NEWSLETTER    Summer 2005

Prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


  O Holy Mary, we are just ordinary people with a song, a prayer and a dream. Sing to us. Walk with us as a friend. Tell us, again, that life is made up of the little things, smiles and tears and kindnesses, things that preserve the heart and give it comfort.


      Lead us to greatness. Help us to be as brave as those who have gone on before us and not to be daunted by passing difficulties, to change the world a little at a time.


      O Woman of God's Holy Mountain, you knew that nothing worthwhile is ever Completed in one's lifetime. Teach us your song and the song others sang before us. Help us live the lyrics.




     With trust and confidence, we place this cause in your hands.

(3 Hail Marys. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel , pray for us .)

Dear Friends of Carmel,

On birthdays and vow anniversaries here at the monastery, we have the custom of praying that the celebrating person will come to have her deepest desire realized. Such a custom has a way of setting the rest of us thinking about what our deepest desire might be. As we begin our summer newsletter to you, our cherished friends, we pray that these simple lines will, in some way, put you in touch with your own deepest desire.


Another custom we have is looking out in all four directions as we begin our letter, and thinking about all those who are connected with our life here at Carmel. As we look to the west, we see five young deer scurrying through our orchard. Closer by, we see the faithful praying woman on top of our bell tower, lifting up all the concerns of the world. The bell, christened “The Voice of God” way back in 1919, is still solidly there. Back in 1993, when we erected the tower, our Sister Rozanne had trouble growing vines on the structure to enhance its beauty. However, if one believes deeply, anything grows in Iowa. Now the vine she worried about has reached the tops of our tallest trees and Recently, a close friend and advocate gave the tower a summer haircut. On the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, we will ring the bell and pray for you. Expect great things!


And, then there are the sunrises. We think that Eldridge is the only place in the U.S. where the sun rises in the northeast in summer and makes every never-lived-before day one of great promise. As Einstein said, at the end of the day, there are only two ways to live life. One is to live as though nothing is a miracle. The other is to live as though everything is.


We have found that sunrises bring changes. For six and one half years, Sister Ruth Elsbernd, O.S.F., a Dubuque Franciscan, has lived with us and has been our valiant organist, keeping the sound of music going even better than Lawrence Welk or Julie Andrews. As of June 1, Sister Ruth has returned to her own community to take up the joys of retirement and to enjoy the company of her own Sisters. We thank Sister Ruth for her fine music and faithful dedication. In the days ahead, may the sun rise and set with great kindness on her and on her Sisters.


For the months of June and July, Sister Luanna Brucks, C.P.P.S., a Precious Blood Sister from O ' Fallon, Missouri, has graciously offered to be our organist amidst our mountains of music, almost as prolific as the vines on the trees. We thank the Precious Blood Sisters for lending Sister to us. We have already come to love Sister Luanna, her music, her humor, her strawberry-rhubarb pie and her homemade macaroni and cheese. She may even be willing to part with some of these recipes. As Goethe says (more or less) every day one needs to sing a little song, read a good poem, and if possible speak a few reasonable words.  

And now, for a few more possible reasonable words. As mentioned before, four times a year, we publish Journey and the Joy , a spiritual journal written by our own Sisters, in which we share our experience of God and encourage others to draw the best from life. We print this journal in our own monastery. If you are not already a subscriber and would like to become one, please see the form provided at this location - Gift subscriptions are also available.


We are told that each blade of grass has its own angel who bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.” At the time of this writing, we are praying that these same angels will dialogue with the clouds that bring the rain. On a related note, may you have a wonderful summer. There is a proverb that talks about how beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards. Do build into your schedule some moments of quiet in which to meditate on your deepest desire. We pray that it will come true. 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. You remain in our love and our prayer.


Your Carmelites – Eldridge, Iowa


There is one thing which gives radiance to everything else - the idea

that there is something that is just around the corner,

G.K. Chesterton

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