make their first vows and in a few months they will commit themselves to our way of life. Now their outward appearance matches the interior reality. Because as we greeted and congratulated the three brides-to-be, the radiant smiles on their faces bore witness to the treasure we have in our community: union in Christ. It was truly their special day, but I think each of us and all of us together took yet one more step closer to our Divine Bridegroom, led by the guiding hand of His Mother, the Queen and Beauty of Carmel. We congratulate Sister Maralisa, Sister Julianna, and Sister Marie Rachel. We congratulate you and we love you, our dear sisters!

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Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 3:50 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful pictures! Will keep your novices and postulants in my prayers!

  2. I was so thrilled to hear about this!I’ll keep the novices in prayer, along with all the others!!It’s so encouraging to see them as they progress! They look a bit different in their habits since I last saw a picture of them as Postulants. It’s so cool!-Little Bernadette

  3. PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST!!!Thank you for the beautiful reflection on the Holy Habit of Carmel. May Our Good God continue to surround each of His Brides and Brides to Be with His unconditional love and meet each and ever one of you in your needs. You continue to be in my daily prayers.

  4. It was such a joy meeting them and the rest of the novices on my trip to L.A.Our prayers for them and for an eyepopping increase in vocations!AMDG,-J.

  5. I am praying for all of your novices and sisters! Keep me in your prayers as well… I have a homily to give at a prolife rally on Friday! God bless you and keep smiling! Padre Steve

  6. God bless our new Sisters as they continue in their religious vocation! Knowing them and how different each personality is simply reaffirms that we are, in a way, God’s cake…different ingredients in the recipe.Salt, eggs, butter, flour, flavorings — all good one by one, but for a FANTASTIC treat we put them together “just so”. The result is outstanding!

  7. What a beautiful photo! I hope you’ll add more to your blog soon!

  8. Dear Sisters,How wonderful to find you and your lovely pictures on the Internet.I was just in Alhambra for a silent Retreat in May and enjoyed it so much.I met one of the Novices inthe Dining Area.God bless you all for yourJoy and Zeal for the Heartof Jesus.A friend in Steubenville, Oh.Mary Ann

  9. What joy filled my heart to see Sr. Maralisa’s picture in her new habit! You are in my prayers and thoughts! How good God is!


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