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Wisdom from Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Mary has made Herself a Mother to Her Scapular-children to such an extent that they cannot be lost. Once She appeared to Blessed Angela de Arena, clothed in the Carmelite Habit and surrounded by Saints who were particularly devoted to Her during life. There were no Carmelites there. “Dear Mother, where are your Carmelites?” exclaimed Blessed Angela. And Mary, quickly pulling back the edges of the white cloak which hung over Her breast, showed her a bunch of roses saying: “Here are my Carmelites.” ”
-[Pulpito de la Virgen del Carmen, Vol. I, pg. 38.]


Saint Therese of Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Doctor of the Church

“I made the resolution never to consider whether the things commanded me appeared useful or not…. it is love alone that counts. Forget about whether something is needed or useful; see it (the demand, rule, obligation, etc.) as a whim of Jesus.”

“Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk.”

“How happy I am to see myself imperfect and be in need of God’s mercy.”

“We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so powerful and so merciful. We obtain from him as much as we hope for.“

“You know that our Lord does not look at the greatness or difficulty of our action, but at the love with which you do it. What, then, have you to fear?”

“Prayer is a cry of gratitude and love, in the midst of trial as well as in joy.”

“The goal of all our undertakings should be not so much a task perfectly completed as the accomplishment of the will of God.”

“Oh my God, You have surpassed all my expectations.”

“Let us be one with Jesus… let us make our life a continual sacrifice, a martyrdom of love to console Jesus. May all moments of our life be for Him alone. We have only one task during the night of our present life – to love Jesus.”

“I desire no sensible consolation in loving; provided Jesus feel my love that is enough for me. Oh! to love Him and to make Him loved… how sweet it is…”

“She [Mary] is more Mother than Queen.”

“In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul.”

“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.”

“What a joy to remember that she [Mary] is our Mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?”

“I will sing even when I must pick my flowers amid thorns. The longer and sharper the thorns are, the sweeter my song will sound.”

“I always want to see you behaving like a brave soldier who does not complain about his own suffering but takes his comrades’ wounds seriously and treats his own as nothing but scratches.”
-To her Novices


Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

“It is not so essential to think much as to love much.”

“It is certain that the love of God does not consist in experiencing sweetness or tenderness of heart but in truly serving God in Justice, strength and humility.”

“Look for Christ Our Lord in everyone and you will then have respect and reverence for all.”

“So dearly does His Majesty love us that He will reward our love for our neighbor by increasing the love which we bear to Himself, and that in a thousand ways.”

“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing:God alone suffices.”

“Don’t trust too much to nuns: I can tell you that if they want anything, they will make you see it in a thousand different aspects. [She laughed at those who] think they are dispensed from choir one day because they have a pain in their head, and the next day because they have had one, and the third day in case they may get one.”


Saint John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church

“Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth; mine are the people, the righteous are mine and mine are the sinners; the angels are mine and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, for Christ is mine and all for me. What then do you ask for and seek, my soul? Yours is all this, and it is all for you.”

“To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but the greatness of its humility.”

“Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.”

“God desires the smallest degree of purity of conscience in you more than all the works you can perform.”

“A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul.”

“What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.”

“To deprive oneself of the gratification of the appetites in all things is like living in darkness and in a void. … Hence, we call this nakedness a night for the soul. For we are not discussing the mere lack of things; this lack will not divest the soul., if it [still] craves for all these objects. We are dealing with the denudation of the soul’s appetites and gratifications; this is what leaves it free and empty of all things, even though it possesses them. Since the things of the world cannot enter the soul, they are not in themselves an encumbrance or harm to it; rather, it is the will and appetite dwelling within it that causes the damage.”

“To reach satisfaction in all,
desire its possession in nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all,
desire the knowledge of nothing.
To come to possess all,
desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all,
desire to be nothing.
To come to the pleasure you have not,
you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.
To come to the knowledge you have not,
you must go by a way in which you know not.
To come to the possession you have not;
you must go by a way in which you possess not.
To come to be what you are not,
you must go by a way in which you are not.
When you turn toward something,
you cease to cast yourself upon the all.
For to go from the all to the all,
you must leave yourself in all.
And when you come to the possession of all,
you must posses it without wanting anything.
In this nakedness, the spirit finds its rest,
for when it covets nothing, nothing raises it up,
and nothing weighs it down,
because it is in the center of its humility.”

 

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

“The more lofty the degree of loving union to which God destines the soul, so much more profound and persistent must be its purification.”

“God Himself teaches us to go forward with our hand in His by means of the Church’s liturgy.”

“One cannot desire freedom from the Cross when one is especially chosen for the Cross.”


Saint Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi

“Trials are nothing else but the forge that purifies the soul of all its imperfections.”

“You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward.”


Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes

“I abyss myself in His magnificence and His wisdom but when I ponder His goodness, my heart can say nothing – I can only Adore.”


Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified

“Always remember to love your neighbor; always prefer the one who tries your patience, who test your virtue, because with her you can always merit: suffering is Love; the Law is Love.“

“I desire to suffer always and not to die. I should add: this is not my will, it is my inclination. It is sweet to think of Jesus; but it is sweeter to do His will.”

“The proud person is like a grain of wheat thrown into water: it swells, it gets big. Expose that grain to the fire: it dries up, it burns. The humble soul is like a grain of wheat thrown into the earth: it descends, it hides itself, it disappears, it dies; but to revive in heaven.”


Blessed Mary of Jesus of Toledo

“It is not the soul that makes the progress, but it is Christ, who carries her as a child is carried.”

Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity

“For my heart is always with Him, day and night it thinks unceasingly of its heavenly and divine Friend, to whom it wants to prove its affection. Also within it arises this desire: not to die, but to suffer long, to suffer for God, to give Him its life while praying for poor sinners.”


Blessed Lucas of Saint Joseph

All of the following quotes are taken from the work: St. Teresa’s Bookmark: A Meditative Commentary, by Blessed Lucas of Saint Joseph, OCD who was a martyr in Spain during the Communist revolution in the 1930s. The entire work can be found for free here.

“Souls dearest to God are always those who, though bowed down by sorrow, do not allow themselves to be depressed, nor place their confidence in creatures; but, raising their eyes towards heaven, hope for consolation only from God.”

“What neither reason nor eloquence nor justice could obtain will be won by the patient, enduring and generous heart. This is the secret of the Saint’s strength.”

“Heaven seems wholly beautiful when on earth we weep. The memory of God is sweetest when without being discouraged we suffer much.”

“Time testifies to the truth of these assertions. When rulers were men filled with the spirit of God, such as Recaredo, St. Ferdinand, Cisneros and Isabel the Catholic, little was said about truth and virtue, and much done. In times of unbelief, statesmen have withdrawn from God, at any rate they do not want Him at their side while they legislate. You cannot deny their talent, for they are scholars and doctors and speak with fascinating eloquence; but good sense is lacking. In their minds there is light, but it is an artificial light, which stupefies Saint Teresa’s and dazzles, killing the noble energies of the souls of individuals and of nations. Ah! it is because these minds have not God; and if the mind that hath God wanteth nothing, the mind bereft of Him has scarcely anything of avail.”

“To all those men who persist in their unbelief, and in withdrawing from heaven try to be happy on earth, and in the same manner to those who believe, God alone can suffice.”

“Here is the dividing line that separates naturalism or rationalism from Catholicism. The former wants to establish harmony in our being, by quenching all idea, all sentiment of the infinite; erasing all traces of God imprinted in our souls. It pretends to counterbalance this most distressful world of the human spirit, not by Saint Teresa’s raising what is less noble to what is most perfect and lofty; but on the contrary by lowering what is highest to what is less perfect, the spirit to matter. It takes away the infinite element, so that having, unlike the brute, more than material and coarse elements, tendencies and aspirations, we shall have in our soul a clear distinction between virtue and vice, between the temporal and eternal, between the aspirations and our effort to satisfy them. To rationalists the infinite is but a foolish fancy; to think of it, desire it and love it, is a chronic disease of the human spirit. To cure it, rationalists hold that our heart must be restrained to the end that it may never think of anything beyond the confines of time and of matter. So that not thinking of God, nor desiring anything beyond the material and sensible, earth would suffice us; on it, they imagine, we would be contented and satisfied, live in complete peace, happiness and freedom. But it will not be possible for rationalism to complete its work; it would be necessary to recast human nature and form it in another and an impossible mould.”

“If the rationalist’s mind wanders from its efforts to disbelieve, it immediately thinks of God; and very easily does a prayer escape his lips when he suffers acute pain or serious loss. Then he unconsciously confesses he is wrong, or is ashamed of his bad logic. When some sudden inspiration of truth flashes through his mind, without giving him time to reflect that it would best suit his purpose to feign unbelief, he readily accepts it. If the sorrows and avowals that have escaped from the lips of the most marked rationalists and greatest enemies of Catholicism were recorded, numberless volumes would be written.”

“Those who have been elevated in this manner practice certain acts that the rest of men cannot practice. Yes; with grace, that is to say, supernatural faith, hope and charity, we perform acts which exceed the natural capacity of man.”

“Whoever does not feel in his heart that strength of patience and warmth of faith and charity, necessary to co-operate in the spiritual and divine regeneration of souls and assist them in their infancy, is not suited for the Catholic apostolate.”

“A simple, angelic child of four summers, seated beneath a tree in the garden, whilst a tiny bird trilled forth his joyous song, was saying to her little brother who wept inconsolably for his sweet mother, who had just died: “Why do you cry so, my little brother? See, that little bird doesn’t cry: hear how happily he sings!” “The birds sing here,” replied the sad little orphan, “because there is no other heaven for them. We who are of heaven weep here on earth.” (Marshall, Hope for Those Who Weep, chap. XIV.)

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