Newsletter - Fall 2008


Novena To

 St. Teresa of Jesus

O Valiant Woman  of God, whose spirit lives on within us today, give us a new vision that will change our lives and that of the whole world. Teach us how to listen, to wait and to trust. 


With our whole heart, we surrender to the work of God within us.  O Chosen One of God, you who walked the way of Carmel with determination and courage show us how to make a path where there is no path.


Give us an inner peace that will travel the world. With confidence and expectation, we place this cause in your hands. 



copyright2008 Sally Koehn Associate of Eldridge Carmel

St. Teresa of Jesus, pray for us.


Dear Friends of Carmel,

Through the years, as a community, we have learned that good things, even little things, have a tendency to show up a second or third time.  Recently, it happened, again.  A little book with a copyright of 1965, and clothed in a red cover bearing the image of Charlie Brown and a warm Snoopy nestling nearby, appeared on our bookshelf.  It’s called, of course, The Gospel According to Peanuts.  We recall well attending a certain conference on St. John of the Cross, where the presenter quoted Lucy speaking to Charlie Brown, as saying, “They say life is made up of ups and downs. I don’t want any downs.  I just want ups.”  Although we may have missed a few pertinent teachings of John of the Cross that day, we do recall well the thoughts of Lucy.  With that, we begin our letter hoping that you had your share of “ups” during the summer, and that the season of autumn will bring you more.


Having listened to the corn growing across the road from us, we now look out and see the wide expanse of fields turning to gold.  (We did pray that these fields would survive the heavy spring rains.) One of our favorite songs is entitled Come With Me Into The Fields,  by Dan Schutte, S.J. .  Commenting on the moods of life, it speaks of the summer days as becoming few, and invites us into the beautiful time of the harvest.  The song tells us that our arms may grow tired and that our shoes may grow thin.  However, we have found this to be a good kind of tiredness. 



In our many excursions, we have found a new and clever way of getting an unusual picture of the moon.  This is how it is done.  First, you talk someone into going out with you, someone who doesn’t mind getting her shoes all dusty and tinted with a bit of green and purple.  You tell her that she might even come upon a four-leaf clover on the way, which she can add to her collection of “ups”.  Before that, you look up when the moon is scheduled to appear. Having done this, you ask your volunteer to extend her hand under the moon (she doesn’t even need to smile for this one), and then the photographer pushes that little button.  Behold, the photo comes out looking like a real nun holding a real moon in her hand.  The result is stunning. 


As we look at the calendar, we realize that Thanksgiving will have come and gone before we write to you, again.  This means it is time for us to extend to you our special blessing.  Before closing, however, we need to mention that if you would like an Advance Order Form with photos describing our Christmas cards, please indicate this on the current mailing.  We also want to tell you that artist Sally Koehn, our Carmelite Associate and close friend, graced us with her own version of St. Teresa of Avila, displayed at the beginning of this letter.  Do pray with it.  It carries its own message.  Thank you, Sally. 

And, now, Dear Friends, this is the blessing we wish for you.  It comes from our heart.

May the good Lord free you from all those things that do not matter.

In the quiet of your heart, may you hear the voice of God saying,

“All shall be well.”

Lastly, may you come to know that God loved you even before you were born,

and that the world is better because you are in it.



Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you.

All things are passing.

God’s love for you never changes.  St. Teresa of Jesus


 Your Carmelite Sisters - Eldridge, Iowa

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