My Writings. My Thoughts.
Special guest, Colleen Sollinger, member of the Dayton, OH OCDS, is interviewed by hostess, Frances Harry. Too often people think to become a Saint means to have done extraordinary things, build cathedrals, form new communities, have supernatural experiences, be only for those in the religious life! Well, our Carmelites have left us plenty of food for thought on this topic. We are ALL called to HOLINESS…ALL called to UNION with GOD! Listen in for the simple ways to LOVE…because at the end of life, it’s not what you’ve accomplished but how well you’ve LOVED that really makes the difference. Colleen Sollinger has collected lots of quotes and categorized them to help us make progress in our ordinary day in ordinary ways! She gave us some solid spiritual challenges that will help us all to grow!
Have you wondered what some of the key themes are for Pope Francis? Well he is certainly interested in the needs of the poor, and we know that he has some very specific ideas about economics and the need to pursue peace in the midst of political conflicts. However, if there is one consistent theme that Pope Francis has continued to focus on, it is the Mercy of God. In this particular conversation, Mark and Frances explore Carmelite perspectives on Mercy, largely through the writings of St Therese of Lisieux and also Pope France’s new book, entitled “The Church of Mercy.” Pope Francis himself stresses that we must remember that beyond the simple reality of God’s omnipotence, omnipresence and transcendence, God should first and foremost be known for His Mercy. Mercy is understood as compassion, kindness and forgiveness, and despite our too often view of God as judgmental, He greatest attribute is Mercy.
“The Holy Father just released a book entitled “The Church of Mercy.” In this particular conversation, Mark and Frances begin a series of discussions on the importance of the message of Mercy in the Church today. They begin by focusing on the upcoming event of Divine Mercy Sunday, and then move forward in time to both Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II and what they both had to say about the gift of Mercy that we receive from God. They then discuss our current Holy Father’s book about Mercy, and one of the sources of his inspiration for this book, a certain German Theologian and Cardinal named Walter Kasper, who himself wrote a book simply titled “Mercy.” It is a book that our Holy Father Francis strongly endorsed and from which he drew a great deal of insight for his own book. Mark and Frances go on to discuss a number of Saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux, and Saint Faustina, and what they had to say about God’s great Mercy. This is a message which is so important for us to hear today, especially in light of a world that so often struggles with the loss of Hope and the onslaught of despair. Mark and Frances will continue this important message through the Easter Season.”
“This program is the third and final in a series on the life and death of Blessed Titus Brandsma. In this program Frances and Mark discuss the last months of Titus’ life spent in a Nazi concentration camp. They explore both Titus great lows, his moments of near despair and loss of hope, and also his ultimately victory in overcoming his own will. Titus’ life is an example that few of us will ever have to experience; he was called to a particularly high degree of sanctity. But at the same time, it can serve as a model for what all of us must go through on some level, the overcoming of our individual desires and our self will. We see again the importance of the individual cell for a place of refuge in the interior life, but in Titus’ case even that cell must ultimately be abandoned to the will of the Father. Titus must go to his own Cross by completely abandoning himself to the mercy of the Father. His ultimate death, at the hands of his captors, is a testament to the struggle with evil, lived out in the most horrible circumstances of deprivation and cruelty. His life is truly a Witness to Hope.”
For this conversation Mark and Frances welcomed into the studio one of the new Aspirants in the local Carmelite Community in Dayton, Ohio, Tim Bete. Tim is actually married to one of the long time members of the Secular Carmelite Order, so Mark and Frances wanted to explore what it was like to have be a ‘couple in Carmel.’ They also asked Tim what it was that drew him personally to Carmelite Spirituality. In addition to their own journey in Carmel, Tim and his wife are also the parents of a daughter who is pursuing a vocation as a Dominican Sister. This led to an interesting discussion on what it takes to raise and keep our children Catholic in our modern culture. Not surprisingly the main points focused on prayer, witness and continued exposure to things spiritual.