by Sr. Dianna Maring
Celebrating the first Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel is a milestone in the life of a postulant. Mary is the Patroness of the Order and so we have a special devotion to her. This devotion was one of the many things which drew me to the Carmelites. An oratory or small chapel in Mount Carmel was dedicated by the early Latin hermits to the Blessed Virgin. I love that our Community says the Rosary together three days a week. I believe that by doing this we will receive special graces and assistance from Our Lady. As Carmelites, we are consecrated to her and are meant to follow her example as closely as possible. It is true that Jesus said that no one gets to the Father except through him but Mary is an excellent way to get to Jesus! She is a powerful intercessor we should always rely on. Not just as Carmelites but as Catholics. How great and pure must Mary be that our Lord allowed her to raise him! The Lord was subject to her while on earth and so anything we ask of the Lord through Mary’s intercession will be granted as He wills it. The Sisters celebrate this feast the way they celebrate any feast- with a beautiful Mass and good food! The Eucharistic celebration was lovely with many beautiful hymns to Our Lady. As St. Augustine said, and Mother Angeline affirmed, to sing is to pray twice! The liturgical music is always my favorite part of Mass, next to the consecration and Holy Communion, of course. Music always moves me and inspires a passion in me for my faith. The food, as always, was delicious. I had the salmon with dill. The day after the Feast I had the honor and privilege of giving a presentation on the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the assisted living facility Carmel Terrace. The residents all learned a lot and seemed to enjoy the presentation very much. I was impressed that some of the residents still had their first communion scapulars. Some even remembered the responses to what the priest says when he enrolls you in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular! I enjoyed myself as well. I was thrilled to promote such a grace filled sacramental! I will surely take any other opportunities I get to promote this sacred symbol of Our Lady's grace and merciful love. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a beautiful day. One that I look forward to celebrating in years to come!