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Bl. Mary of Jesus, (OCD), Virgin (mf)

Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain), she took the Discalced Carmelite habit at Toledo in 1577 and made her profession the following year. She spent the rest of her life serving God in that Carmel, except for a brief period in 1585 when she helped with a foundation at Cuerva.

She died at Toledo on September 13, 1640. St. Teresa of Jesus thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.

 


 

A reading from Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Jesus

What I mean by meditation is to busy one's understanding in the following way. We begin to think about God's goodness to us in giving us His only Son, but we don't stop there: we go on to all the other mysteries of His glorious life. Or we begin with His prayer in the garden, and our understanding doesn't stop until we picture Him nailed to the cross. Or we take a single scene from the passion, and go on thinking about that one mystery, working out in detail everything that can be thought or felt about it. It is a very admirable and meritorious kind of prayer.

No soul that has received so much from God, such precious proofs of His love, can forget them. They are live sparks that can only intensify what we feel for our Lord. Anyone who says he can't dwell on these mysteries is quite mistaken. He will often have them in mind, especially when they are being celebrated by the Catholic Church.

The company of our beloved Jesus, and His blessed Mother, is far too good to be given up. For my own part I could not wish for any blessing that had not been won for us by Him, through whom every good thing comes to us.

Our Lord said Himself, "No one can come to the Father except through me," and "Whoever sees me, sees my Father." So if we never look at Him, or think about what we owe Him and the death He underwent for our sake, I don't see how we can hope to know Him or do anything to serve Him. (Without such good works, what good is faith? And what good are works unless they are joined to the merits of Jesus Christ, our only good, which alone have any worth?) And how can anyone persuade us to love our Lord?"

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."