My Writings. My Thoughts.
Carmelite Conversations is a weekly program hosted by Mr. Mark Danis that centers on the teachings of Carmelite Spirituality and their application to our busy modern lives. It provides counsel on how to live the Carmelite call to combine contemplative prayer with service to the Church, while at the same time providing guidance on how to make progress in holiness. Tune in on Mondays at 7:00pm Eastern (6:00pm Central) and call in with your questions.
We can never hear enough about the power of the Eucharist and the influence it can have on people’s lives. In this compelling program, Mark and Frances discuss the life of Hermann Cohen, a famous pianist who converted to Catholicism and eventually became a Carmelite Hermit. This is a fascinating story with three central characters, Hermann Cohen, the Blessed Mother, and our Lord, in the form of the Holy Eucharist. Cohen’s story is one of faith and inspiration for anyone looking to find the central meaning in our lives. Despite a very colored and misguided early life, Hermann Cohen, through his contact with our Lord in the Eucharist, came to understand the true meaning for his life, and for all our lives.
Mark and Frances discuss the remarkable story of Hermann Cohen, a very famous classical pianist who became a Carmelite Friar. In this first of a two part series, they focus on the story of Fr. Hermann, as he would come to be known, and his incredible cure at Lourdes. Fr. Hermann suffered from an advanced stage of glaucoma, and was beginning to lose his eyesight when he decided to begin a novena to Our Lady of Lourdes. His novena began on the feast of St. Raphael the Archangel. While on pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fr. Hermann also had the good fortune to meet Bernadette Soubirous, who, like Fr. Hermann, had been ravished by Our Lady. Fr. Hermann, in his personal writings says, “Mary revealed to me the mystery of the Eucharist.” This is a truly remarkable story of faith, blessing and redemption.
This program is the final in a three part series based on the book “Into your hands Father” by Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen OCD, which discusses our need to conform our will to the will of God. Mark and Frances build on the foundation of the first two parts, namely, our need to accept all the circumstances in our life as having come from our heavenly Father, and our need to put our hands to the plow and do our part. In this third part however, we begin to learn that we must dispose ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit. Our most important role here is to begin to see how all the elements of our life are simply part of the Lord’s work of sanctification in us. We need to maintain a single focus on our participation in the Lord working in us. This program will be very helpful for anyone struggling to understand what they must do to participate with the Lord in this final work of preparation for Union with God. It is a challenging call, but one well worth the effort.
In this conversation Mark and Frances continue with the second part of a three part series on conforming our will to the will of God. They are using a text from Carmelite Friar Father Wilfrid Stinissen entitled “Into your Hands, Father.” After finishing up the last section of the first part of Fr. Stinissen’s book, which concluded with the role of the memory and the practice of the virtue of Hope, Mark and Frances move to the second section of the book. In this second section Fr. Stinissen speaks about our need to not only accept everything in our life as God’s will, but to them move to put our hands on the plow and begin to do the work the Lord calls us to. Here Fr. Stinissen asks and answers his own question, namely, does God guide us through every moment of our day. The answer is yes, but He uses both external and internal means of doing this. After going through each of these means, Mark and Frances discuss the importance of the role of detachment, and our need to practice genuine human freedom in the context of pursuing our final ends as human persons. It is only through the practice of genuine freedom that we free ourselves to obey God in all things.