Friday, December 28, 2007

Pilgrimage to Lisieux...

I finally had the time to get the pictures from our pilgrimage to Lisieux uploaded with captions. Please check it out here: It was an amazing trip. As I was posting the pictures, I was trying to think of what impacted me the most about the trip. It is not easy to put these kinds of experiences into words - even for me!! ;-)

Two things immediately come to my mind:
1) It is the reality of the Saint. We hear so many lofty stories about these people that they take on an almost mythical character. Her reality impressed me more than I thought it would. To see where she said confession, to see where she sat as her family attended Mass really brought home that she was just like us, which made her that much more accessible for me.

2) Her closeness and presence while we were there. St. Therese's presence was palpable. You sensed her eagerness to assist you in getting closer to God. You sensed deep, abiding love. So many prayers were answered as she obtained the graces we so desperately needed.

Please know that we carried everyone of you with us in our hearts. We prayed for you and asked that St. Therese would seek God on your behalf.

I will never forget this trip. It was a time to come, once again, in to close contact with my Carmelite brothers and sisters. It was a time of grace...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


There is NO better feeling in the world than walking out of that last final knowing that you are free for a few weeks. WHEW! I am glad it is over. Now it is time to try and catch up here. :-) I will be posting some of the pictures of our Lisieux Pilgrimage over the next few days and some fun stuff of the family. Here is some nice pictures of the snowy Kartuase and the kids for a start.


The Kartause in Winter. THe crane is there as they are remodeling the restaurant.

Ezekiel Thomas

14 on December 30th.

Killing a kid in the same town St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. :-)

In front of the Cathedral that St. Therese attended as a child (as a teaser ;-))

Standing on these steps, the kids were looking upon the tombs of St. Therese's parents (who have been beatified).

The Basilica of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, Lisieux, France.

Friday, December 14, 2007


HAPPY FEAST DAY!! Today is the memorial of the "Mystical Doctor": St. John of the Cross. He was a Discalced Carmelite who assisted St. Teresa of Avila in her reforms of the Order. He is a great saint known most for his writing about the spiritual life, especially about the "dark night of the soul", which in my opinion is completely misunderstood by many.

You can find his major works
. I think an excellent book that speaks of his teaching as a way of an introduction is Father Dubay's Fire Within, which also treats St. Teresa of Avila's teaching.

He is considered one of the greatest Spanish poets of all time. Here is his Living Flame of Love:

1. O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

2. O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life
and pays every debt!
In killing you changed death to life.

3. O lamps of fire!
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.

4. How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

I found where they have this particular poem and commentary. The Rodriguez and Kavanaugh translation. Check it out!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am surfacing from studying for finals to take a quick minute to tell you about this new amazing resource from the Congregation for the Clergy. It is absolutely amazing. You can download the entire site as a tool for Bible study. It has a bunch of features: multiple versions of the English translation, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. They cross-reference individual verses to writings of the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catechism, and others. The downloaded materials include the entire Canon Law, Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc. If you can read Latin, there is the entire Summa, Commentary on the Sentences (St. Thomas), Denzinger, and others. It can be used by people of all levels. I am sure they will be adding other resources as time goes on. If you study Scripture, this is a must. The price can't be beat,! Click on the image to go to the website.

I would please ask for your prayers as I finish out the semester. Lots of finals and difficult ones at that. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It means so much to us. Once finals are over, we have a bunch of really neat things to share with you so keep your eye out!