January 25, 2018 | art, church, Communion, craft, God, life, mystery, prayer, remembrance, sacred, sacrifice, service
The narthex, the nave, the steeple,
the transept, the columns, the corbel,
the buttress, the portal, the plaster,
the gold, the marble, the silver.
The Stations of the Cross
carved in Paris and shipped
in the hold of a schooner
on its way to Boston.
The bond stone, the bed joints, the mortar,
the granite, the weep holes, the stretcher.
The Irish mason who ate
his lunch sitting on scaffolding,
legs dangling in the air
200 feet above the ground.
The bull’s eye, the rondel, the solder,
the leading, the fish tape, the badger.
The stained glass designed
in Germany by a man whose
apprentice was engaged
to his oldest daughter.
The birdsmouth, the cheek cut, the gable,
the stringer, the molding, the spandrel.
The carpenter who kept
a holy card of St. Stanisław
in his pocket, given to him
by his mother in Krakow.
The arches, the ambo, the pillars,
the chancel, the pew rows, the altar.
My heart and knees joined
to those who lived long ago,
whose hands forged
this sacramental frame
in which I kneel; the mysteries
of their craft caressing
the mysteries of God;
calling the faithful to prayer.
Written by Tim Bete, OCDS
Tim Bete is a Secular Discalced Carmelite from Dayton, OH
Keep Praying, Keep Heart, Keep Faith
December 16, 2017 | abiding in God, contemplative prayer, courage, faith, God's love, God's presence, reflection, spirituality
What does it mean, to "pray always and not lose heart?" So many connections surface, but the focus that recently jumped out was the connection between the praying, and not losing heart. I'm reminded of what is stated in the introduction to the section on Prayer in the Catechism: "According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays...The heart is the dwelling place where I am...the heart is our hidden center...it is the place of encounter." These descriptions evoke the image of abiding recollection, welcoming God, His Presence. It's stillness with vitality, that is fruitful in courage.
If I will "pray always," I won't "lose heart." So, what is it to "keep" heart?" If someone keeps heart, he or she possesses courage (from the Latin, "cor"). To not lose heart, or to keep heart, is to keep courage; it denotes the strength to face challenge and temptation, to persevere, to spring into action, if need be. The not losing of heart flows from the praying always. That is because the abiding is in God, who is love, and He in us.
Even more, the praying always and not losing heart is a "necessity." The goal, at every turn, is to pray, and to not lose heart. If it is lost, then it is a necessity to recover, in order to keep custody of the heart, growing in the prized gift of faith that allows the current of God's vital love to increasingly permeate and radiate. "With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life." (Proverbs 4:23).
Written by A Listening Heart
December 16, 2017 | contemplative prayer, eternity, poetry, rapture, reflection, solar eclipse, spirituality, time
We entered an eclipse but
instead of creeping nightfall
the afternoon shimmered with
embers of burning silver light.
Thousands – dare I say millions –
pledged a view of the spectacle. Yet
on my patch of grassy earth,
all is calm, quiet, and bright.
Neither bird nor bee, dog nor tree stir.
And I stand – stunningly alone. For
this midday Rapture isn’t darkness,
but a soul resounding Thud…
Was it a chord struck in the cosmos,
Reaching forever outward,
into the noonday of Time?
This poem is an attempt to share what transpired during the solar eclipse of Aug 21, 2017. I was in a geographic area that only had a partial – 80% – eclipse, but what transpired – for me – was/is inexpressible.
Written by Hannah De Lisser
Other Blogs by Secular Discalced Carmelites:
- Bethany Hang Out – a blog by Shawn Chapman, OCDS. Shawn is a member of the Austin community of Secular Discalced Carmelites. She also writes regularly for ATX Catholic online.
- Elizabeth Explores Writing – a blog by Elizabeth Ogilvie, OCDS. Elizabeth is a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.
- Gray Rising – a blog by Tim Bete, OCDS. Tim is a member of the community of the Secular Discalced Carmelites in Dayton, OH.
- Hearth Cake and a Jug of Water – Mary Bellman, a member of the Dallas OCDS community, sends out a daily Carmelite quotation by e-mail. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added on her mailing list and receive these Carmelite quotations.
- Illumina, Domine – a blog by Pat Enk, a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.