Saturday 27 November 2010


Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Help us to be ready for see you and love you in the circumstances of our lives, in the people who surround us. Help us to be ready to give you whatever You ask, whatever you need of our poor treasures to enrich the poor....whatever you need of our lives and energies to bring hope to the hopeless.
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: he is Emmanuel,

 God with us, the hope of the peoples
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Saviour of every nation.
Lord God, let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.


Friday 26 November 2010

Preparing for Advent V

Prayer in the Days Before Advent
My brother, Jesus. It happens every year. I think that this will be the year that I have a reflective Advent. I look forward to Sunday and this new season, Jesus. But all around me are the signs rushing me to Christmas and some kind of celebration that equates spending with love.
I need your help. I want to slow my world down. This year, more than ever, I need Advent, these weeks of reflection and longing for hope in the darkness.
Jesus, this year, help me to have that longing. Help me to feel it in my heart and be aware of the hunger and thirst in my own soul. Deep down, I know there is something missing in my life, but I can’t quite reach for it. I can’t get what is missing.
I know it is about you, Jesus. You are not missing from my life, but I might be missing the awareness of all of the places you are present there.
Be with me, my dear friend. Guide me in these weeks to what you want to show me this Advent. Help me to be vulnerable enough to ask you to lead me to the place of my own weakness, the very place where I will find you the most deeply embedded in my heart, loving me without limits.

Source: Daily Reflection Calender

Thursday 25 November 2010

Preparing for Advent IV

How sour sweet time is
when time is broke and no proportion kept!
So it is in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
to check time broke in a disorder'd string:
But, for the concord of my state and time,
had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now time doth waste me.
William Shakespeare.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Preparing for Advent III

Come and make all things new,
build up this ruined earth;
restore our faded paradise,
Careation's second birth
Horatius Bonar, Nineteenth century

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Preparing for Advent II

"Our time is a time of waiting; waiting is its special destiny. And every time is a time of waiting, waiting for the breaking in of eternity. All time runs forward. All time, both history and in personal life, is expectation. Time itself is waiting, waiting not for another time, but for that which is eternal.
Paul Tilliich

Monday 22 November 2010

Preparing for Advent

Looking out from the Prior's Hall
Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light  and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
1Thessalonians 5:1-11

Thursday 18 November 2010

November ~ A month of memory.

November always begins with an attitude of remembering. St Augustine of Hippo says that when we remember we make present the past. So remembering is a good and holy thing. The feast of All Saints reminds us of our heavenly home. The place that has been prepared for us is brought into our present as we remember those who have gone before us in faith and are with God. The commemoration of All Souls is the day we remember those who have died and are in that final time of being made ready to be with God for ever. We remember them in prayer and hope that our prayers and care, assist them as they let go off all those attachments and attitudes that prevent them from seeing the full beauty of God and of themselves.

On the 14th and 15th of November, the Carmelite family bring these feasts into a more local and personal context as we remember those of our Order who have died. To the left of the Relic Chapel at Aylesford is the Chapel of the Carmelite Saints. If you look carefully at the ceramics that decorate that chapel you will see in the midst of those Carmelites recognised ny the Church as saints, a nun without a halo. She represents all those faithful members of our family who are with God.

The Solemn Blessing for the Feast of All Carmelite Saints, reminds us that this is a feast of our future

May God, who set apart the Carmelite Order
for the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
clothe you with her virtues
and make you worthy of her service. Amen.

May he who endowed Carmel
with the spirit of the prophet Elijah
make you fervent in prayer
and zealous for his honour. Amen.

May he who has blessed Carmel
with a host of saintly sons and daughters
make you their worthy brothers and sisters on earth
and partakers of their everlasting fellowship in heaven. Amen.

On the 15th of November we remember All Carmlite Souls. I always find the feast of All Souls and All Carmelite Souls, quite beautiful. I find these words of the Dominican friar Bede Jarret a great comfort.

We seem to give them back to you
O God, who gave them first to us.
Yet as you did not lose them in giving
So we do not lose them by their return.
Not as the world gives, do you give, O lover of souls.
What you give, you do not take away
For what is yours is ours if we are yours.

And life is eternal and love is immortal
And death is only a horizon
And a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

Lift us up, Strong Son of God, that we may see further.
Cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly,
draw us closer to yourself that we may know ourselves
 to be nearer to our loved ones who are with you.
And while you prepare a place for us
Prepare us also for that happy place
That where you are we may be also, for evermore.

The names of those of our province now buried in our provincial graveyard at Aylesford

May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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


Tuesday 16 November 2010

Thought for the Week

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
- Albert Einstein

Thursday 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

Remember Ypres, the Somme, Mons, and Verdun.
Remember the Western Desert, El Alamein, the Normandy beaches.
Remember Dresden, Hiroshima and the Burma Road.
Remember Korea, the Falkland Islands, Northern Island, Iraq.
Remember the courage, the comradeship, the ingenuity,
the spirit of working together for a common cause,
the planning together for a better world
that would come with peace.
Remember the call to arms, the patriotic songs, the posters,
the partings which were such sweet sorrow,
the sound of the drum, the skirl of the pipe,
the prayer that God would be on our side.
Remember the carnage, the colossal, stinking, bloody horror;
the ripped bodies on the wire,
the platoons of which only three out of forty lived.
Remember the widows of sixty years and more,
the old men and women living now who never knew their fathers.
Remember the love that was lost, the wisdom wasted,
the minds that were twisted and the limbs distorted.
Remember the wealth of nations being fired from guns, dropped as
bombs: smashing schools, homes, factories, churches and
ruining crops, destroying trees,
Remember the hope of a whole generation
left to evaporate in the sands of a desert
or sink forever in the oceans of the world.
Remember this day the children who will die
while the world spends its wealth on arms;
the young who have no work
while others in their generation are trained to fight;
The ambulances that will not come
while we argue about how many troop carriers we need;
the research into disease left neglected
w hile brilliant minds are used to study more effective destruction.
Remember the one who asked us to remember him.
Graham Cook
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of goodwill but also those of ill will. But do not only remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Remember the fruits we bought, thanks to the suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgement, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
Prayer of a condemned Jew in Belsen.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Thought for the week

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

- Dalai Lama

Monday 8 November 2010

Autumn happenings

When the autumn comes, the priory takes on a different pace of life. The cold and wet months of October and November sees a decrease in the numbers visiting the priory. This respite also allows the community to return to it's itinerant call as friars. The last few weeks have seen some of the community sharing their ministry across these lands.
Fr Michael Manning blessing the St Jude oil at Faversham
 Fr Michael, together with novices Bro Tiago and Bro Torsten, journyed 20 miles south to assist the Carmelite community in Faversham during the days around the feast of St Jude. The friary church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Faversham houses the national shrine of St Jude and many pilgrims came to celebrate his feast and join in the devotions at the shrine. Tiago and Torsten were also able to see another Carmelite community in action and work with our friars in Faversham

Bro's Tiago and Torsten with Bro Mike Brooks of the Faversham community

Fr David Waite at the Lay Carmelite retreat in Hawkstone Hall
Fr David, our bursar and librarian flexed his preaching muscles with the West Midlands lay Carmelites who had gathered for a weekend retreat in Hawkstone Hall. 

Fr Damian drove to Scotland to visit a lay community of families and young people at Craig Lodge, Dalmally, The Craig Lodge community were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their founding. Over the years many Carmelite friars have worked with the community. Fr Brendan Grady and Fr Tony Lester first worked with some of the young people in community there. In more recent years Fr Damian has had strong links with the community and their work with young people. and feels very close to his highland family.

Fr Damian Cassidy in Dalmally
Today Fr Brendan and Fr Joseph travel to Dublin for a meeting with the Provincial Counils of Ireland and Britain. Please keep them in your prayers as they meet and discuss how the Carmelite family in the UK and Ireland can best serve God's holy people in the coming years.

Being on 'the road' is part of the ministry of a friar. We are to go where God's people gather and share something of our story so that others may see how close God is to them and have confidence in the love of God which is wholly for each of us.