Friday, March 31, 2023


HOLY WEEK : Christ is preparing to offer Himself as an oblation to His Father. Jesus was created for sacrifice. The Sacrifice of Calvary  begins. On the hill of Calvary, Jesus is Priest and Victim, and the Redemption is taking place (Pere Marie-Eugene OCD). Our Redemption.

                               His reward?         Our souls.          Our Reward?      Himself.

He wants to make us His Equal. On this Lenten journey into deeper transformation into Himself, He has sent us, personally and intimately, the Holy Spirit, Spirit of Father and Son, the Fire of purifying Love that is God Himself. We've learned that It is a Flame that cauterizes and heals at the same time. 

And as we enter into Holy Week, we may ponder...when was the Fire most intense in my Lenten days? When was my self-love cauterized? How was I healed during the infliction of those Holy Wounds?

We look to St. John of the Cross to locate ourselves and our wounds and our spiritual healing in his mystical wisdom. John asks us to look around our family, our circle of friends, our community, our social gatherings. Is there someone among these who people our days who is especially difficult to deal with or accept or maybe even to meet? St. John teaches us that God Himself has placed that person before us to make saints of our souls. His Fire singes our hard hearts with His love. We are wounded, but a spark of Love is ignited, turning our self-love to ashes (adapted from Sayings of Light and Love).

The garment of patience is usually scratchy to wear. 

So we may have had strong reactions in trying to live that teaching from St. John. This self-knowledge causes us to confront our impatience or intolerance and a disquiet begins in our souls. The Living Flame is at work. Sometimes we may wonder if there is anyone who will describe for us what that transformation into Love feels like. We turn to the price paid by St. Therese of Lisieux.

In "Story of a Soul", we read:

"For a long time my place at meditation was near a sister who fidgeted continually, either with her rosary, or something else....I cannot tell you how much it tried me. I should have liked to turn around, and by looking at the offender, make her stop the noise; but in my heart I knew that I ought to bear it tranquilly, both for the love of God and to avoid giving pain. So, I kept quiet, but the effort cost me so much that sometimes I was bathed in perspiration, and my meditation consisted merely in suffering with patience."
It is the desire of God to make us His equal. This is the effect the Living Flame wants to produce in us. 

And so we approach Holy Week. The Fire of the Flame may wound more fiercely this week as our features are being transformed into the beautiful Countenance of the Suffering Savior. 

We seek the wisdom of the woman who was known to levitate during prayer, was transfixed in visions, who experienced ecstasy during Transverberation, yet with deep humility, she laid all of her life struggles and mystical events before all of us for the rest of time to criticize or to emulate. She is sometimes known as Teresa of Avila. She is always known as Teresa of Jesus. Madre. 

We learn that the Loving Flame of purification uses distractions and dryness in prayer to enlighten our soul. When St. Teresa was pestered by distractions during prayer, which tormented her most especially during Holy Week, she teaches us that "... the fruits of the Passion and Death of Christ cannot penetrate deeply within a soul unless the soul shares in His redemptive suffering and death." 

The sufferings that we endure as we abandon ourselves to God deepen our self-knowledge and establish us in humility. By offering ourselves to Him without ceasing, with all of our sins as a continuing challenge to Divine Mercy, our soul breathes Love in and yearns for it, still further. His Love is reciprocated...we give ourselves to Him more deeply in Holy Week. He pours Himself lavishly into our souls, without limit, always.

In our trials and purifications, St. Teresa tells us that:

"it is the Lord's will to give us these tortures order to test His lovers and to discover if they can drink of the chalice and help Him to bear the Cross before He trusts them with His greatest treasures".  

                     HE DESIRES TO MAKE US HIS EQUAL. 


And so, we set our faces like flint and head into Holy Week to join the Master on Good Friday and enter His Glory with Him: 

“For the Lord God helps me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50: 7)


  1. Thank you, dear Anna, for this wonderful reflection. Again and again this Lent your words have called me to a deeper understanding and desire for relationship with God. You have been blessed with the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and the Living Flame is fully alive in your work. This purifying and intelligent Fire confirms in me my unworthiness and sinful nature. But by offering Him these, by following your invocation to do this without ceasing, I await with scratchy patience the risen Lord after a Holy Week of necessary suffering and sacrifice. Deo gratias for your wonderful, vital work, Anna. God bless you now and always, Bill

  2. Dear Bill, what a faithfilled and humbling message you have sent to me. There can be only one reply:
    "Let us also go, that we may die with him." (John 11).
    We will meet then in the Holy Eucharist. In His Love.

  3. What a profound and remarkable reflection Anna .

    I can’t even count how many times over the years this quote has inspired me and given me the courage to let myself be Loved.


    God Bless You Dear Anna


  4. Helene Boustany OCDApril 2, 2023 at 10:56 AM

    Avec cette grande semaine de fêtes comme couronne de notre Carême, vos paroles ont été des guides aux pieds du Serviteur souffrant. Nos précieux docteurs carmélites et la profonde spiritualité de Père Marie ont pavé le chemin rocailleux et escarpé. Merci pour ce travail, ce cœur pour Jésus et cet amour pour ses âmes. Je souhaite et prie pour vos bénédictions de la Semaine Sainte et vos joies de Pâques. Sœur Hélène OCD

  5. Chère sœur Helen, nous parcourons ensemble le Jardin de Dieu, Carmel. Dans son amour. Anna

  6. Dear Anna, thank you for this wonderfully challenging and hopeful reflection. Your inspirations from our Madre absolutely stopped me in my complacent tracks. She tells it always with clear and unyielding reality of a mystical soul. O my dear sister Anna, how needed are your profound reflections this Lent and in these times of trial. To “drink of His Chalice”, the gift of Lent you have written so wonderfully about these weeks, that beautiful and terrifying reality of His Sacrifice for our sins. What other response can we as Carmelites have but our silent and obedient journey in His footsteps? Like our dear St. Therese and inspirational St. John, we set our faces like “flint” and proceed on the journey. Thank you for these life affirming and life giving words, dear Anna. May our Good Lord and His Holy Mother bless you now and always. Your sister in Carmel, Clare.

  7. Dear Sr Clare, your words...."the terrifying reality of His Sacrifice...our silent and obedient journey in His footsteps ". How beautiful and daunting is the Carmelite life. What a privileged, sacrificial, self-forgetting, soul-winning vocation. Where else would we go. I believe that you will joyfully accept my petition for you...that He continue to gift you with the abundance of sufferings that He has clearly lavished on you. And I thank Him daily for your sacrifice.

  8. Mariaje RostienivaApril 4, 2023 at 11:10 AM

    Это был Великий пост, как никакой другой, дорогая Анна. Эти недели были так полны движения Святого Духа, испытаний и благословений в равной степени. Я хочу поблагодарить вас за эти удивительные размышления о Великом посте, которые заставляют наши души гореть разумным огнем Живого Пламени. Вы дали мне знания об Иисусе и Его Святой Матери Марии, которые я никогда раньше не слышала. Спасибо вам и да благословит ваша душа эту Страстную неделю. С любовью, Марьяж

    Переведено с помощью (бесплатная версия)

  9. Дорогой Возлюбленный Иисуса и Марии. Это была глубокая духовная радость встретиться с вами через Иисуса, с ним и в Иисусе во время Его удивительного постного дара Себя. Я наполнялся святой радостью каждый раз, когда видел твое имя. Твои слова и твое присутствие сопровождали меня, и я благодарю Его. Я буду продолжать встречать вас в Пресвятой Евхаристии, вас в Нем. Анна

  10. This is a powerful reflection and challenging words of faith, terror and hope. So fitting for this Holy Week. I have never heard of the words of Pere Marie or St. Teresa of Avila and these are life changing. I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit that I was sent the link to this blog especially this week. Thank you.

  11. Dear Mary, This is a holy and blessed time to meet you in Christ. I thank God for your words. We will meet in the Divine Silence of the days ahead where He speaks to the depths of our soul in His Sacrifice. "Hide thyself, dearest one,and look with thy face upon the mountains, and desire not to speak." St John of the Cross.


Thank you and may our tender God continue to bless you with His great Love.