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Bl. Candelaria of St. Joseph - Liturgy of the Hours

1 February Optional Memorial

From the Common of Virgins, except the following

Office of Readings

SECOND READING

From a circular letter

I wish for you to receive this advice as having been inspired by God

Having given you my blessing, in the name of God, [I write to you] in fulfilment of a duty. On the eleventh day of this month, at 9 o’clock in the morning, in the great hall of the holy Novitiate, the following authorities were gathered: his Excellency Signor Dottor Sixto Sosa, most worthy diocesan bishop, accompanied by Monsignor Dottor José Maria Pibernat, Domestic Prelate of His Holiness, Vicar General of the Episcopate, and the Reverend Father Costantino de la Vega, capuchin.

Prayers having been said, in accordance with Carmelite ritual, Monsignor Pibernat read out paragraphs 248 to 274 of our holy Constitutions. Following completion of these readings, your servant resigned her office to the Prelate − an office she had held for twelve years −, returned the seal, asked forgiveness for her failings and received signs of gratitude expressed by the Prelate in the form of a brief verbal exhortation [...].

You can imagine the sadness it brings me to hand over this Congregation to the Most Reverend Mother Luisa Teresa. Every one of us must seek to be a good religious, to make our contribution. We must commit ourselves to strive for every virtue and seek to stand in the presence of God, who one day will judge us: let us serve him with respect, as even the angels tremble in his presence. We are bound to love him with all of our heart, our life and our intellect. Each of us has received invaluable graces, which we must not disregard.

We must observe our Constitutions, which have been approved by Monsignor Sosa for the Carmelite Sisters of Venezuela; we must take part in the Holy Mass respectfully and pray assiduously; we must practice the daily litanies, visit the Most Holy Sacrament, take spiritual communion; let us not be found lacking in moderation of appearance and language, in our commitment to scrupulously observe silence and to speak of God in our leisure times. Inspire all with devotion to the Most Holy Trinity, to the Most Holy Virgin and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The best way to achieve this is to observe silence in imitation of the profound silence which He observes in the Host. The words of the religious must always be very pure, as to speak of forbidden things is deplorable and a sin against the Holy Spirit.

For the love of God, we must all love each other; let us avoid specific friendships. Let us avoid gossip, and instead correct the defects we observe in our Sisters with our own good example. Call upon the assistance of the Most Holy Virgin. Let us be attentive during morning meditation and during the reading of the Constitutions. Let us strive not to be indolent; let us raise our hearts to God in order to reap the spiritual fruits of our good deeds.

Beloved sisters, I wish for you to understand me fully: I wish for you to receive this advice as having been inspired by God. I furthermore exhort you to undertake the special examination for weekly confession, with the five points indicated by the Holy Church in Catechism: the examination of conscience, the pain of our sins, the promise to never commit them again, the confession of our sins to the confessor and the satisfaction of penitence. All of this will help us to stand serene and in the grace of God, who awaits us with open arms on the day on which we must appear before his awesome judgement.

RESPONSORY 1 Cor 13:13; 1 John 3:18

℟. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; * and the greatest of them is love.
℣. Children, our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine. * And the greatest of them is love.

PRAYER

O God,
from whom all good things come,
hear our humble pleas,
through the intercession of blessed Candelaria of St Joseph,
let us following her example of devotion to the sick
and to our most needy brothers and sisters,
aspire to the good things that you inspire
and put them into practice.
Through our Lord.

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