Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Carmelites

I attended a beautiful celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,  on Sunday at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island in Manorville, Long Island.  Brother Nicholas Blackwell, O.Carm., gave two talks, for which he was well prepared. He gave us so much good information that I will have to go back to my notes many times, to review and gain insights from them.  At the beginning of his first talk, Br. Nicholas explained to us that he is originally from Michigan, from a German background and that he tends to get “over zealous.” He used excellent resources for his talks. Brother Nicholas is young and exuberant.  All good qualities,  since he will be a priest one day. His first talk centered on the Holy Spirit. One can never be reminded too much that each of us has an Advocate at our side, the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of love and life.”
We traveled from our chapter in Queens and luckily there wasn’t’ too much traffic heading out to the Hamptons or coming home, so that was a blessing. Nothing like ruining a day of prayer and study with traffic.
We started with Morning Prayer, then a conference. Afterwards we celebrated Mass and  Fr. Roy from the Shrine gave an inspiring homily.  During the Mass Fr. Roy blessed scapulars that were given out. Professed lay Carmelites like myself, have our own large brown scapulars, but smaller ones were given out to Mass attendees. (The Shrine has an 11:30 AM Mass each Sunday, open to the public.)
In the afternoon we had another conference as well as a Holy Hour. Good day to be refreshed in Carmelite spirituality and to connect with Mary, the patroness and protector of the Order.  Another blessing was the the traveling blessed statue of Our Lady of Fatima was brought to the Shrine on Sunday.  
And so it was a good day to be with other Carmelites, in such a beautiful location as the Shrine. I love being surrounded by other Carmelites, such good people, who are trying to grow in holiness, and to be close to Jesus and Mary.

Veni Sanctus Spiritus

Perfection consists in doing God's will,  in being what God wills us to be.
St. Therese of Lisieux