The witness [of religious life] that can really attract is that associated with attitudes which are uncommon – generosity, detachment, sacrifice, self-forgetfulness – in order to care for others. This is the witness, the martyrdom of religious life.
“I keep nothing in my hands. All that I have, all that I gain, is for the Church and for souls.”
” To evangelize the evangelists- that is the chief object of all my prayers.”
” I will be love in the heart of the Church.”
“As our Lord dwells in our souls, His prayer is ours and I want to share in it unceasingly, remaining like a little vessel at the spring, at the fountain of life, and so be able to communicate it to souls by letting its floods of charity overflow.”
“Every day He makes me experience more fully how sweet it is to be His, His alone, and my vocation as a Carmelite moves me to adoration, to thanksgiving. Yes, it is true what St. Paul says, ‘He has loved exceedingly.’ loved His little Elizabeth exceedingly. But Love calls forth love…”
” A soul united to God ought to be a living smile that gives Him and radiates Him.”
“As the Mother of the Lord, she chooses the souls she wishes to lead to her beloved Son and to bedeck with bridal robes for his honor and pleasure. She it is who planted her order on the lovely summit of Carmel as a garden of delight for the heavenly King, and then dispersed it throughout the world.”
“It is our vocation to stand before God for all.”
“Once you are joined to the Lord, you become as omnipresent as He is. Instead of offering assistance in one particular place as doctor, nurse, or priest, in the power of the Cross you have the ability to be everywhere at once, at every scene of misery. Your compassionate love, drawn from the Redeemer’s heart, can take you in all directions, allowing you to sprinkle on every side the Precious Blood that soothes, heals and redeems.
– St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
The Second Giving
The second giving of God is the great giving
out of the portions of the seraphim,
abundances with which the soul is laden
once it has given up all things for Him.
The second growth of God is the rich growing,
with fruits no constant gathering can remove,
the flourishing of those who by God’s mercy
have cut themselves down to the roots for love.
God seeks a heart with bold and boundless hungers
that sees itself and earth as paltry stuff;
God loves a soul that cast down all He gave it
and stands and cries that it was not enough.
– Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD (1905-1988)
(From the Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers published by ICS Publications, Washington, D.C.; All copyrights, Carmelite Monastery, Pewaukee WI. Used with permission.)