Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was leading us as our Spiritual Mother
The doors opened and our hearts were flooded with something magnificent, something holy, and something beyond our comprehension. My sister’s and my travels to the Sea of Galilee and the Holy Land led us to Mount Carmel and through the doors of the Stella Maris Monastery, named after Our Blessed Mother Mary Star of the Sea. The spiritual headquarters of the Carmelite order were built upon the dwelling of the Prophet Elijah. Something within this place opened our hearts to a profound and new UNION with God — a kind of union that we had never felt before.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was leading us as our Spiritual Mother. We stepped through the doorway and into her light. We felt as though we were melting into her loving arms, and every burden, every worry, every heavy thought seemed to melt away. As we walked through the monastery, we looked upon images of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Edith Stein — Carmelites who walked this Earth in union with Christ and allowed miracles to flow through them. These saints were often referred to as mystics. We were there journeying alongside them, and our Mother Mary was leading the way.
“In the words of Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, OCD, a revered authority on Carmelite spirituality, wrote that devotion to Our Lady of Carmel means: ‘a special call to interior life. Our Lady wants us to resemble her not only in our outward life but, far more, in heart and spirit. As we gaze into Mary’s soul, we shall see that grace in her has flowered into a spiritual life of incalculable abundance; a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted oblation to God, continual contact, and intimate union with him. Mary’s soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone, where love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind reign supreme’” (Carmel Holy Land: Stella Maris Monastery, n.d.).
As we continued to journey through the monastery, we learned that we too are called to house the love of God within our soul, in complete union with Him. We are all called to be saints and that is truly the definition of a saint… a human who learned to walk this physical world in complete union with God and allowed supernatural graces to flow through them. As we say “yes” to our call to walk this Earth in union with God, may we invite Mother Mary to mother us and show us the way to a complete union with her Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ. And may we surrender our will to God’s divine will, as she says to us what she said to the servants at the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you” (John 2:5).
Pray with Me
Blessed Mother Mary, please be with me. May I feel your love in my heart always. May your grace flower in me and expand my spiritual life. Remind me that within the Eucharist, I receive the gift of perfect union with God, and through that true union with Him, all things are possible. Mother Mary, pray for me and remind me often that as St. Teresa of Avila proclaimed, “God has no body on Earth but ours, He has no hands on Earth but ours, and it is through us that He loves others.” Lord, make me an instrument of your peace and teach me how to surrender into your loving embrace. Less of me and more of you! In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit… AMEN.
—Amy D'Ambra/MSMH Founder and Co-Owner
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast Day July 16