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.
Archive for April, 2013
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.
In this particular program Mark and Frances discuss the simply yet remarkable life of a Secular Carmelite from Spain named Josefa Naval Girbes who lived from 1820 – 1893. Blessed Josefa lived a perfectly simple life, opening her home as a school for embroidery. She used the quiet hours of labor to instruct her young female students about the Catholic faith. She was well known for instructing her girls that their primary mission in life should be to “sanctify yourself and sanctify others.” Despite her remarkable simplicity, she had a very disciplined approach to her pursuit of holiness, and is also remembered for her rather direct counsel to “Reach holiness, no matter what the Cost.” This simple woman, who chose to live in the world, perfectly fulfilled God’s will by living a life of holiness, but also by bearing remarkable fruit in helping so many others to pursue a life in Union with God.