Actually, the first Carmelites were veterans. Crusaders having fallen in love with the Holy Land, decided to remain and gathered as hermits on Mount Carmel. In the 13th century, they took as the model of their way of life the spirit of the Prophet Elijah and so began the long history of our religious family.
Saint Teresa of Jesus (from Avila) even as a little girl, felt the call to lay down her life in defense of truth and set off to fight the Moors. There were countless times during the World Wars that Saint Therese of the Child Jesus appeared to soldiers, sailors, and airmen either guiding them to safety or defending them from danger. And Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) wrote that through union with Christ one may be present on every battlefield simultaneously fighting for good. So you can see how we would have a certain kinship with our veterans.
In the Communion antiphon for today, we are reminded that whatever is done for the least of God’s people is done for Him. How much more will be the reward for those men and women who have placed their lives at the service and defense of our country’s freedom and principles.
We pray in gratitude for these generous souls and for those who will answer the call to serve our country in this way. We pray for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and have passed now into eternity. We hold in our hearts in a special way those who still bear the burden of the tragedies they have witnessed in battle, that this cross they carry will be transformed into peace and healing. We pray for the families who have given spouses, parents, and children to the cause of freedom and right. May we all forever be grateful for such unselfish service.