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.
In this particualry program Mark invites Chris Cotter, a Secular Carmelite from the Community of Dayton Ohio, to discuss the Carmelite aspects of the Feast of Fatima. On 13 May 2013, Pope Francis consecrated his Papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. Mark and Chris explore both the significance of this event, and what Fatima means to each of us individually. Using both the Vatican Document, from The Congreagation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the meaning of Fatima, and the writings of Sister Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries and a Carmelite Nun, they discuss what the messages of Fatima are still communicating to all Christians today. This is a very interesting and very timely topic, and the Order of Carmel plays a significant role in helping to communicate the continual call from Our Lady of Fatima.
This particular program discusses the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which is celebrated each year on 1 May. Mark and Frances explore the history of this important devotion, and how it was designed to counter the negative affects of atheistic Communism. They draw from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical ‘On Human Work,’ in order to explain the inherent dignity of work and the way in which it allows us to both participate in our own salvation and participate in the act of creation along with God. They also discuss the details of our most important work, the work of prayer. Not only can our daily work, whether in home or factory, itself become prayer, but we must also do the work of prayer through, with and in God.
During this program Mark and Frances conclude the series on the book entitled “Upon this Mountain.’ This particular book, written by a cloistered Carmelite Nun is the fruit of forty years of prayer and reflection. Mark and Frances explore some of the deeper meanings of our universal call to holiness, and how we are not called to this for ourselves but for the entire body of Christ. They discuss some of the more challenging aspects of the use of the imagination in prayer, and what is meant by our needing to empty ourselves of formal images. They also discuss the deeper meaning of silence in prayer.
In this particular program Mark and Frances discuss the reflections of a Carmelite Nun from England, Sister Mary McCormack. Sister McCormack has been a nun for forty years, and during that time she has served in a number of important positions, but none more important that that of Novice Mistress, where is was her responsibility to assist young postulants in learning the Carmelite way of life, especially prayer. She has written a wonderful book entitled “Upon this Mountain,” where she reflects on the most simple and yet most profound elements of what she has learned about prayer. She draws extensively on her own experience, but also on the writings of the two Masters of Carmelite prayer, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.
During this program Mark and Frances review the Carmelite Promise. This is the promise made by all Carmelites, after a specific period of formation, and relates to their commitment to both the Order, their brothers and sisters in Carmel and the Blessed Mother.
Mark and Frances discuss how important the need for both commitment and fidelity are in our modern society. At a time when we are seeing an increasing rate of divorce, broken families, and even departures from the priesthood and religious life, it is very important to understand the significance of making a commitment to others, and then fulfilling those responsibilities. The Carmelite Promise is just such a commtiment.