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Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, shares a homily about the Beatitudes connection to the Ten Commandments. To help us grow in love of God and neighbor, the Lord has given us the Ten Commandments as well as the Beatitudes.  They are a sure guide to Christian perfection and are of vital importance in the vocation to Carmel, as well as the battle against the world, satan and self.  What is the connection of the Beatitudes to the Ten Commandments?  Deacon Baldwin draws forth much for us to ponder on this topic.  He provides two interpretive keys for us to consider as well as providing insightful reflections on each of the Beatitudes.
Tim Bete, OCDS, interviews Annette Goulden, OCDS, about her book, Rooted in Love: Louis and Zélie Martin: Models of Married Love, Family Life, and Everyday Holiness. From the publisher: When Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin were canonized in 2015, they were the first spouses to be declared saints as a couple. Their lives are proof that God works through ordinary families to draw his future saints―like St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Louis and Zélie’s youngest daughter―toward holiness. Even before their first encounter in the small town of Alençon, France, God was preparing Louis and Zélie for marriage. Later, he continued to sustain them powerfully in their married love and family life. Rooted in Love: Louis and Zélie Martin: Models of Married Love, Family Life, and Everyday Holiness explores the stages of Louis and Zélie’s marriage, from the joys of parenthood, through the sorrows of bereavement, and ultimately to the challenges of single parenthood―experiences which many families face today. Author Annette Goulden demonstrates how, amid both the joys and the sorrows of family life, these saints grew in their understanding of God’s love for them. From the initial urge to earn God’s favor with sacrifices and sufferings to a deeper understanding of God’s unconditional love even in the minutiae of daily life, God was their guide on the path to holiness, a path that is open to all married couples. This book is for both families and individuals―to offer them light and guidance to live their ordinary everyday life in closeness with God. No matter one’s vocation in life, Louis and Zélie exemplify how everyday experiences, such as being a working parent, running a business, or raising a difficult child, can be sacramental if one is open to a trusting relationship with God, even when he seems to be absent. Whatever the situation a married couple find themselves in, this saintly couple shows how daily actions and choices―however small and ordinary―are highly valued by God and can lead to holiness, to a close relationship with him, and to forming children who are strong in faith, maturity, and joy. You can buy Rooted in Love at these outlets: Amazon (US) Amazon (UK) ICS Publications Blackwell's (England) Carmelite Book Service (England)    
This episode is a repeat  one of our most-popular program from 2017. Who is called to be a Secular Discalced Carmelite? How do you distinguish between those who are called and those who are not called?  What are some principles that you can use to discern the vocation to the OCDS?  Guest, Colleen Sollinger, shares 6 distinct elements that, considered in totality, paint a good picture of a soul who is called to the Order of the Discalced Carmelite Seculars. Having been a formation facilitator for her community, she speaks from experience as well as from the guidance of Fr. Aloysius Deeney, OCD who has served as the General Delegate for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. RESOURCES:  Books: “Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites” by P. Aloysius Deeney, OCD; ICS Publications. “Welcome to Carmel” by Michael D. Griffin, OCD, contributor and compiler; Teresian Charism Press.  Encyclical: “Christifidelis Laici” by Pope John Paul II. Document:  “Ratio Institutionis” for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites at http://www.ocds.info/LegislativeDocuments/RatioInstitutionis.pdf  
Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS,  gives us an analogy of Spiritual Childhood of St. Therese of Lisieux.  He offers us an analogy that we can quickly identify with that will help us go deeper into understanding St. Therese’s great leap of faith into God. This analogy will also give us several insights into prayer.  Deacon Danis also reflects on the rosary as something we enter into rather than something that we just recite. Resource:  “Contemplative Provocations:  Brief Concentrated Observations on Aspects of a Life with God” by Fr. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press.
One aspect of what is needed to experience Divine Intimacy is “detachment.”  This presentation will focus on what detachment is, and what it is not…with the goal of understanding and incorporating detachment into who we are.  To understand detachment, we must also understand attachment as well as right order in relationships.  Detachment is the process by which we set our loves in right order.  What is the active part of detachment?  What is the passive part of detachment?  How does detachment lead us into divine intimacy with God?
Members from several communities of the Order of the Discalced Carmelite Seculars gathered for a yearly retreat at the Maria Stein Spiritual Center in Ohio in August 2022.  The Sunday Mass fell on the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time in Year C. Deacon Baldwin presents us with an in-depth parallel of the life of the Prophet Jeremiah with the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He focuses on the purifying fire of love of the Holy Spirit, which also set St. Elijah on fire with zeal for the Lord. We, in Carmel, are taught about this living flame of love through the writings of St. John of the Cross.  It is very important for us as Carmelites to pray for this purification and transformation that comes through this fire of love.  In 2018, a letter from the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, Fr. Saverio Cannistra, OCD, warns us not to become like the world, but be transformed by the living flame of love, so that we may truly love God and love our neighbor…so that we may know God so that He may be known. Every Discalced Carmelite Secular will be edified, encouraged and inspired by these words regarding our vocation to Carmel.  For non-Carmelites, it is still a universal call to love…to holiness.  Let us never forget who we are!!
Homily for the feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin
Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS recently gave a homily on the topic of reparation that we are happy to share with you!
Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?”  Resource:  “The Twelves Degrees of Silence” by Sister Marie-Aimee De Jesus, OCD
Have you  ever thought about your work as a road to holiness?  Discalced Carmelite Secular Tim Bete often struggled to understand the relationship between faith and work.  In this presentation, Tim references the teachings of Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection to explain how we can see our work as a place to encounter God.  He also pulls from Church documents, scripture, and the lives of other Carmelite Saints, to discover the meaning of our work.  We do well to ask ourselves how our work unites us with God.  That is addressed in this presentation.  Tim also provides a real life example that has played out in his own life and work.  Finally, he gives us 4 Keys to help us truly surrender to God and find real success in our work, the work of union with God.   RESOURCES/BOOKS:   The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, translated by Salvatore Sciurba; ICS Publications. The Power of Silence:  Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Cardinal Robert Sarah and Nicolas Diat; Ignatius Press. The Surrender Novena by Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo  
St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD (also known as Mariam Baouardy) is one of the most extraordinary Saints in Carmel, following in the footsteps of Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila.  Although uneducated, she was infused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a great degree.  Rather than focusing on the charisms and phenomena in her life, this Carmelite Conversation focuses on her childhood and gives an indication on how the Holy Spirit formed her, practices/prayers that we may imitate.  Find out some of the teachings on the Holy Spirit that were given to St. Mary of Jesus Crucified to give to the Church.   Resources Mariam, the Little Arab by Amedee Brunot, SCJ Maryam of Bethlehem, the Little Arab by Sister Emmanuel Maillard Thoughts:  Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified by Rev. D. Buzy, SCJ  
We frequently pray to and invoke the Holy Trinity, yet the Holy Trinity is a mystery and hard to explain.  Although we are quite limited, we can gain some insights into understanding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as well as pondering “Who” the Holy Trinity is.  Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, discusses this mystery and introduces us to Catholic Evangelist Frank Sheed’s approach as well.  There is much to ponder here.  
The day this was recorded was the first day of May and fell on a Sunday this year.  It is also the day we would have been celebrating the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Deacon Mark Danis was just recently ordained to the diaconate and this is his first homily given to our Secular Discalced Carmelite community in Dayton, OH. 3 themes are covered: --St. Joseph the Worker --the gift of prayer and contemplation, especially in Carmel --St. Joseph as a model of contemplation Deacon Danis begins by quoting Holy Mother Teresa on her confidence and devotion to St. Joseph. He continues by telling us the origin of the feast day to St. Joseph the Worker and the importance of the worker over work.  What is the work of those in Carmel?  And how is that manifested? What guidance does St. John of the Cross give us? Deacon Danis then relates this to the Gospel passage on the 3 denials of St. Peter.  How is this related to our prayer and our relationship with the Lord?  In what ways does St. Joseph model prayer?  Finally, in what ways do the prayers affect the whole world? So, get to work!  Pray, pray, pray!
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.  Secular Discalced Carmelite Jean Crowley peers thru the Carmelite lens at this great time and how the Holy Spirit is acting.  Where do absence and silence come into play?  What is the great “Silent Absence” and the “Silent Unseen?”  Our guest draws us into a perspective we may not have thought about before.  She also introduces quotes from our dear Discalced Carmelites, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.  With her we continue to pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come!”
Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins hostess, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Part 2  focuses on questions that many people have asked us about the Liturgy of the Hours over the years.  There is some sage advice offered and perhaps, a new tip or two for those who have been praying the LOH for years.    Resources: General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9… Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications  The Catechism of the Catholic Church  Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office” Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray  
Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins host, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Highlights from the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours are presented as well as some personal insights, suggestions and practical tips.  This is helpful for anyone who prays the Liturgy of the Hours or for those wanting to know more about it.  It helps to pray more attentively when you have an understanding of how the LOH was put together and what is emphasized.     Resources: General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9… Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications  The Catechism of the Catholic Church  Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office” Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray  
We all suffer…but do we suffer well?  What a mystery!  What does it mean to suffer well?  What are the challenges and fears about suffering?  What are the gifts and blessings of suffering?  What did our Carmelite Saints tell us about suffering?  This in person conversation with guest, Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, is really a witness of what he went through and is going through now in his suffering.  He has much insight, encouragement, and hope to offer us.  This conversation is beneficial to anyone who is suffering…or anyone wanting to learn how to suffer “well.”   SOURCES: Books: “Story of a Soul:  The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower),” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.   “Story of a Soul:  Study Edition,” by Marc Foley, OCD; ICS Publications.   “St. Therese of Lisieux:  Her Last Conversations,” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.   “Healed through Caner and Other Adversities” by James M. Littleton, Tate Publishing, 2012.   “Living through Cancer:  A Practical Guide to Cancer Related Concerns” by Carolyn Humphreys, OCDS/and registered Occupational Therapist;  (“What hidden gifts will cancer awaken in us?”); Austin Macauley Publishers, 2018.   “The Problem of Pain” by C. S. Lewis, Harper Collins Publishers, first published in 1940.   Encyclicals/Apostolic Letters: “Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering)” by St. JPII, Apostolic Letter 1984.    “Rerum Novarum,” 21/encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labor   Articles: “A Catholic Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering” by Bryan Cross; https://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/08/a-catholic-reflection-on-the-meaning-of-suffering/#footnote_57_2208  
The feast of St. Joseph is March 19.  After the Blessed Virgin Mary, he is the greatest Saint of all time.  This year, 2022, the Knights of Columbus announced the selection of an icon of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus as the centerpiece of this year’s K of C prayer program.  Our Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites was blessed to have a copy of this traveling icon with us during our Holy Hour.  Deacon Baldwin gave us a presentation on this icon and what it signifies.  St. Joseph was highly esteemed by St. Teresa of Avila, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites.  So we were overjoyed to ponder him anew.  And so, with Deacon Baldwin, we “go to St. Joseph.”   Resources: Here is the prayer on the back of the prayer card of the image of St. Joseph from the Knights of Columbus: Patris Corde Prayer Hail, guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; In you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.   Blessed Joseph, to us too, Show yourself a father And guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, And defend us from every evil.  Amen.   View the icon image here.
Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?” 
As a doctor of the Church,  St. Teresa of Avila has much to teach the universal Church and humanity at large.  She was quite the mystic.  We are so blessed that she wrote so much to help us grow in our union with God.  In this presentation by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS, the influence of the Holy Spirit in the life of St. Teresa of Avila is highlighted.  Several examples are given that help solidify the action of the Holy Spirit in her life and help us to ask ourselves, “where is the Holy Spirit acting in my life?”
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