Monthly News March 2018 & Easter Greetings to all – Damien Peile

This month I made contact with the new Lay Carmelite moderator in the UK, Rosie Bradshaw. In our communication we shared encouragement to grow the connection between the various Carmelite Spirituality groups to strengthen our presence and service in today’s world.  It’s a familiar theme and one which is interpreted at many levels. I find when I think about this it’s tempting to become overwhelmed by the thought of how to make this happen, but I was helped by the insights in an article Paul Cahill attached with a recent newsletter. The article was called ‘Virtues for the Long Haul’ by Mary McKay, CSJ and it reflected on three spiritual habits the author thought helpful as life unfolds at this time  – Humility, Fidelity and Resilience. I found the article informative as so often we look for a ‘quick fix’ (sprint) when what is actually needed is a ‘long-distance run’.
Some thoughts and questions are staying with me from this article in light of the meetings and conversations this month.

  • Can we be the marathon runners for the Carmelite Way today and be smart in how we apply our strength for the long haul?
  • Can we look for and find a sign every day that in our own province there is a gradual bringing together of our strengths?

I have also had some involvement with Whitefriars College this last month – participating in a staff leadership day and the liturgy at the school on Holy Thursday. As well, I have had a meeting with the new principal Anthony Kirley to discuss my role as Family Delegate.

Carmelite Librarian Suggested Reading – Philip Harvey
When I first started working in the Carmelite Library there were many animated and, often, scholarly conversations with the librarian, Paul Chandler O.Carm. Paul’s knowledge is catholic in every sense of the word, and his historical imagination is far reaching, reasons why we have such a rich collection.

A particular interest, nay almost obsession it seemed to me, was his interest in the Latin words of the Carmelite Rule, which he has spent hours considering in depth. The literal meaning is obvious. Paul’s interest was in context and purpose. Why did Patriarch Albert of Jerusalem choose these words rather than others? What hidden meanings could be gleaned about the earliest Carmelite communities?
In 2015 his own most recent satisfaction with an English rendition was published in Melbourne by Carmelite Communications. This handsome pamphlet adds to Paul’s many larger works, a distillation of his contemplative reflection on a foundation document of the Order. Copies are readily available by writing to this email
Monthly Musing
Several weeks ago The Age Newspaper, featured a brief reference to a book titled: The Other Side of Happiness by Brock Bastian.  The author states that in pursuit of happiness you cannot have light without darkness or joy without sorrow and that ‘it is often in our moments of deepest despair that truth and beauty present themselves’. This reminds me of John of the Cross ‘The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light’ and appropriate at this Easter time.