Monthly News April 2018 – Damien Peile
Three recent experiences struck me about being part of the Carmelite Family.
First, how global and world-wide our Carmelite family is. Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up Fr Benny Phang , General Councillor of Asia Australia, Oceania. What a rich experience! With such broad involvement our discussion opened my mind to more Carmelite history and connection.
Second, my reflections with Teresea Paradowski (TOC) who spoke of the recent Lay Carmelite Retreat with Fr. Matthew McPhee on finding a calm and peaceful space amongst the busyness of life. This reminded me of the many small pockets of people taking time out to nurture mind, body and spirit. For Carmelites, this taking time out is so core to our spiritual relationship with God and one another. The Carmelite Rule encourages silence and to “meditate on the Law of the Lord day and night”.
We look forward to the Carmelite Family residential retreat coming up 31 August – 2 September in Templestowe. Let me know if you are interested in attending.
Third, an invitation from Pope Francis (December, 2017, Catholic News) to keep in mind our family senior citizens. Pope Francis encourages us to benefit from the wisdom and experience of our ‘elders’. The Carmelite Family is blessed with a number of ‘elders’ whose lives have borne great witness in a diverse range of ministries. I am reminded to ‘listen attentively’ to their wisdom in living the Carmelite way.
Paola Yevenes at Wentworthville, Neal Crossan at Whitefriars College and Sr Miriam at Kew Carmel are continuing to discern ways of engaging people in the Carmelite journey in their role as Liaisons for the Carmelite Family.
Carmelite Librarian Suggested Reading – Philip Harvey
Maria Petyt is not a household name. A new book about her is unlikely to change that, at least not overnight. Edited by Joseph Chalmers, the erstwhile Prior-General of the Order, this collection of essays gives her context in 17th century Flanders, her life in the Hermitage of Mechelen, and responses to her mystical writings.
In particular, responses to a newly found Latin manuscript, biographical in nature but filled with prayers and sayings of Maria of Saint Teresa, as she is known in religion. It’s a researcher’s dream and welcome gift to the history of Carmelite spirituality.
Such a discovery opens up meaning on a lost world. Not only do we learn about Maria’s prayer life and her deeply informed knowledge of Saint Teresa of Avila’s teachings, we read all of this against a backdrop of the Dutch War. Given that the cost of the book is in three figures, your best choice is to borrow it (‘Maria Petyt: a Carmelite mystic in wartime’, Leiden, Brill, 2015 ISBN 978-9004-29186-7) from about the only place in Australia with a copy, the Carmelite Library, Richardson Street, Middle Park
Philip Harvey – April 2018
What a rich experience it is to stop and be still – even if it is by accident. Coming back from a walk I noticed this cat appearing to stare into timeless wonder.