The Waterfall

                                                             Photo courtesy: Google

 (in the woods behind the tennis court at Avila) 

For years I've come to the waterfall,
Where I often heard God's call.
During Fall, Winter or Spring,
I'm there with fallen leaves and trees,
Feeling God's breeze.

I'm there in the rainfall or the snowfall,
The water flowing fast as a football,
Or slow because of an icefall.

My time at the waterfall
 brings contemplation,
It can last until the nightfall,
As I sit and pray at the waterfall.

This year there was no waterfall.
Branches and trees had covered
 the stream where water did flow.
One could only see a stream of water,
that glistened and stayed still,
which made one feel His Fill.

Although there is no waterfall,
One can sit and dream and hope that
it will flow downstream,
or even a tide water stream.

The waterfall is a memory that 
one will always remember.

Sr. M. Michelle of All Saints Moore, O.Carm.


Fatima Day at The Blue Army Shrine

 As the Catholic world celebrates the 100th centenary of the Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, New Jersey, home to the World Apostolate of Fatima, held its second gathering of the faithful on June 13, 2017.  This day was the anniversary of the second apparition when Our Lady appeared to the three children to reiterate the message she gave them on her first apparition on May 13, 1917: pray the rosary daily, sacrifice yourself for sinners, offer reparations for the offenses committed against God, greater respect for the Blessed Sacrament.  On this second apparition, there was an added request by the "Beautiful Lady."  She asked Lucia, the older of the three, to learn how to read and write.   This was a practical request given the mission that Sr. Lucia was given to spread the message of Fatima.

Sr. Philomena and I were blessed in finding the opportunity to participate in the celebrations.  The crowd was noticeably smaller than the one we attended in May but it was still large in number.  There was a noon day Rosary with procession of the Fatima statue, a talk by an invited speaker with the theme inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country" into "ask not what God can do for you, ask what you can do for God."  The Eucharistic celebration with an inspiring homily given by the Chaplain of the Shrine was at 1:00 pm followed by Exposition, Benediction and Eucharistic procession.  There was Divine Mercy at 3:00 pm and tour of the Holy House. 

It was a tremendous blessing to be among the many who were on fire with love for Our Lady of Fatima.  Her message continues to be relevant and the call to live the Fatima message is ever more urgent in our present day as we face a pervading spiritual alienation and crisis of faith among many.


First Mission Experience

                                                Sister Philomena Anne with resident

Sr. Philomena Anne is currently on her First Mission experience in Staten Island, NY. She does Communion rounds, visiting and spending time with residents.  She likes being creative and so she also works in the  Activities Department. Here she is shown wheeling a resident to the elevators after Mass. She returns to the Motherhouse on May 29th just in time for our Memorial day cook-out!

On May 15, the Carmelite pre-novices and Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm. invited us for Evening Prayer, recreation and dinner at their Formation House in Harrison, NJ. Our hosts were most gracious and gave us a mini tour of the house that used to be the convent of a group of religious Sisters.  It was a great opportunity to gather with those in initial formation to celebrate our common life and vocation in Carmel and as an anticipated  celebration to honor the memorial of Saint Simon Stock on May 16.


A SISTER'S PAGE: A Prayerful Reflection

A Week of Silence, Prayer and Reflection
With Spiritual Direction
Blessings, difficulties, changes and growth
                Were an affirmation
In silence God’s voice I heard
                With his love and affection
Which drew me closer to God
                With every prayer and aspiration
A week of rest and prayer
                Were an inspiration
When down the mountain I climb
                To those I touch
Let me be an Inspiration
To those who may be in desolation (complete loneliness)
                And mystification (confusion, memory loss)
As I bring your love to those
                Who need your sanctification (God’s will)
And even help with intervention
                May my life be lived with
                                Compassion and consolation.  Amen.

Sr. M. Michelle of All Saints Moore, O.Carm.
Directed Retreat April 23 - 30, 2017 



Reflections on Fourth Sunday of Lent

by Sr. Philomena Anne of Divine Mercy, O.Carm.

Photo Courtesy: Google Image

The First Reading from the Book of Samuel talks about anointing a king.  In this story of the Old Testament, the Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations.  Samuel was not happy about it but God gave the people what they wanted.  Samuel went to the house of Jesse where God sent him to anoint a king.  Samuel looked at one of Jesse's sons, Eliab, and thought him to be surely the one that was chosen by God.  But God said "Do not judge by appearance. He is not the one."  God explains that man looks at appearance but He looks at the heart.  God is right.  Human beings very quickly judge on appearance.  But, who has not?  What we should be doing is to look at the person and try to see if he or she is kind and compassionate.  When Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, Jesse replied that his youngest is working in the field. His name was David and he was tending the sheep.  He was brought forward and God instructed Samuel to anoint him for he was the one that God had chosen.  Here, David is a shepherd of sheep and God's Son, Jesus, is the Shepherd of souls.  There is a similarity between King David and Jesus.  God sent Jesus into the world as Shepherd of souls and bring us back to God.

Our Gospel reading tells the story of a man born blind.  The disciples asked Jesus whose sin it was that caused the man's blindness: the man's or his parents.  Back in those days any infirmity was looked upon as a curse from God.  Jesus told the disciples that the sins were neither of this man or his parents.  The man was born blind to manifest the power of God.  After God healed him and gave him sight, they still did not believe Jesus.  They brought the man before the Pharisees. They thought that because they were followers of Moses they were privileged and all the rest of humanity was born in sin!  I feel in this Gospel that whether you are religious or not,  disabled or not, we are all guilty of sin.  We are not any better than someone else.  We are often quick to see the faults of our neighbors that we do not see our own sinful faults.   This should remind us that we are all blind in many ways.  We need to meditate on what faults or sins hinder our relationship with God.  Once we see what they may be, we can then try everyday to work at fixing it so we can grow more and more in our personal relationship with God.  I also feel that this Gospel teaches us to be compassionate and kind to one another no matter what people's faults may be, or what people look like.  If we were all the same, then there would be no use to show compassion, is there?


Reflections on Second Sunday of Lent

Photo Courtesy: Google Image Search: The Tansfiguration

by Sister Philomena Anne of Divine Mercy, O.Carm.

As I reflect on the three readings for this Second Sunday of Lent, I recognized similarities in them.  They talk of God's calling.  He called Abraham and Jesus and manifested His will for them.  Each responded to His call with faith and obedience.  God still calls all of us to follow His will in each of our lives.  We need to have the same desire to follow in obedience and faith in God's will given to us personally.  There will be hardships in our lives whether that call is to religious life, marriage or the single life.  One may have hardships with one's co-workers, one's boss, or maybe even have disagreements with one's fellow Sisters in her religious community.  People may say "you are crazy!" in doing what we desire to do out of free will.  Yes, it is true that we have a free will, given to us by God as a gift.  We need to realize that we only have one life to live.  We need to have faith and obedience in the call God has for us.  We do not know how this call will turn out, or predict the hardships we will face.  Despite the hardships though that will follow, and the flack we get from others and the world, I will try to remember that God is with us on the path He has chosen for us.  He will give us the grace of  perseverance in our journey towards our permanent home in heaven with Him.


A SISTER'S PAGE: Reasons to Smile

by Sr. Hope Therese, O.Carm.

Smile because we have the Father, Spirit, and Son.
Smile because there is some goodness in everyone.
Smile because of gifts you have always possessed.
Smile because you always have been richly blessed.
Smile because it can brighten someone's day.
Smile because it enlightens the Lord's way.
Smile because everything created has a purpose.
Smile because it causes happy feelings to surface.
Smile because everything is a grace.
Smile because Jesus prepared a place.
Smile because the Lord is your guide.
Smile because the Lord will provide.
Smile because a failure is never a loss.
Smile because Jesus died for us on the cross.
Smile because you have a free soul.
Smile because Jesus paid your toll.
Smile because things happen for a reason.
Smile because all bear fruit in due season.
Smile because God gave everyone free will.
Smile because He is here with us all still.
Smile because it could always be worse.
Smile because you are not in a hearse.
Smile because you have people who love you.
Smile because you have angels above you.
Smile because there is always a reason to be glad.
Smile because God will always makes good come from the bad.
Smile because there is nothing to fear.
Smile because the Lord is always near.
Smile because the winter will pass.
Smile because in spring grows the grass.
Smile because all is meant to be.
Smile because God loves you and me.
Smile because it looks good on you.
Smile because God's promise is true.
Smile because friendships have been grown.
Smile because mercy has been shown.
Smile because you have made it this far.
Smile because of how happy you are .
Try to smile even when you are feeling blue,
Someday happiness will be sure to find you.
You are only a loser if you are a quitter,
The trials of life can make you better or bitter.
Sadness is just a state of mind,
While joy is a state of being.
When you frown, you look down and you are blind.
When you smile, all the while you are seeing.