• Maria Knox

MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL, JULY 16, 2020


MASS READINGS:


Responsorial Psalm Lk 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55


"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God my savior."

R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.


"For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name."

R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.


"He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit."

R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.


"He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty."

R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.


"He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever."

R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.


REFLECTION: "From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name."


Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This feast was first instituted in the late 14th century in commemoration of the approval of the rule of the Carmelite Order around the year 1200 AD.


According to tradition, a religious community was established even before the time of Christ on Mount Carmel. This is the mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on which the prophet Elijah successfully challenged the priests of Baal and won the people to the true God. The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel entered the Calendar of the universal Church in the early 18th century.


Although there is no historical evidence for the pre-Christian Carmelite community, references in the 12th century record a community of monks on the holy mountain. Despite continual difficulties, the community built a monastery and church dedicated to the Virgin Mary on Mount Carmel in 1263. Saint Louis, King of France, had visited Mount Carmel in 1254, and brought back six French hermits for whom he built a convent near Paris.


Mount Carmel was taken by the Muslims in 1291, and the brothers were killed and the convent burned. The spread of the Carmelites in Europe is largely attributable to the work of Saint Simon Stock (1247-1265). The Carmelite Order was formally approved in 1274 at the Council of Lyon.


The Charism of Carmelites is contemplation. There are cloistered nuns and brothers, as well as lay people around the world that are third order, that is, they do not necessarily live in community, but live their vocation in the world.


Carmelites have been in the world during the most tumultuous times, always helping to bring people back to God: From the prophet Elijah, St. Simon Stock, whom tradition says received the brown scapular from Our Lady, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila reforming the order in the 16th century. Sts. Zelie and Lois Martin raising daughters that became nuns. One of them, St. Therese of the Child Jesus (the little flower), is also a Doctor of the Church. St. Teresa of the Andes wrote beautiful letters to her family. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), had wonderful writings before and after Carmel. She was a true witness of the love. There were many, many more saintly men and women in the Carmelites.


During the reign of terror, the immediate aftermath of the French revolution, the Church and the monasteries were dissolved because of a rampant anti-clerical environment. Among many orders, the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne Carmel went into hiding, and lived in hiding.


Knowing martyrdom awaited them, they made a daily act of oblation offering their lives to God as a sacrifice to help restore peace in France. The nuns were arrested in June 1794, and after 3 weeks, 16 nuns were killed by guillotine because they remained faithful to the Catholic Church. They joyfully offered their lives in total abandonment to God's will. Curiously, 10 days after their martyrdom, the reign of terror effectively ended.


Find their biographies, or even their movies in streaming channels such as EWTN or FORMED. There is much to learn about these saints, their spirit, and charisma. A list of Carmelite saints can be found HERE.


One aspect of Carmelite Spirituality is to have a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life). Our PAPA Prayer is a contemplative prayer as well. We pray to God the Father to look into the Face of Christ, so He might have mercy on His priests.


Pray to Our Lady to help you in your daily life, and to guide you to Her son.


Pray to Our Lady to protect our priests from any spiritual and material dangers in this world.


Oh Mary Queen of the Apostles ~ Make Your Priests Holy.





©2020 BY PAPA

PAPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization

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