NEWSLETTER    Fall 2004

Novena to St. Teresa of Avila

O Holy Teresa, Woman of Dauntless Energy

and bearer of what the world needed most at your

time, you knew that God never tires of giving.

Hence, you never tired of receiving. Tell us what

to pray for in this, our time.

Like you, when we go toward God, it is with

our whole life. Humbly, we trust that God accepts,

in totality, all that we bring. Pray that this happens.

You walked with God as with a friend. On our part,

we become so accustomed to the quiet coming and

going of God that we no longer look up when the

shadow of God falls upon our day and makes it glow.

O Teresa of God, we believe that what we once loved we will never lose, since it has become a part of us.

Be our faithful companion, and bring our cause before the throne of God.

Our Father. St. Teresa of Jesus, pray for us.



Autumn, 2004

Dear Friends of Carmel,

If there is one thing that gives radiance to everything else, it is the idea that something is just around the corner. Thank you, Chesterton. (Chesterton is also the one who said that the lives of all great people remind us that we can make our own lives sublime.) Standing at the window in the light of Venus and in the ambience of pre-dawn not only helps a person pray better but makes it easy to meditate on all those good things that might be just around the corner. It is autumn in the country, autumn everywhere!

Sometimes, to get our minds off the serious things going on the world, we not only ponder the good things that could happen but also have fun trying to figure out the little homespun mysteries in life - mysteries like why our dogs bark at the dark when they first go out in the morning or why two beautiful clusters of lavender crocuses always bloom in the rose garden every September. Robert Fulghum, the one who wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten , has a whole list of life’s little mysteries. Some of these are: Why grocery carts always have one wheel that does not work.


Why people always push the elevator three times to make it come down faster.   

And why every tree has one last leaf that refuses to fall.


Two of our favorites are: Why we can’t get to the end of rainbows, and why there are not traditional Halloween carols. The latter really sets the mind pondering all the different possibilities. The other evening, we did have a huge rainbow that spanned the sky, made by prisms of raindrops and the sun coming across our shoulders at a 42-degree angle. We didn’t think about prisms or angles, however. We just drank it in and invited everyone to come look. It was prefaced by a burst of rain in the midst of sunlight. One of the Sisters mentioned that seeing a rainbow has the power to ease any day’s troubles. May the good God send the whole world a really big rainbow!

Our life continues to offer little things that delight and evoke humor. We try not to miss them. One of the things that cheers us, and prods us on to greater sanctity, is having the medical records people use the abbreviation of “St” for Sister. We never even make the smallest effort to suggest that they change this saintly notation. Another fascination is learning that an uncooked stick of spaghetti can be used to light birthday candles. Sometimes, one does need a long stick! Upon experimenting, we have found that green spinach spaghetti works best.

Recently , we fell heir to a lovely little book containing all kinds of wonderful quotations. The unusual thing about this book is that it does not have page numbers. If we lose a really good quote, we have to look through a hundred other quotes to find the lost one. It is a little like the Good Shepherd story or the woman who lost her coin. Anyway, here is one of them to carry you all the way to Thanksgiving, and on to Christmas: “What lies behind and what lies before are tiny matters compared to what lies within.”


Every day we give thanks for you, our special friends. Truly, we feel that you must also be the very special friends of God, the God Who speaks to us from everywhere.

Your grateful Carmelite Sisters

Eldridge, Iowa


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