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Carmelite Conversations

The Carmelite Conversations podcast discusses Carmelite Spirituality and its application to our busy, modern lives. The podcast provides counsel on how to live the Carmelite call to combine contemplative prayer with service to the Church, while at the same time providing guidance on how to make progress in holiness. Carmelite Conversations is of particular interest to Secular Carmelites as it is produced by the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites Community of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Dayton, Ohio.

Tracks

An Analogy of Spiritual Childhood and a Reflection on the Rosary, with Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS
Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS,  gives us an analogy of Spiritual Childhood of St. Therese of Lisieux.  He offers us an analogy that we can quickly identify with that will help us go deeper into understanding St. Therese’s great leap of faith into God. This analogy will also give us several insights into prayer.  Deacon Danis also reflects on the rosary as something we enter into rather than something that we just recite. Resource:  “Contemplative Provocations:  Brief Concentrated Observations on Aspects of a Life with God” by Fr. Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press.
15:08 10/22/2022
Detachment: An Essential for Divine Intimacy, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
One aspect of what is needed to experience Divine Intimacy is “detachment.”  This presentation will focus on what detachment is, and what it is not…with the goal of understanding and incorporating detachment into who we are.  To understand detachment, we must also understand attachment as well as right order in relationships.  Detachment is the process by which we set our loves in right order.  What is the active part of detachment?  What is the passive part of detachment?  How does detachment lead us into divine intimacy with God?
10:37 09/17/2022
The Prophetic Life and the Call of Discalced Carmelite Seculars to the Living Flame of Love, Homily by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Members from several communities of the Order of the Discalced Carmelite Seculars gathered for a yearly retreat at the Maria Stein Spiritual Center in Ohio in August 2022.  The Sunday Mass fell on the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time in Year C. Deacon Baldwin presents us with an in-depth parallel of the life of the Prophet Jeremiah with the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He focuses on the purifying fire of love of the Holy Spirit, which also set St. Elijah on fire with zeal for the Lord. We, in Carmel, are taught about this living flame of love through the writings of St. John of the Cross.  It is very important for us as Carmelites to pray for this purification and transformation that comes through this fire of love.  In 2018, a letter from the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, Fr. Saverio Cannistra, OCD, warns us not to become like the world, but be transformed by the living flame of love, so that we may truly love God and love our neighbor…so that we may know God so that He may be known. Every Discalced Carmelite Secular will be edified, encouraged and inspired by these words regarding our vocation to Carmel.  For non-Carmelites, it is still a universal call to love…to holiness.  Let us never forget who we are!!
10:11 09/01/2022
Homily for the feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin
Homily for the feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin
05:40 08/06/2022
Reparation with Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS
Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS recently gave a homily on the topic of reparation that we are happy to share with you!
17:03 08/06/2022
Silence…the Language of God, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?”  Resource:  “The Twelves Degrees of Silence” by Sister Marie-Aimee De Jesus, OCD
37:14 07/03/2022
Work: The Road to Holiness, with Tim Bete, OCDS
Have you  ever thought about your work as a road to holiness?  Discalced Carmelite Secular Tim Bete often struggled to understand the relationship between faith and work.  In this presentation, Tim references the teachings of Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection to explain how we can see our work as a place to encounter God.  He also pulls from Church documents, scripture, and the lives of other Carmelite Saints, to discover the meaning of our work.  We do well to ask ourselves how our work unites us with God.  That is addressed in this presentation.  Tim also provides a real life example that has played out in his own life and work.  Finally, he gives us 4 Keys to help us truly surrender to God and find real success in our work, the work of union with God.   RESOURCES/BOOKS:   The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, translated by Salvatore Sciurba; ICS Publications. The Power of Silence:  Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Cardinal Robert Sarah and Nicolas Diat; Ignatius Press. The Surrender Novena by Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo  
35:19 07/02/2022
A Radiance of the Holy Spirit: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD, with Frances Harry, OCDS
St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD (also known as Mariam Baouardy) is one of the most extraordinary Saints in Carmel, following in the footsteps of Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila.  Although uneducated, she was infused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a great degree.  Rather than focusing on the charisms and phenomena in her life, this Carmelite Conversation focuses on her childhood and gives an indication on how the Holy Spirit formed her, practices/prayers that we may imitate.  Find out some of the teachings on the Holy Spirit that were given to St. Mary of Jesus Crucified to give to the Church.   Resources Mariam, the Little Arab by Amedee Brunot, SCJ Maryam of Bethlehem, the Little Arab by Sister Emmanuel Maillard Thoughts:  Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified by Rev. D. Buzy, SCJ  
51:25 06/26/2022
The Holy Trinity, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
We frequently pray to and invoke the Holy Trinity, yet the Holy Trinity is a mystery and hard to explain.  Although we are quite limited, we can gain some insights into understanding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as well as pondering “Who” the Holy Trinity is.  Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, discusses this mystery and introduces us to Catholic Evangelist Frank Sheed’s approach as well.  There is much to ponder here.  
11:48 06/21/2022
St. Joseph the Worker and the Work of Prayer,Deacon Mark Danis, OCDS
The day this was recorded was the first day of May and fell on a Sunday this year.  It is also the day we would have been celebrating the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Deacon Mark Danis was just recently ordained to the diaconate and this is his first homily given to our Secular Discalced Carmelite community in Dayton, OH. 3 themes are covered: --St. Joseph the Worker --the gift of prayer and contemplation, especially in Carmel --St. Joseph as a model of contemplation Deacon Danis begins by quoting Holy Mother Teresa on her confidence and devotion to St. Joseph. He continues by telling us the origin of the feast day to St. Joseph the Worker and the importance of the worker over work.  What is the work of those in Carmel?  And how is that manifested? What guidance does St. John of the Cross give us? Deacon Danis then relates this to the Gospel passage on the 3 denials of St. Peter.  How is this related to our prayer and our relationship with the Lord?  In what ways does St. Joseph model prayer?  Finally, in what ways do the prayers affect the whole world? So, get to work!  Pray, pray, pray!
10:46 05/08/2022
The Church Prepares, Year after Year, for the Anniversary of Her Birth: The Church and the Holy Spirit, with Jean Crowley, OCDS
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.  Secular Discalced Carmelite Jean Crowley peers thru the Carmelite lens at this great time and how the Holy Spirit is acting.  Where do absence and silence come into play?  What is the great “Silent Absence” and the “Silent Unseen?”  Our guest draws us into a perspective we may not have thought about before.  She also introduces quotes from our dear Discalced Carmelites, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.  With her we continue to pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come!”
24:20 04/13/2022
Pray without Ceasing: Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours ; Part 2, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS
Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins hostess, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Part 2  focuses on questions that many people have asked us about the Liturgy of the Hours over the years.  There is some sage advice offered and perhaps, a new tip or two for those who have been praying the LOH for years.    Resources: General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9… Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications  The Catechism of the Catholic Church  Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office” Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray  
62:11 04/13/2022
Pray without Ceasing: Fulfilling the Lord’s Precept through the Liturgy of the Hours, with Marika Zimmerman, OCDS
Guest and Secular Discalced Carmelite Marika Zimmerman joins host, Frances Harry, OCDS for a program on the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church.  Highlights from the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours are presented as well as some personal insights, suggestions and practical tips.  This is helpful for anyone who prays the Liturgy of the Hours or for those wanting to know more about it.  It helps to pray more attentively when you have an understanding of how the LOH was put together and what is emphasized.     Resources: General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours - Book One (Advent) of the four-volume set of the “Liturgy of the Hours” beginning on page 9… Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a Personal Journey by Father Timothy M. Gallagher OMV Collected Letters of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. I, by Teresa of Avila; ICS Publications  The Catechism of the Catholic Church  Divine Intimacy, by; Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.; On Page 500 a chapter entitled “Divine Office” Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours, monthly subscription booklet.  Subscribe at https://www.wordonfire.org/pray  
27:56 04/12/2022
Personal experiences of suffering, with Frances Harry, OCDS, and Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
We all suffer…but do we suffer well?  What a mystery!  What does it mean to suffer well?  What are the challenges and fears about suffering?  What are the gifts and blessings of suffering?  What did our Carmelite Saints tell us about suffering?  This in person conversation with guest, Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS, is really a witness of what he went through and is going through now in his suffering.  He has much insight, encouragement, and hope to offer us.  This conversation is beneficial to anyone who is suffering…or anyone wanting to learn how to suffer “well.”   SOURCES: Books: “Story of a Soul:  The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower),” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.   “Story of a Soul:  Study Edition,” by Marc Foley, OCD; ICS Publications.   “St. Therese of Lisieux:  Her Last Conversations,” by Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower); ICS Publications.   “Healed through Caner and Other Adversities” by James M. Littleton, Tate Publishing, 2012.   “Living through Cancer:  A Practical Guide to Cancer Related Concerns” by Carolyn Humphreys, OCDS/and registered Occupational Therapist;  (“What hidden gifts will cancer awaken in us?”); Austin Macauley Publishers, 2018.   “The Problem of Pain” by C. S. Lewis, Harper Collins Publishers, first published in 1940.   Encyclicals/Apostolic Letters: “Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering)” by St. JPII, Apostolic Letter 1984.    “Rerum Novarum,” 21/encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labor   Articles: “A Catholic Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering” by Bryan Cross; https://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/08/a-catholic-reflection-on-the-meaning-of-suffering/#footnote_57_2208  
96:43 04/03/2022
Go to Joseph, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
The feast of St. Joseph is March 19.  After the Blessed Virgin Mary, he is the greatest Saint of all time.  This year, 2022, the Knights of Columbus announced the selection of an icon of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus as the centerpiece of this year’s K of C prayer program.  Our Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites was blessed to have a copy of this traveling icon with us during our Holy Hour.  Deacon Baldwin gave us a presentation on this icon and what it signifies.  St. Joseph was highly esteemed by St. Teresa of Avila, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites.  So we were overjoyed to ponder him anew.  And so, with Deacon Baldwin, we “go to St. Joseph.”   Resources: Here is the prayer on the back of the prayer card of the image of St. Joseph from the Knights of Columbus: Patris Corde Prayer Hail, guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; In you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.   Blessed Joseph, to us too, Show yourself a father And guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, And defend us from every evil.  Amen.   View the icon image here.  
15:18 03/18/2022
Silence…the Language of God (Less is More), by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Silence is golden.  We have often heard that phrase.  Silence is really a deep Bible truth.  In this presentation, Deacon Baldwin will address that truth and point out the use of  silence in prayer and particularly in the life of contemplatives and the gift of contemplation in prayer.  He addresses the questions:  “Should I give up all vocal prayer and only strive for silence in prayer?”  “What Scripture passage helps me understand this point?”  “How do I grow in silence in prayer?”  “What book does he recommend to help us?” 
08:37 03/01/2022
Saint Teresa of Avila and the Holy Spirit, by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS
As a doctor of the Church,  St. Teresa of Avila has much to teach the universal Church and humanity at large.  She was quite the mystic.  We are so blessed that she wrote so much to help us grow in our union with God.  In this presentation by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS, the influence of the Holy Spirit in the life of St. Teresa of Avila is highlighted.  Several examples are given that help solidify the action of the Holy Spirit in her life and help us to ask ourselves, “where is the Holy Spirit acting in my life?”
20:29 03/01/2022
Carmel and the Holy Spirit, by Marika Zimmerman, OCDS
The hidden power source behind our actions in fulfilling our mission as Secular Carmelites in the Church is THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! The Holy Spirit is involved in the Spiritual formation in the life of the Christian: He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He gives believers an inward assurance of salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who breathes life into the Church, and it is through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we deepen the intimacy of our relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit illumines the recollected intellect, and illumines it according to the mode of its recollection… Let us draw closer to the Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill our mission as lay Carmelites.   Sources: 1.      Catechism of the Catholic Church  https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM 2.      New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07409a.htm 3.      Profile of an OCDS by Father Aloysius Deeney, OCD https://www.ocdswashprov.org/profile-of-an-ocds 4.      The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross The Living Flame of Love1, 3 and 1,19 Canticle 1,6. The Ascent of Mount Carmel, 2,29,6. ICS Publications. 5.      The Interior Castle Study Edition (p. 32, 107, 276). ICS Publications.  6.      USCCB online Bible for various scripture passages  https://www.usccb.org/ 7.    EWTN Poem  https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-of-the-holy-spirit-by-st-benedicta-of-the-cross-edith-stein-291    
29:56 01/15/2022
Living Our Carmelite Vocation through the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, by Lynn Bete, OCDS
Praying the rosary is a Marian Devotion that many Catholics practice.  As a Carmelite, it is a way of learning how to model Mary’s prayer life.  In this presentation, our guest, Lynn Bete, a member of the Dayton Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, gives us a fresh perspective on how to live out our Carmelite vocation through the mysteries of the Rosary.  She uses the Joyful Mysteries as an example.  Prayer, Mission, and Union with God are the focal points.  Carmelites would especially benefit from listening to this talk.
16:40 12/22/2021
Advent 2021:  Where’s God in All That? by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Advent is a beautiful time of reminding us to specifically prepare our hearts and wait with expectant hope and longing for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.    We look forward to His presence with great joy.  It also tends to be a very busy time filled with special activities, tasks and opportunities that can really distract us.  How might we approach all of this and still find God in all of it?  Deacon Baldwin makes a very deep point that will benefit the soul wanting to prepare well for the Lord’s coming.  
06:33 12/22/2021
The Holy Trinity, the 7th Mansion, and the Sacrament of Matrimony, byDeacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
The visible material world is only part of God’s gracious creation.  The spiritual reality of creation is often overlooked by people in general, however, anyone aspiring to grow in their relationship with God, does well to meditate on these spiritual realities.  Deacon Baldwin discusses both describing their distinctness yet inseparability.  He addresses who we are in God.  He proceeds to describe the commonality between the Holy Trinity, the 7th Mansion (as Carmelites know thru St. Teresa of Avila’s book, “Interior Castle”) and the Sacrament of Matrimony.  His clear descriptions helps one understand with more clarity what this union entails.  He references 1 Corinthians 13 to summarize his point.
13:58 12/05/2021
Dealing with Annoyances and Difficult People by Teresa Trygstad, OCDS
Anyone familiar with the writings of St. Therese of the Child Jesus knows that she struggles in dealing with difficult people, both as a young child and as a religious sister.  Importantly, she also triumphed in learning how to embrace difficult people.  What practical tips would Therese tell us about living with difficult family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers?  
21:34 11/22/2021
When God Feels Distant…He’s Closer than You Think, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
God Feels Distant.  How often have you felt that way or heard another person say that?  How is this manifested?  Is it normal in the spiritual life?  How much are we attributing this to our feelings rather than our intellect?  What are some examples of when this happens?  How should we respond?  What is the purpose of this in the spiritual life?  These are some of the questions Deacon Baldwin answers in this presentation.
14:21 11/22/2021
Ratio Institutionis from The Book of Documents by Colleen Sollinger, OCDS
The Ratio Institutionis is a document found in The Book of Documents used in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites as found at www.ocdswashprov/store/book.  It basically addresses how to put the Carmelite charism into practice in our daily lives.  It guides us in living out our Carmelite calling. The Ratio presents the purpose or philosophy behind a program of formation for the members of the OCDS.  It is not the formation program itself, as far as which Saints to study or resources to use, but seeks to present the fundamental principles that guide the process of formation.  Colleen Sollinger, our presenter, explains what this document covers, how it applies to living out our Carmelite call through the human, Christian, and Carmelite perspectives, and also includes a section on discerning a call to the Secular Discalced Carmelite Order. She offers a great, insightful analogy of hot to put this all together in our daily life that gives the whole document a fresh breath…of the Holy Spirit, no doubt.  Living out the principles given in this Ratio helps set the tone for our life experiences, drawing us ever closer to Christ thru Mary, our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
15:05 09/17/2021
Discernment: An Encounter with the Lord, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
What is “discernment”?  That word is used frequently in Christian circles, especially in regard to answering the call to our vocation in life.  Many souls have a fundamental misunderstanding of what discernment is.  Deacon Baldwin clarifies what discernment is NOT, and what it IS. He then clarifies our understanding of the Christian essence of discernment.  He points out and explains how true discernment is a form of prayer.  He then describes how true discernment helps us gain interior freedom.  But what does this look like in our lives?  And more importantly, what is the definitive end of discernment?
11:36 09/17/2021
Vows in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, presented by Colleen Sollinger, OCDS
After being fully professed by making the Definitive Promise in the Order, a member may choose to discern whether he/she is being called to make a vow.  What is a vow?  How does a vow differ from a promise?  What kind of vow can one make?  How is a soul prepared for making the vow?  What is involved?  Who is eligible and what time frame is involved?  Most importantly, why would a member want to make the vow?  These are some of the questions that will be addressed by Colleen Sollinger, a member and the current Director of Formation for the community of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in Dayton.  Even if you are not in the Order, by hearing this presentation, you may come to appreciate in a deeper way, the commitment others make by the vows.
44:55 08/09/2021
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: The Price of Love, presented by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Aug. 9th is the feast of St.Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka Edith Stein).  Deacon Baldwin gives a short background on this wonderful Saint and then zeroes in on how she lived out the “love of the Cross.”  What was that like?  Who was she?  What did she believe?  How did love change her?  She indeed made the supreme sacrifice of the Cross, dying at Auschwitz.
07:46 08/09/2021
Engaging the World But Not of the World, with Mark Olson, OCDS
In John 17: 14-16, Jesus states that we do not belong to the world. Still, He prays not that we be taken from the world, but that we may have the strength to resist evil. What do the Carmelite Saints have to say about remaining in God while being in the world?         Examples are provided from Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection, General Gaston de Sonis, and St. Teresa of Avila.
14:56 08/06/2021
What the Soul is to the Body, by Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
How are we (as Carmelites/Christians) to be to the world what the soul is to the body?  What do our Carmelite Doctors of the Church teach us?  How are we in the world but not of the world?  What is the soul?  How does it operate? What is its relationship to the body?  How does the soul and the body work together?  How does this relate to our Carmelite/Christian calling? Secular Carmelites/Christians are sent to bring the Spirit of Christ into the world to animate and transform it.  How do we do that?  How is this union of the body and soul perfected in Christ?
10:44 08/06/2021
Mystery: The Threshold of Divine Love, with Deacon Rusty Baldwin, OCDS
Deacon Baldwin helps the listener to understand the word “mystery” as it applies to faith in God.  He explains how the mystery of God goes beyond our intellect and reason.  He then proceeds to introduce the steps to enter into the mystery of Divine Love.
06:59 06/25/2021