Newsletter Summer 2002


Oh Chosen Mystic of God's Holy Mountain,

You are heaven's gift to us
in every summertime.
We beg you to look with kindness
on all our inner weather and to
quiet the winds that blow.
Indeed, the Gentleness you hold
brings a great calm into our lives.
Oh Faithful Companion on Carmel's way
Stir within us the conviction that
Dear Friends,

The little seeds we planted in paper cups early in the spring, under grow lights, are now quite happy in the bigger garden, after having weathered a storm or two. Storms have a way of making plants and people stronger. Every season, we marvel at the fact that the roots grow down and the plants grow up. Not being inside a seed, we are not exactly sure why this happens. Nevertheless, we are happy that seeds choose to do this. Three cheers for gravity and the sun, and the fact that they work together!

Two Candles

On April 12, we were invited to light two candles each evening at Vespers, one for the Palestinians and the other for the Israelis. In fact, we did this each time we came to the chapel for prayer. About the same time, we were told that Mars, Jupiter and Saturn would be forming a triangle over the Middle East and also in our western sky. It was an other-worldly experience viewing these planets in the crisp evening air. Even the lights of Eldridge seemed to be caught up in wonder. We pray that, someday, the world will find its common mystic heart.


A Gift of Prayer

To honor the feast of Mt. Carmel this year, we are offering a lovely framed gold-trimmed Prayer Enrollment bearing the traditional image of Mary. Inscribed on the enrollment are the names of the receiver and the sender. For this reason we are asking that the names be printed plainly. This enrollment is an attractive all-occasion gift of prayer.



On the outside of our chapel, we have an iron sculpture of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. You may remember that, back in 1993, one of our Sisters designed this sculpture and had a hometown artist in Eldridge carry out the design. We recall what a challenge it was to attach the sculpture to the rock-face block facade. However, now that it is there, the birds rather like it. There is a nest in one of the stars and a second nest in the Mother's crown. The weedy straw sort of hangs down, giving Mary a rather interesting hair do. No doubt the bird families have their own beautician for religious events.

Hope As Being a Feathered Bird

Although we have mentioned this before, the following thought of encouragement bears repeating. Emily Dickinson speaks of hope as being a feathered bird that perches in the soul. It not only never stops singing, but its tune is especially beautiful and soothing in hard times. And through all of this, it asks nothing of us except to trust and to be encouraged. Probably, there are many other things we learned in kindergarten. One lesson we should mention, however, is that it is especially strengthening for all of us to hope together.

So, dear friend, we hope with you. May the summer be good to you, and may all that you hope for come to be. Know that you are always in our love and prayers.

Your Carmelites,
Eldridge, Iowa


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