Newsletter Summer 2003

   .........Novena Prayer  


Oh Beauty of God's Heaven be with me as I pray over the meaning of Life. 

I say to my soul: "Why do you

wish to see God more than you

wish to see this day?


Oh Mary, Gentle Presence in my life,

help me to be where I am, for, indeed,

I believe that God, Whose love and joy

are everywhere, will come to visit if I

am there.


You know that, in the end, I so want

to have lived fully and loved well.

Like you, I believe that whatever

I once loved deeply, I will never lose,

for it has become a part of me.                                                 


O Flower of Carmel and gentlest flower of the field in bloom, I realize that if I could understand and embrace the path before me, I would then come to know God and my own soul. I place this cause in your hands.

(3 Hail Mary's. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.)

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Dear Friends of Carmel ,

      Living in the country, as we do,  hearing the corn grow and the wild geese flying overhead, watching the sun come up and go down, and studying the formation of   milkweed pods and sunflowers – all these things have a way of making poets out of the most ordinary people.   Sometimes, we think it may be the task of praying people to hold and guard these experiences for others, and then share them.

     In March, (which now seems to be so far away,) we had more than a moment of elation.   We learned that one of our Sister Mary Anne Schuman’s originals was sung in concert in Washington, D.C. (For Sister Mary Anne’s music, see: It was the composition in which Mary Anne set St. Teresa’s “Bookmark” to music. The “Bookmark,” of course, is the poem that speaks of not allowing anything to trouble or frighten us, since these things will pass away, and God takes care of all our concerns.   We felt visited by heaven that day.

      On May 17,   on a very chilly but sunshiny morning, we blessed our beautiful waiting field in all four directions, using water blessed at the Easter Vigil.   This was to honor Saints Isidore and Maria.   To cover all bases, we sprinkled holy water far and wide, hoping that some of it would fall upon our friends and bless them.


     In the afternoon, third graders from St. Ann’s parish, with their parents and teachers, appeared on our parking lot with rakes, hoes, eager faces and wheelbarrows ready to help us do a spring clean-up.   A prayer service climaxed the experience at the end of the work day.   On a very clean patio, in the midst of God’s children, we sang, “I don’t want to be a Pharisee or a Sadducee.   I just want to be a sheep.   Ba, ba-baba (accent on the second syllable.)”   The “ba-bas” were syncopated, of course.   Now that we know the lyrics, next year, we might even bring our tambourine.

     On May 25, our Sister Mary Rozanne Heller celebrated her 70 th Anniversary of Profession of Vows.   God bless you, Sister Rozanne, for your faithful walk with the Lord and for your deep spirit of prayer.   The whole world thanks you.

     The German poet, Rilke, writes that God spoke to each of us at the moment of our birth, telling us to go forth to the limits of our longing, and then to embody God.   Dear Friend of Carmel, our prayer is that, gradually, you may come to embrace that first holy longing within you.   We thank you for being in our lives, and we pray for you, every day.

Your Carmelite Sisters

Eldridge, Iowa

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