Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

OCDS Central

Jesus - the way of the cross

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Laura Marie Durant, OCDS, a Secular Carmelite in Austin, TX, shares with us her reflections on the Stations of the Cross based on Scripture.

The reflections are available in PDF format from the Downloads page.


It was mid-morning as I
Scurried about the house.
Make the bed.  Sweep the floor.
Oh look at those books open, on 
The desk – need to read those.
What is the office calling for?

I feel His gaze rest on my wrist. 
      His curved fingers reaching
            proposing to lead me in a Feather step.
      And I glide, free-spinning deftly -
avoiding both gaze and intended-terruption.

But why?  It’s now late, 
and the evening's light dim.  
My jumbled thoughts swirl with
many do’s and don’ts.

Where now is His touch?
That gentle hand?
That trysting gaze?
Here am I – and where is He?

Come again,
light the evening flame and
- set these clouds ablaze - 
Soften the stiffness of a day
between dawn and sunset.

Come again,
          adorn my gaze where
                    both – mind and heart –
                               yield to your presence.
For now – it is night.

Written by Hannah De Lisser

A Distraction While Meditating

As given in The Rule of Saint Albert, Carmelites “should live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ” and while this reflection isn’t all about the Rule all Carmelites wish to live up to, it does relate to it directly.

Recently, after receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, part of my penance – after my public flogging (just kidding) – was to meditate on the Passion of Jesus.  During the season of Lent this is a particularly fine penance and meditation, but out of my meditation came a thought; possibly a distraction but I still went with this stream of consciousness and so I drifted from the word Passion to passion.  My mind started to think, what does the word passion mean?  What does it describe?  These thoughts probably should remain buried in my journal but I come from a culture where the use of double entendre is common; you may blame my cultural heritage for this flaw.

Anyway, it was Jesus’ humanity that I started to think about; that he as a human person also had a passion.  As I saw it – the things we humans are passionate about, are the things we so readily give ourselves over to.  This appreciation of Jesus being passionate about us; that WE are His passion made an impact on how I saw Him.  These thoughts went with me to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  But it wasn’t until today as I prepared myself for the 3rd Sunday of Lent by reviewing all the Mass readings that my reflection came back with more vigor.

A prayerful reading of all the Mass’ Liturgy of the Word found my heart stopping to ruminate on the first words of dialogue in John’s gospel.  These words begin the encounter at the well of Sychar in Samaria when Jesus says to the woman there, “Give me a drink.” His bodily thirst was for water but what he really wanted was an encounter with this woman whose life in no way morally edified anyone – including herself.  She was unfriendly in her response, even insolent.  Yet in this exchange what came forth, for me, was the driving passion of our Lord and Savior.
Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well by Josef von Hempel (1823)

Holy mother, St Teresa in her writings to the first Nuns of her Reform instructs them to always try to be with Jesus in his humanity and I felt myself drawn into this interaction with the Samaritan woman.

Now, The Rule of Saint Albert which speaks of allegiance may have been fundamental in St Teresa’s spirituality on Jesus’ humanity.  And as I continue to spend time with my soul’s savior in his humanity, realize how poorly I have entered into his feelings and his passion for souls.  These reflections are not tidy or refined, but in a real sense I felt this meditation was given to me to share with my family – our Province – and with anyone else who may wish to look a little more closely into Jesus’ humanity for the purpose of learning to love him more.

And what are Jesus’ last words to the woman?  It is a surprising change from his usual methodology, as their dialogue settles into the promised hope of the Messiah – the Christ – and he says directly, plainly “I am he, the one speaking to you.”  At these words, the woman runs away – in haste – leaving her water jar at the well.

The wave of these ponderings left many things on my heart.  One of them is that Discalced Carmelites should thirst for souls with the same passion as Jesus – and this is part of our allegiance to him.

Written by Hannah De Lisser



"I do believe."

What does it mean, to "believe?"

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:39). St. John Paul II calls this verse a "key" to understanding Mary in his encyclical, "Mother of the Redeemer."

"HEAR, O Israel... you shall love the Lord your God with all your HEART...". The call to hear, listen to what is meant to be heard; and to have a heart that responds in love: this is the dynamic!

To REALLY believe, means that there is no disruption between believing and carrying out.

There is such a desire, fueled by grace, that enables the hearing to penetrate the heart so adequately, fully, that the carrying out can't help but be part of that one movement, sparked by holy desire.

This is to truly believe.

A living expression stood out to me after Holy Communion on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. I don't recall why, but a question surfaced in my mind: "What does it mean, to have faith?"

Joy sprang up in me moments later, as I noticed what sounded like the answer being sung in the refrain of the Communion hymn: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior."

Written by "A Listening Heart"
See Older Posts...

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 bellman.mary@gmail.com 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.