Better Late Than Never

After I finished the previous post, I realized I did not put anything up about Mother Luisita on her actual birthday. Excuse me for “recycling” but I thought you might enjoy this reflection I shared with our sisters on her feastday, June 21.

The Desk of a Carmelite

As I write, Mother Luisita is smiling at me from a little picture I keep on my desk. It is in a tiny, heart shaped frame, with a cute cherub on top. Although it is just what was on hand at the time, it actually is quite appropriate. All through her life Maria Luisa responded to Jesus’ invitation to enter more deeply into His Heart. I am sure she had no idea what journey she was beginning when she said yes to marrying Pasqual, to establishing a hospital, to letting go of her beloved husband at his death, to life in the convent, then out, then in, and then out again. But step by step every yes moved her closer to the very center of the Heart of Christ. She said yes to bringing her daughters to the City of the Angels, and now here we are, in the Heart of Christ under the protection of all the angels of Heaven and their most glorious Queen. In the picture before me, Mother Luisita is smiling. It is almost as though she were sitting here with me, having a nice little chat. I know what she would say, because we’ve all heard it through her letters. “Be what you are supposed to be: a saint.” But what does it mean? (more…)

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Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm  Comments (1)  

Glory to Glory

Whew! What a week it has been. I wish I could write at length about all the beautiful and exciting things that have happened, but since they keep happening I will have to limit myself.

Last Sunday we celebrated our Sister Jubilarians. It was glorious! It was the first such celebration since we reopened our Chapel at Santa Teresita after renovations. The music was heavenly, the thoughts father shared during the homily were inspiring, but most of all the combined witness of women who have lived religious life for twenty-five, fifty, and sixty years was beyond words. The joy and love was so deep.

Monday was the birthday of our Mother Foundress, Venerable Maria Louisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She died in 1937, but we are faithful daughters and celebrated her fully, from a beautiful Liturgy in the morning to authentic carne asada for dinner. (After two hours at the grill, I felt like I smelled like charcoal for days.) (more…)

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Happy Father’s Day!

It has been a while since I sent a Fathers’ Day card. My own father passed away 13 years ago, but over the years I have come to see this day as a time to honor and express affection not only for the man who gave me life, but also for those men who contribute to my spiritual life.

Jesus said, “Anyone who sees Me sees the Father.” Every priest is Alter Christus, Another Christ. This means that they are for us the most tangible image we have of our Heavenly Father. I cannot run up to God the Father and give Him a big hug and a kiss, but every time I have kissed the hands of a newly ordained priest, I feel I have expressed this filial devotion. (more…)

Published in: on June 20, 2010 at 8:45 am  Comments (1)  

Shopping Day

Yesterday was shopping day. This may not seem like a “blog worthy” topic for many people, but considering we have a shopping day once each month and two of us are purchasing for nine different areas, and 25 sisters, it is usually quite an adventure.

First we compile all the lists. Microsoft Excel helps a lot. After everything is tallied up, we sort it by store and area of store. Stickers in hand, every item is labeled by where it will go when we get home. This is done as soon as it goes in the cart. We really do have it down to quite a system. (more…)

Published in: on June 19, 2010 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Our Lady of… the Cake Pan?!?!

Please note the Bundt cake pan-stand

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I am hoping this one will make up for a bit of a lag in the blog the past couple of days, including no entry for the feast of the Sacred Heart. (Yikes, another week in purgatory for me!)

Mary seems to have a running theme in my life these days, actually a twofold theme: busy days and humor. She seems to turn up just when it gets chaotic and she brings a little laughter when things might be getting a bit tense.

One of the novices asked me Friday evening if I knew where there was an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to use to decorate for her feast. Indeed I did. That was part of what added to the “fullness” of my day. We are re-doing a garden and (more…)

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 8:04 am  Leave a Comment  

From Your Secret Admirer


Last week two of us had an appointment in downtown Los Angeles. Not exactly the natural habitat for Carmelite Sisters, but we go wherever He leads us.

On our way home, I reflected on the faces of those we passed. Business men and women, homeless, students, tourists, among them all I was struck by the lack of joy we saw. Face and body language seemed to communicate a certain hopelessness, apathy, even lifelessness.

It may sound strange, but bear with me. This morning I couldn’t help thinking how different that scene would have been if those people had been head-over-heels in love. Or even better, known that Someone was head-over-heels in love with them. To be very specific, He is actually divinity-over-humanity in love with them.

Today we celebrate the great feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. His love for us is not just a belief in our minds and hearts, it is a Presence before our eyes, in our hands, on our tongues. He is not only waiting to welcome us home, He is making every step of the journey with us as we express in our Eucharistic Processions today.

And he is sending us secret messages all day long. Yesterday, (more…)

Published in: on June 6, 2010 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

A Shower of Roses

Roses from our gardens...

St. Therese said she would send down a shower of roses from Heaven. Today several of us had a hand in fulfilling her promise.

Our convent sits on four acres with many luscious gardens. We have not counted recently, but we calculate we have more than a thousand rose bushes. Beautiful? Absolutely! A lot of work? Unquestionably!

Today was a true California summer day. It was warm. But by 7:30 this evening, a cool, gentle breeze found its way though our grounds and the sun had set leaving us a deliciously refreshing twilight. We seized our opportunity. (more…)

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Double Graces

Sacred Heart Statue at Retreat House

Today begins the Novena in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart which this year has particular significance, especially for Carmelites. June 11, 2010, will close the Year of the Priesthood. In honor of this novena, let me give you a little glimpse of how my community spent the evening.

We have a dear, dear priest friend here right now as the Retreat Master for our Postulants, Novices, and Sisters in Temporary Vows who are on retreat. Today is his 80th birthday, so we had to celebrate. Yes, cake, candles, balloons, and all! What do you give on such an occasion? (more…)

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm  Comments (1)  

You found what in the drain?!?!

Just as soon as you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. Our chaplain likes to use that phrase, and today I found myself saying it as well.

One of the sinks in our kitchen had been plugged for the past couple of days. We had a gentleman come in today to work on it. Being a rather large campus, we have lots of sinks and they just get plugged from time to time. It’s no big deal. But today it was a little different.

When we’ve had to fix such problems, we have found all kinds of things to be the source of the, shall we say, obstruction. Tree roots and coffee grounds are two of the most common culprits. But neither one is to blame for this incident. (more…)

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 10:52 am  Comments (1)