Our Lady Of Mt Carmel

Lady of the mystic mountain
Where the Lord has set his throne,
Up its steep ways of the Spirit
None can walk save love alone.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel
And learn that love is loss;
Guide us till our ways out distance
All earth’s treasures save the Cross.

Virgin of the Incarnation,
In the mysteries of grace
God has made his habitation
In our soul’s most secret place.
Toward that bright and inner kingdom
All our words and ways compel
For the Father, Son and Spirit
In its sacred silence dwell.

Queen and beauty of Mt Carmel,
Virgin of the solitude,
In the wilderness of Carmel
Lies the world’s eternal good.
Draw us to its deep seclusion
And make God alone our goal
In the mystical Mount Carmel
That lies hidden in the soul.

  • Sr Miriam of the Holy Spirit O.C.D.

Wholly Burned Away

The Feast of St John the Baptist.

That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
He must increase, I must decrease.           
(John 3: 29-30)

A poem by St John of the Cross to which we might offer the title:

Wholly Burned Away

Upheld, and yet without support,
darkness around, no light of day
while I am wholly burned away.

My soul is free and set apart
from every created thing,
lifted above itself to sing
of richer life delight the heart.
God is the rock to which I cling.
Now I can tell it as I ought:
the source of all my greatest bliss –
to feel, to know that my soul is
upheld, and yet without support.

I walk along a shadowed way
of suffering in this life of night,
and yet although I see no light
my sorrows not without allay:
I know the heavenly life burns bright.
The blinder love is I can say,
the greater is the life that flows,
holding the soul in peace that grows,
darkness around, no light of day.

Since Love began to work in me
his touch transforms me, this I know.
I see my soul translucent grow,
for at his pleasure, equally
both good and bad are changed and glow.
Filled with delight to be Loves prey
I feel his flame consume, and see
nothing is left, for rapidly
the whole of me is burned away.

Silence encountered

‘Silence’ is not an auditory silence or even a quietness of the mind, it is a state of profound and inexpressible stillness. The incomprehensible is encountered and known.

The state of Silence thrives as the experience of grace, that expanse of supreme bliss which is the perfect primal entity. Consequently, all other states come to merge in it like many different rivers entering the ocean of Silence

When Silence occurs, it is the Lord who abides, embracing us in a union with Him.

The utterly perfect supreme reality whose form is Silence can only be kissed with Silence.

The beloved shines as the embodiment of Silence, the infinite expanse of grace. Causing us to see Him as the true self, He demonstrates clearly in the heart, in the form of the pure expanse, the natural state that exists as the treasure trove of grace.

Except through Silence there is no other means to know faultlessly the whole and primal entity, That Which Is.

Be still, and know …

God is love, His form is Silence.

He is the ancient one; he is the immediate one; he exists as the supreme serenity; he is the tranquillity immanent; the pure expanse of whose essence is he himself.



  • Anon

Most Sacred Heart

Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

Eph 3: 16-19

Presence and Being

Reveal your presence,
And may the vision of Your beauty be my death.1

The soul is right in daring to say, may the vision of Your beauty be my death, since she knows that at the instant she sees this beauty she will be carried away by it, and absorbed in this very beauty, and transformed in this same beauty, and made beautiful like this beauty itself, and enriched and provided for like this very beauty.2

In explanation of this verse it should be known that God’s presence can be of three kinds;

The first is His presence by essence. In this way He is present not only in the holiest souls, but also in sinners and in all other creatures. For with this presence He gives us life and being. Should this essential presence be lacking to us, we would not be – we would all be annihilated. Thus this presence is never lacking to the soul.

The second is His presence by grace. Not all have this presence of God – the soul cannot know naturally if it has this presence.

The third is His presence by spiritual affection, for God usually grants His spiritual presence to devout souls in many ways, by which He refreshes, delights and gladdens them.

Yet, these many kinds of spiritual presence, just as the others, are all hidden, for in them God does not reveal Himself as He is, since the conditions of this life will not allow for such a manifestation.3

Since it is certain that at least in the first way God is ever present in the soul, she does not ask Him to be present in her, but that He so reveal His presence that she may be able to see Him in His divine being and beauty. As He gives the soul natural being through His essential presence, and perfects her through His presence by grace, she begs Him to glorify her also with His manifest glory. 4

The soul that loves God lives more in the next life than in this, for the soul lives where it loves more than where it gives life, and thus has but little esteem for the temporal life.

  1. St John of the Cross. The Spiritual Canticle (SC). Stanza 11
  2. SC. 11:10
  3. SC. 11:3
  4. SC. 11:4


When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.1

St John of the Cross has offered some, not inconsiderable, commentary on this matter. A glance is offered here:

The limitations of human nature are such that when the communication and knowledge of the Beloved, which gives more life to the soul and for which she longs ardently, is about to be imparted, she cannot receive it save almost at the cost of her life.2

The reason for this is that such favours cannot be received wholly in the body, for the spirit is elevated to commune with the divine Spirit Who comes to the soul. Thus the soul must in some fashion abandon the body.3

The Beloved revealed to her some rays of His grandeur and divinity and carried her out of herself in rapture and ecstasy: “for they cause me to take flight and go out of myself to supreme contemplation, which is beyond what the sensory part can endure.”4

She would not want to receive the Spirit in the body, for there she cannot receive Him fully, but only in a small degree and with considerable suffering. But she would want to receive Him in the flight of the spirit, outside the body, where she can freely rejoice with Him.5

For a better understanding of the nature of this flight, it should be noted that, as we said, in this visit of the divine Spirit, the spirit of the soul is carried away to communicate with Him, and it abandons the body and ceases to have its feelings and actions in it, for they are in God.6

Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.7

1. John 16:13
2. St John of the Cross. Spiritual Canticle.(SC) 13:3
3. SC 13:4
4. SC 13:2
5. SC 13:5
6. SC 13:6
7. John 15:5


I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,
and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. 1

Forgetting all, my quest
ended, I stayed lost to myself at last.
All ceased: my face was pressed
upon my Love, at rest,
with all my cares among the lilies cast. 2

  1. John 16:22-23
  2. The Dark Night: Last stanza.