Newsletter Fall 2005

Novena to St. Teresa of Avila


O Holy Teresa, Woman of Daring and Determination,

your heart was always ready, and yours was the voice and spirit of courage and optimism. Relying on the God Who walked unseen alongside you, you trusted whatever was ahead. Furthermore, you knew that God is always at work within us, doing what only God can do.


At the close of each day, O wise and holy Friend of God, quietly be with us as we pray: “Loving God,with abandon, I surrender this day. Give me an untroubled heart. Let me fall asleep who I am, and awake with hope, one small uncluttered step closer to you. Amen.”

( J. Kirvan, adapted) We place this cause in your hands. Our Father. St. Teresa of Jesus, pray for us.




Dear Friends of Carmel,

One of our Sisters told us that when she went out to get the paper the other morning, the harvest moon was so bright she saw her shadow. Blushing Mars was there, too, or at least the light we want to call Mars. We can testify that one feels really close to heaven and to what is worthwhile in life when looking up at the sky at night, or early in the morning. Sometimes, when we do this, we pray for all those who do not have a sky. What a nice way to begin autumn. Indeed, we accept as gift whatever this season brings. As Emerson says, it just proves that when it is dark enough, we can see the stars.


Speaking of autumn, to encourage the world to keep on hoping, the orange blossom bush by our mailbox showed forth its delicate flowers prompted by the recent rains, after having been almost two months without moisture. The same thing happened with our roses and our hearty zinnias, who are trying to outwit Iowa corn in a good season. Even the cardinals fluffed their feathers and said thanks.



Like the rest of the world, our thoughts these days have been with the hurricane victims. Edith Stein, one of our Carmelite saints, said that if one is united with God, then wherever God is, that person is there also. In addition to appropriate donations, we feel that this is one way of being with those who are suffering. Hopefully, our presence with them in spirit will bring the so-needed inner peace and encouragement.

One of our writers, for our Journey and the Joy, talks about the Way of Love of St. Therese, the Little Flower. If we practice love, with sincerity, right where we are, that love has a way of traveling miles from where we are to where it is needed. Another one of our authors reflects on how people facing raging winds and floods found within themselves an unexpected rootedness they probably did not know they had – a rootedness in God.



For the past two months, we have had the good fortune of having Fran Benlein provide wonderful music for our liturgies, as did Sister Luanna Brucks, C.P.P.S., before her. (We still miss Sister Luanna.) Fran is an Ursuline Associate from Toledo , Ohio . We will miss her joyful presence among us when she returns to Toledo in the middle of October. We will especially remember her lively rendition of our closing hymns. There is a little book called Words of Kindness , put out by Hallmark. On one of its unnumbered pages, it reads:

“When I was going through a very difficult time, someone called me up and played piano music for me on my answering machine. It made me feel loved, and I never discovered who did it.”

We wonder if Fran was the one.



As we near Thanksgiving, our hearts are filled with gratitude for so many things, especially for you, our devoted friends. May your own table always be too small for all your friends. Our little book on kindness has another quote: “When someone does something nice, applaud! That will make two people happy.” ( Samuel Goldwyn) Dear Friends, with love and appreciation, we applaud you. May you never forget your own goodness. You remain in that love and our prayer.

              Your Carmelite Sisters – Eldridge , Iowa

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