NEWSLETTER    Summer 2004

Novena Prayer To Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel


      O Gentleness of God and Heaven's Guide for every weary traveler, look with tenderness and love upon our world. May your gaze be our healing. Teach us how to pray, how to trust, and how to keep peace in our hearts. When you draw near, even your shadow strengthens life around us.

Free and encourage whatever is waiting within us, all those things we dare to wish for. With you at our side, neither stormy weather nor unkind winds shall ever deter us.

      Like the birds of the air, often our way is trackless. Nevertheless, with you we shall arrive on time - in God's good time - for God it is Who takes care of both the traveler and the bird. With our whole life, we go toward that which is worthy of all our love.  

      O Companion by Day and Comfort by Night, we believe that all true yearnings come from God and will be accomplished. We place this cause in your hands. (3 Hail Marys. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.)


Dear Friend of Carmel,

A wise person once told us that if the heart were not sun-like, it would not be able to welcome the morning sun and that if we did not carry within us the spark of God, nothing God-like would ever be able to delight us.

One nice thing about our life together is that prayer goes on pretty much all the time, one way or the other. For some of us, the best time for being in touch with that spark of God is early morning when the sun is rising at the edge of our field of clover. Each new day, as we open the door near our mail table and the long corridor leading to the chapel, we see again the many letters coming to us asking for prayer. We keep the letters and cards there a long time. As mentioned before, “Our Lady of Tenderness” looks down on all this mail. Many of these cards are quite special and beautiful. One such card reads: “ Most everyone is thoughtful once in awhile. But you’re just naturally that way all the time.” We know a lot of people who are like that. They help the sun rise.

Speaking of the sun, we talked about the transit of Venus for months. We were supposed to be able to see this phenomena through homemade filters, etc., around sunrise time on June 8. When the day actually came, most of us forgot to get up earlier, and missed it. We felt a little better, though, when we learned that it was cloudy and we would not have been able to see it anyway. There is an oriental saying that goes something like this: “Be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” Hopefully, we were where we were that morning, even though we were not with Venus.

We did see the “Flower Moon” in May. The native Americans called it that because such a moon looks like a flower. It is so encouraging to see a flower in the sky. Along this line, we read that February, 1865, is the only month recorded in history where there was no full moon at all. We hope everyone slept well that month without it.

With all the rain, some of us have been trying out different ways to deal with the mosquitoes. As a result, we have adopted various costumes when going out to the garden, anything that resembles that of a beekeeper to something that makes us look like a wise woman from the east, (eastern Iowa, that is.). We have found that a few dabs of vanilla on the forehead, chin and behind the ears are quite helpful. It is important, though, not to use too much vanilla lest one end up feeling like a chocolate chip cookie. Once in awhile, when things are unpleasant, we try to think of something nice to offset the situation. We read that there is such a thing as a rain stick. If one catches a raindrop just right, one should be able to hear music in the raindrop. What a lovely thought! The poet says that the music is like entering heaven.

We are somewhat occupied these days with trying to provide a good experience for women discerning the call of Carmel. Way back in 1990, when we had our first major building project, we put out a brochure stating that we are just ordinary people with a prayer and a dream. Like the rest of people, we did not know just how the dream of God might unfold. Somehow, it is for us to hold on to that prayer and the dream. The path is made by walking.

As is our custom, all of July is dedicated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We encourage you to pray the novena prayer with us, no matter where you are or when you might receive this mailing. Know that we pray for you, everyday. May you, our Dear Friends, be held in the Heart of God.

Your Carmelite Sisters in Eldridge, Iowa

“Because I have met gentleness in another, I believe that God will be gentle with me.”


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