Sunday 24th May 2020

Ascension Sunday

You might like to spend time with the poem or text below. Whatever touches your heart, stay with it and reflect on it during the day. A Sonnet for Ascension by Malcolm Guite We saw his light break through the cloud of glory Whilst we were rooted still in time and place As earth became a part of Heaven’s story And heaven opened to his human face. We saw him go and yet we were not parted He took us with him to the heart of things The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings, Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness, Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight, Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness And sing the waning darkness into light, His light in us, and ours in him concealed, Which all creation waits to see revealed. https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/a-sonnet-for-ascension-day/ And when [Jesus] had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11) Like the Resurrection appearances of Jesus there is so much to ponder and reflect on today. The images are very powerful and strong. Many questions arise and we may get stuck in the physicality of the event and try to work out, from our own limited knowledge, how this could be and where has Jesus gone? After all most of us have never seen anyone ascend physically into heaven. Since the passion and death of Jesus on Good Friday we have read in the scriptures about the highs and lows of these days. For those close to Jesus it was a roller coaster of experiences filled with emotions. As followers today we are also involved, we are not outsiders. When Jesus appears to his disciples it was difficult for them to recognise Him at first. On the road to Emmaus the disciples begin the journey downcast then they encounter Jesus, in the beginning a stranger, eventually they recognise Him and are no longer downcast. They experience new life and a renewed sense of mission. It was important for the disciples to realize that Jesus was and is risen in bodily form that it was the Resurrected Jesus they were meeting. By his Ascension in his physical body he has shown his disciples that he was forever united to his creation and to humanity as our divine - human Jesus Christ. He inhabits every atom of his creation and at the same time remains at God’s right hand. Jesus also reminds us that He must return to the Father in order for the Holy Spirit to come but this is another event which we will celebrate soon at Pentecost. The disciples stood looking up to heaven and the two people standing by said why? Of course they knew why. Maybe sometime we too are rooted to the ground after we have had some special experience of awareness that Jesus is with us. This gift is always given to us to affirm us but it comes also with a call to go out to serve or sisters and brothers in our world. While we ponder these things we continue to remember and prayer for those who have and are working so hard to save lives during the corona virus. We pray that the Risen Lord will be present and close as they attend those entrusted to their care. Image: wikidates.org BACK TO TOP

Wednesday 20th May 2020

May is Mary’s Month

Once again, the majestic hawthorn tree at the bottom of our field is donning her white finery and by the end of the month she will truly stand out as the Beauty Queen of May in all her glory. She always reminds me of that enchanting saying of Nikos Kazantzakis: “I said to the almond tree, ‘Speak to me of God’, and the almond tree BLOSSOMED.” Yes, does not the beautiful give us a glimpse of God? These past few months amid the suffering and hardship of Covid 19 again and again I have heard people enthuse about how they have availed of the cocooning and lockdown, and the beautiful weather, to spend hours tending their gardens, and about the great joy and healing for mind and soul they are finding in the beauty of Nature. Dostoyevsky wrote, ‘Beauty will save the world’, and indeed we have seen this happening too in no small measure as people are lifted out of the web of fear and demoralising uncertainty of this difficult time and given a taste of the wholeness and peace of our beginnings in another garden, Eden… Carmelites have a lovely title for Mary, Queen, Beauty of Carmel. The Early Hermits on Mt. Carmel saw in the natural stunning beauty of their locality overlooking the Mediterranean, a reflection of the loveliness of Mary. (The word Carmel means ‘garden’!) Gerard M. Hopkins has a similar meditation immortalised in his delightful poem; The May Magnificat, comparing the beauty of creation in this month of May to Our Mother Mary. May is Mary’s month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: …… Ask of her, the mighty mother: Her reply puts this other Question: What is Spring? - Growth in everything- Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, Grass and greenworld all together; …… All things rising, all things sizing Mary sees, sympathising With that world of good, Nature’s motherhood. Their magnifying of each its kind With delight calls to mind How she did in her stored Magnify the Lord. Well but there was more than this: Spring’s universal bliss Much, had much to say To offering Mary May…… This ecstasy all through mothering earth Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth To remember and exultation In God who was her salvation. No wonder the little seer of Lourdes, Bernadette, kept repeating how beautiful the Young Lady was, and how she was prepared to die to see her even once again! BACK TO TOP

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Our Lady of Fatima

This feast day brings back a lot of personal memories for me of pilgrimages to Fatima with my late mother, who loved the simplicity of the shrine, compared to busier places like Lourdes. It was always packed with people, however, on the night of 12th and morning of 13th May... mostly Portugeuse who would camp overnight on the streets of the town. It's hard to imagine that today the streets and big square in Fatima are probably empty of people... Our Lady of Fatima certainly must be close to our world today. She appeared to the three little shepherds when the First World War was raging across Europe. She was a sign of hope and comfort. Today I like to think that instead of all the people coming to her, that she comes to us instead, with a mother's love and care, and that she is praying with and for us all during these difficult times of the pandemic. Our Lady of Fatima, hail! Immaculate Mother of grace Oh, pray for us, help us today... Thou hope of the human race! BACK TO TOP

Sunday 3rd May 2020

4th Sunday of Easter: The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, Bringing honour to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honour me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love Will pursue me all the days of my life, And I will live in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 22) “Like a good shepherd, with a whistle so gentle that even they themselves almost fail to hear it, He makes them recognise His voice and stops them from going so far astray so that they will return to their dwelling place. And this shepherd’s whistle has such power that they abandon the exterior things in which they are estranged from Him and enter the castle. I don’t think I have every explained it as clearly as I have now!” (St. Teresa of Avila - Interior Castle IV: 3. 2-3) BACK TO TOP
Sisters’ Reflections Blog
Each week one of our Sisters contributes a reflection on a topical subject, or a theme in the Liturgy.
© 2020 Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin, A94 YY 33, Ireland Registered Charity in Ireland    CHY 6210 Hosted by Blacknight Made with Xara
St. Joseph’s Carmel
© 2020 Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin, A94 YY 33, Ireland Registered Charity in Ireland    CHY 6210 Hosted by Blacknight Made with Xara

Sunday 24th May 2020

Ascension Sunday

You might like to spend time with the poem or text below. Whatever touches your heart, stay with it and reflect on it during the day. A Sonnet for Ascension by Malcolm Guite We saw his light break through the cloud of glory Whilst we were rooted still in time and place As earth became a part of Heaven’s story And heaven opened to his human face. We saw him go and yet we were not parted He took us with him to the heart of things The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings, Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness, Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight, Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness And sing the waning darkness into light, His light in us, and ours in him concealed, Which all creation waits to see revealed. https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/a-sonnet-for- ascension-day/ And when [Jesus] had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11) Like the Resurrection appearances of Jesus there is so much to ponder and reflect on today. The images are very powerful and strong. Many questions arise and we may get stuck in the physicality of the event and try to work out, from our own limited knowledge, how this could be and where has Jesus gone? After all most of us have never seen anyone ascend physically into heaven. Since the passion and death of Jesus on Good Friday we have read in the scriptures about the highs and lows of these days. For those close to Jesus it was a roller coaster of experiences filled with emotions. As followers today we are also involved, we are not outsiders. When Jesus appears to his disciples it was difficult for them to recognise Him at first. On the road to Emmaus the disciples begin the journey downcast then they encounter Jesus, in the beginning a stranger, eventually they recognise Him and are no longer downcast. They experience new life and a renewed sense of mission. It was important for the disciples to realize that Jesus was and is risen in bodily form that it was the Resurrected Jesus they were meeting. By his Ascension in his physical body he has shown his disciples that he was forever united to his creation and to humanity as our divine - human Jesus Christ. He inhabits every atom of his creation and at the same time remains at God’s right hand. Jesus also reminds us that He must return to the Father in order for the Holy Spirit to come but this is another event which we will celebrate soon at Pentecost. The disciples stood looking up to heaven and the two people standing by said why? Of course they knew why. Maybe sometime we too are rooted to the ground after we have had some special experience of awareness that Jesus is with us. This gift is always given to us to affirm us but it comes also with a call to go out to serve or sisters and brothers in our world. While we ponder these things we continue to remember and prayer for those who have and are working so hard to save lives during the corona virus. We pray that the Risen Lord will be present and close as they attend those entrusted to their care. Image: wikidates.org BACK TO TOP

Wednesday 20th May 2020

May is Mary’s Month

Once again, the majestic hawthorn tree at the bottom of our field is donning her white finery and by the end of the month she will truly stand out as the Beauty Queen of May in all her glory. She always reminds me of that enchanting saying of Nikos Kazantzakis: “I said to the almond tree, ‘Speak to me of God’, and the almond tree BLOSSOMED.” Yes, does not the beautiful give us a glimpse of God? These past few months amid the suffering and hardship of Covid 19 again and again I have heard people enthuse about how they have availed of the cocooning and lockdown, and the beautiful weather, to spend hours tending their gardens, and about the great joy and healing for mind and soul they are finding in the beauty of Nature. Dostoyevsky wrote, ‘Beauty will save the world’, and indeed we have seen this happening too in no small measure as people are lifted out of the web of fear and demoralising uncertainty of this difficult time and given a taste of the wholeness and peace of our beginnings in another garden, Eden… Carmelites have a lovely title for Mary, Queen, Beauty of Carmel. The Early Hermits on Mt. Carmel saw in the natural stunning beauty of their locality overlooking the Mediterranean, a reflection of the loveliness of Mary. (The word Carmel means ‘garden’!) Gerard M. Hopkins has a similar meditation immortalised in his delightful poem; The May Magnificat, comparing the beauty of creation in this month of May to Our Mother Mary. May is Mary’s month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: …… Ask of her, the mighty mother: Her reply puts this other Question: What is Spring? - Growth in everything- Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, Grass and greenworld all together; …… All things rising, all things sizing Mary sees, sympathising With that world of good, Nature’s motherhood. Their magnifying of each its kind With delight calls to mind How she did in her stored Magnify the Lord. Well but there was more than this: Spring’s universal bliss Much, had much to say To offering Mary May…… This ecstasy all through mothering earth Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth To remember and exultation In God who was her salvation. No wonder the little seer of Lourdes, Bernadette, kept repeating how beautiful the Young Lady was, and how she was prepared to die to see her even once again! BACK TO TOP

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Our Lady of Fatima

This feast day brings back a lot of personal memories for me of pilgrimages to Fatima with my late mother, who loved the simplicity of the shrine, compared to busier places like Lourdes. It was always packed with people, however, on the night of 12th and morning of 13th May... mostly Portugeuse who would camp overnight on the streets of the town. It's hard to imagine that today the streets and big square in Fatima are probably empty of people... Our Lady of Fatima certainly must be close to our world today. She appeared to the three little shepherds when the First World War was raging across Europe. She was a sign of hope and comfort. Today I like to think that instead of all the people coming to her, that she comes to us instead, with a mother's love and care, and that she is praying with and for us all during these difficult times of the pandemic. Our Lady of Fatima, hail! Immaculate Mother of grace Oh, pray for us, help us today... Thou hope of the human race! BACK TO TOP

Sunday 3rd May 2020

4th Sunday of Easter: The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, Bringing honour to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honour me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love Will pursue me all the days of my life, And I will live in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 22) “Like a good shepherd, with a whistle so gentle that even they themselves almost fail to hear it, He makes them recognise His voice and stops them from going so far astray so that they will return to their dwelling place. And this shepherd’s whistle has such power that they abandon the exterior things in which they are estranged from Him and enter the castle. I don’t think I have every explained it as clearly as I have now!” (St. Teresa of Avila - Interior Castle IV: 3. 2-3) BACK TO TOP
Sisters’ Reflections Blog
Each week one of our Sisters contributes a reflection on a topical subject, or a theme in the Liturgy.
St. Joseph’s Carmel