A Prayer of Carmelite Saints


A Prayer of Carmelite Saints

from Drink of the Stream compiled by Penny Hickey, O.C.D.S.

A Prayer of St. Thérèse

My God, "I choose all!" I don't want to be a saint by halves, I 'm not afraid to suffer for You, I fear only one thing: to keep my own will so take it, for "I choose all" that You will!

A Prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

O Lord, what does it matter, when I can retire within myself, enlightened by faith, whether I feel or don't feel, whether I am in light or darkness, enjoy or do not enjoy? I am struck by a kind of shame at making any distinction between such things and, despising myself utterly for such want of love, I turn at once to You, my divine Master, for deliverance. Help me to exalt You. . . above the sweetness and consolation which flow from You, because I have resolved to pass by all else in order to be united with You.

What strikes me here is the naturalness with which both of these Saints entered into St. John's dark night of the senses, without pause or seeming difficulty. Sometimes it strikes me as unfair that some have it so much easier than the rest of us. Through no fault of my own I was not born into a Catholic Family. My parents were the nominally religious semi-churchgoers who eventually stopped goind at all. I did not have a Louis and Zelie in my life to cultivate an interest and a yearning toward such things.

But why bemoan fate? The path is traced out for each of us. We are each born into a different situation and live out that situation. Our object is to live it out in accord with God's will to the extent that we can discern it. Sometimes our discernment is weak. At other times, it is a tower of strength. We pull with our poor strength to draw close to God, and He, in turn, sweeps us in with a mighty current. Sometimes our stroke is off, so that we end up resisting the current and tiring as we seek to get away from the torrent of His Love. But, if our hearts are in it, we will resume our rowing until we realize that even that weak effort seems to diminish His own swift waters. And so instead we retire to the rudder and steer the ship along the strongest lines of the current, heading my the most direct means into the Heart of God.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 10, 2003 8:12 AM.

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