Saturday, July 15, 2023

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Catholic Church will celebrate the feast of Mary under her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th. This is a very special day for all Carmelites as they honor Mary as their Patroness.
This is a very special day for me because this day marks the day I was led to a deeper appreciation of the Mother of God and my Catholic faith. I still vividly remember, and can accurately recall, the words of the priest that gave me my first brown scapular on July 16, 1984, "Wear this and call on the Virgin Mary." Everyone experiences life-changing events, this was mine.

Someone who doesn't have a devotion to Mary will never understand the sentiments I have for her. I can say that even of Catholics. She did something for me that no other Saint in heaven did. She awakened in me a deep sense of being loved and made me understand that the practice of religion is a way of life, a relationship, and not just a collection of pious exercises. She made me want to give more of myself as an act of gratitude, not just to obtain favors. She opened my eyes to the reality that Jesus, her Son, is a person, not just an object of ideology, or a leading character in a book we call Holy Bible. But because he is a person, he is most alive and desires to be known, to be loved, to be talked to and to be listened to.
He is a person who understands us and invites us, even begs us, to know and to understand him better.

I owe a lot to the Mother of God. I would like to publicly acknowledge that and to honor her. I fall short in serving her worthily but I renew my intentions everyday. People who have been touched by Mary will share my sentiments. Our individual experiences will serve to witness her many and particular influence. This was a poem I wrote when I was a Novice to honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

To the Blessed Virgin Mary
Of Mount Carmel

A place of beauty and green serenity
Blowing breeze of coolness
Transported from the sea.
Earth’s creation finds abode in thee
With the holy hermits of Elias’ glory
This is Carmel
a mountain most heavenly.

O Virgin Mary, Queen most holy
You are our Lady inspiring many.
Your quiet life, simplicity, purity
All speak to me of Carmel’s story.

Glorious Lady, our mother too!
Who comes to us when life is blue.
In gentle stillness of your ways
You whisper softly, firmly,
“You do exactly as Jesus says.”

To be with us forever,
not to leave us ever
Her Scapular she gave us.
To those with true devotion,
a token of compassion
a garment of salvation.

As Saint Elias beheld your image
God and Father whose Spouse thou art
Behold your image in our lives and hearts.

Dear Lady of Carmel,
Virgin of our solitude,
Teach us how to please the Spirit
Show us God our only good.
To climb life’s mountain heights
In the steep ways of the spirit
Faith, hope and love
Our surest guides.

When life’s burden weighs heavy
And the journey makes me weary
Mother of Carmel, come quickly
With your mantle covering me
I will find repose in thee
Like a child asleep
with confidence
So deep.


  1. Dear Sister-
    Your expressions of love for Mary are similar to mine. Our Blessed Mother has taken care of me throughout my whole life.

    She has answered prays immediately and has given me direction, especially when I was going the wrong way. I cannot even begin to count the many times she has helped me.

    I am very close to Our Lady of Mt.Carmel. I had the Scapular conferred on me back in 1996. I always wanted to serve as a third order but now am too sick to do so - unless you are familiar with an order that can dedicate their devotions to praying. I want to be able to pay back in some way for so much.

    You have a wonderful blog here. May the Lord continue to bless you with happiness in your vocation and may Our Blessed Mother continue to send you the graces that flow from her heavenly hands.


  2. This was a poem I made many years ago - I now dedicate it to you, sister.


    When I was but a child of three,
    The wonders of heaven surely amused me.
    To see what is up there in the clouds
    To fly like birds with wings somehow.

    Jesus gives His love He to me,
    I promised I'd give mine to He.
    He laughs and laughs - can you not see?
    The twinkle in His eyes - He keeps calling me.

    But now I am ten and know much better
    I cannot fly like the birds of a feather!
    Angel wonders invade my mind
    Wondering how heaven they must find.

    Is there joy and games and play?
    Or do they sit and sing all day?
    Jesus, always standing nearby
    I wonder what it is to die?

    Sitting in church now at twelve,
    Praying hard I don’t go to hell.
    Feeling safe in this embrace –
    Seeing Jesus’ forgiving face.

    Sweet sixteen has come and gone.
    Wondering which boy I’ll take to the prom?
    No time for prayer – so much to do,
    Jesus is haunting my mind anew!

    Calling and calling I hear it again
    Kneel down - be with me, my little friend.
    Have you forgotten since you were three,
    Giving your heart and love to me?

    Yes, I love you… but You must wait.
    I have to go out on this date -
    So much to see and the world to travel,
    All these feelings - so hard to unravel.

    Nothing is finished and nothing feels right,
    Only with You, Lord, in prayer at night
    Am I foolish, not knowing my mind?
    What do you want – so cruel and so kind?

    Now I am twenty and have barely a clue-
    Just one more year and then I’ll review.
    What are these thoughts I have of you?
    Are they real and are they true?

    Twenty-one alas it brings
    The song in which my poor heart sings.
    To love my Jesus and give Him my life
    With the habit of Carmel, I am made His wife.

    And now I am sixty and almost like three-
    You come here still to be with me.
    The Father you are, my love and my life
    And never a day have I lived here in strife.

    Bring me home, I am ready for You
    To be with the angels and to voice anew,
    My love and praises so sweetly I’ll sing-
    To you my Jesus, my Eternal, my King.

    -M. Smith

  3. Thank you Maria. This reply is long overdue!

  4. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.