Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today is a Marian “optional memorial” wherein we commemorate several things:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Marian spirituality of the Carmelites, the scapular and consecration of oneself to Mary.

Picking up on the theme from my previous post, I would like to share a little bit from the Dictionary of Mary :

“The commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel calls for a rediscovery of the contemplative dimension of life. Nothing indeed is more foreign to Carmel and to Mary than an exteriority bereft of any intimate union of love with God….There is no more profound and urgent need for people today – who are in danger of losing themselves in a frenetic chaos without a definitive meaning – than the need to experience God in their own lives.

The great mystical Carmelite authors have had an acute sense of the spiritual life as a ‘way of perfection’…On this journey Mary is present as Mother and Model of contemplatives, that is, of Christians attuned to the filial listening to the Father through Christ in the Spirit.” [Dictionary of Mary, pg. 58]

 

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An excellent video about Our Lady of Mount Carmel produced by Catholic Radio Dramas (many thanks to YouTube Channel andresgran53):

Mary, Mediatrix of Contemplation

We have, moreover, considered the external conditions that favor contemplation and union with God.  They are:  a certain solitude, silence, sufficient time given to prayer, no overburdening, no useless reading, no preoccupations foreign to our vocation.  To these external conditions must be added natural aptitude and also enlightened direction.  If many of these exterior conditions are lacking, it is difficult to reach contemplation, which no longer has its normal environment.  Profound humility and ardent charity, however, may supply this lack, especially if joined with great devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  He who habitually begins his prayer with these two mediators, will be led by them to intimate union with God, since the object of the Blessed Virgin’s influence is to lead us to her Son, and that of Christ to lead us to the Father.

The divine mercy often compensates for the inequality of natural conditions by great graces. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Deep humility supplies for other conditions in the life of union with God. The two great mediators, Jesus and Mary, stoop to the humble in order to lead them to the intimacy of the Father. We have only one life, and on it our eternity depends. As Tauler says, if we have not entered the divine intimacy before we are advanced in years, we run the risk of not entering it in this life, even though it is the normal prelude to heaven.

[Excerpts from “Christian Perfection and Contemplation”, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., page 417 and page 423]

Our Lady of Lourdes, from India

Mid-June, over at Contemplative Haven, I posted a link to a video of the trailer/promo for the movie, Our Lady of Lourdes, written and produced by Mr. Kamalakar Rao Ponnapalli.  As well as wishing to help in some small way to spread the word about this movie, I was curious as to why Mr. Ponnapalli, a Hindu, was inspired to create a movie about a Catholic saint and the Blessed Virgin (and to dedicate ten years of his life to it).

Mr. Ponnapalli has kindly sent me an article previously printed in Lourdes Magazine, from which we can gain some further insight into the motivating forces behind the creation of the movie. If you click on the article it should expand, and you may click once more to get it to a readable size.

 

Mr. Ponnapalli was inspired by the fact that a simple girl like Bernadette could be used as an instrument of God, and he wished to express this to the people of India, so that they too would understand that wealth, roots, health and power are not necessary in the sight of God, and are not prerequisites for making a difference in this world.  It is quite exciting to read that even though Mr. Ponnapalli received guidance from both a Catholic priest and a Catholic Brother regarding the film, things did not really flow smoothly until after a visit to Lourdes in 2005. His spontaneous meetings with various people who proved to be of great benefit in the creation of the film were “encounters arranged by Mary”, Mr. Ponnapalli believes – he even uses the word miracle!  I was reflecting on all this when I happened upon a passage in my Redemptorist “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” book, which seemed to me to be quite appropriate in terms of Mr. Ponnapalli’s experience with Mother Mary:

In these pages we are not using the word “miracle” in the theological sense as when we speak of the miracles of Jesus or the miracles recognized by the Church in the process of canonization of the Saints.  Here we use the word “miracle” in a wider sense as used by the faithful.  It is not a question of dogmas of faith but rather, experiences of faith.  In this Christian sense, these “miracles” also have norms of certitude.  In the idiom of the faithful a miracle is a grace, a help, a protection, a favor asked for and received, an experience of inner peace.

Truly, Mary is Our Lady of All Nations and the Mother of All Peoples.  Thank you for sharing this inspiring story with us, Mr. Ponnapalli; the miracles of Lourdes continue!