First Day of Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
Attend, O My people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth (Ps. 77.1, from the “Introit” of the Mass for the Feast, last 3rd July, of St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Doctor who wrote much against heresies). The Primitive Rule of the “Order of the Virgin” (Our Lord to St. Teresa of Jesus, Reformer of the Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) lays down that the friars and nuns are to stay in their cells… meditating day and night on the law of the Lord (taken from Josue 1.8) – attend… to My law – and keeping watch in prayers – incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Those who would like to share in the spirit of “the Order of the Virgin” – how the Confraternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel began – with the Holy Habit of the Order, the Scapular, in its miniature form for a most special token of their union with the mind and heart of the Immaculate Virgin of Carmel, must therefore observe the above central precept of the Rule in so far as their state in life permits it. Our Immaculate Mother, the Woman of the Apocalypse (XII): She (Ipsa, in St. Jerome’s Sacred Latin Vulgate Bible) who crushes the head of Satan from which springs all heresies and subtle errors which lead souls to serve and adore strange gods (Deut. 30.17 – DRV), in Her last apparition at Fatima in Portugal appeared as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: “Our Lady wants us to wear the Scapular” (Sr. Lucia, C.D.), “the Sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – particularly recommend[ed] in these perilous times” (Pope Pius XII) for the dragon was angry against the Woman: and went to make war with the rest of Her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Apoc. 12.17).
Christian perfection is not only the business of religious and clerics. Sainthood is the goal for each and everyone – only Saints enter Heaven. Our Lord addressed the multitude: Be ye therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Fathers is perfect (Mt. 5.48). It is just that as the glory of the humblest star still far exceeds the radiance of the best earthly light, so the perfection of religious and, most especially, clerics to which they are called by God should be greater than that of laymen. Christian perfection is attained with holy zeal – hence, those who are affiliated to “the Order of the Virgin” through the Scapular Confraternity should learn the cry of its great Prophet: Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum (With ZEAL have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts, 3 Ki. 19.10); never by mediocrity, never by lukewarmness, never by complacency:
“… Stay in the cell…,” means for the religious of the Order that first counsel of Perfection given by the Master to the young man who had kept the Commandments: Go sell what thou hast… (Mt. 19.21) – renunciation of all things they possess or might lawfully use for the sake of their Beloved that they become more free to devote themselves to God and His service in His chamber (Cant. 2.4). For those who affiliate themselves to “the Order of the Virgin” through Her Scapular Confraternity, you are enjoined by the Rule to renounce every false devotion filling up the “chamber” of your heart – ‘devotion’ to your gadgets either to be ‘in touch’ with your passible idols and creatures of your affection or to the building up of your online personal cults, together with the classical ‘devotion’ to the world and the flesh; and, ‘devotion’ to your manifold religious exercises but without Religion keeping you disentangled from conformity with the mindset, viewpoint, attitudes and principles of the New World ‘Order’: flowing still with the tide. Our holy Mother Teresa of Jesus says that we cannot enjoy God up there and enjoy at the same time the world down here. How long do you halt between two sides, says the great Prophet of Carmel (3 Ki. 18.21). Where thy treasure is, there is your heart also (Mt. 6.21).