Tag Archives: Carmelite saints and blesseds

Saint John the Cross

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The Church puts on our lips for the feast of John of the Cross which ought to fully orient our life in action:
“May I never boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

Today is the feast of the great Spanish Carmelite priest, mystic, and poet, Saint John of the Cross (1542-91). John is also a Doctor of the Church. He’s most remembered for his writings and his work with Saint Teresa of Avila for reforming the Carmelite Order.

John of the Cross is widely regarded as one of the best Spanish poets ever. He’s the author of the acclaimed Spiritual Cantical, Dark Night of the Soul and the Ascent of Mount Carmel.

We pray…
O God, who gave the Priest Saint John an outstanding dedication to perfect self-denial and love of he Cross, grant that, by imitating him closely at all times, we may come to contemplate eternally your glory.
My soul is occupied,
And all my substance is His service;
Now I guard no flock,
Nor have I any other employment:
My sole occupation is love.
Spiritual Cantical, 28

Saint Teresa of Avila

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Today, the Church puts on our lips at the entrance antiphon a wonderful psalm verse that captures Saint Teresa of Avila to a “T”: As the deer
longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts
for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?
(Psalm 42: 2-3).

Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite Spanish saints: her intensity is beyond compare, her fidelity is extraordinary. I was searching for something on Saint Teresa and I found the following from our Holy Father. These few paragraphs really capture for me what the Christian life is about, what Teresa was about, what I want to be about. Perhaps what the pope says will orient your thoughts today:

It is far
from easy to sum up in a few words Teresa’s profound and articulate
spirituality. I would like to mention a few essential points. In the first
place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian
and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is,
evangelical poverty, and this concerns all of us; love for one another as an
essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth;
determination as a fruit of Christian daring; theological hope, which she
describes as the thirst for living water. Then we should not forget the human
virtues: affability, truthfulness, modesty, courtesy, cheerfulness, culture

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Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus

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I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of
all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time
and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.

(From the Autobiography.)

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

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God of our Fathers, who brought the Martyr Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross to know Your crucified Son and to imitate him even until death, grant, through her intercession, that the whole human race may acknowledge Christ as its Savior and through him come to behold You for eternity. 


“God Himself teaches us to go forward with our hand in His by means of the Church’s liturgy.”


The 2010 blog post is here.

Saint John of the Cross

“My sole occupation is love,” Saint John of the Cross said.

St John of the Cross3.jpg

Para venir a gustarlo

quieras tener gusto en nada;

para venir a poseerlo

quieras poseer algo en nada;

para venir a serlo

quieras ser algo en nada;

para venir a saberlo

quieras saber algo en nada;

para venir a lo que
no gustas,

    has de
ir por donde no gustas;

para venir a lo que
no sabes,

de ir por donde no sabes;

para venir a lo que
no posees,

de ir por donde no posees;

para venir a lo que
no eres,

de ir por donde no eres.

(San Juan de la Cruz – Subida 1,13,11)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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