Prayers of the Carmelite mystics
St. Teresa of Avila
Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Who possesses God
God alone suffices.
From The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila Volume Three translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriquez (c) 1985 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 U.S.A.
St. John of the Cross
Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love
Lord God, my Beloved, if you still remember my sins in such a way that you do not do what I beg of you, do your will concerning them, my God, which is what I most desire, and exercise your goodness and mercy, and you will be known through them. And if you are waiting for my good works so as to hear my prayer through their means, grant them to me, and work them for me, and the sufferings you desire to accept, and let it be done. But if you are not waiting for my works, what is it that makes you wait, my most clement Lord? Why do you delay? For if, after all, I am to receive the grace and mercy that I entreat of you in your Son, take my mite, since you desire it, and grant me this blessing, since you also desire that. Who can free themselves from lowly manners and limitations if you do not lift them to yourself, my God, in purity of love? How will human beings begotten and nurtured in lowliness rise up to you, Lord, if you do not raise them with your hand that made them? You will not take from me, my God, what you once gave me in your only Son, Jesus Christ, in whom you gave me all I desire. Hence I rejoice that if I wait for you, you will not delay. With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart? Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father's table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.
From The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriquez (c) 1979, 1991, by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites. ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 U.S.A.
St. Therese of Lisieux
"O my God! Will Your Justice alone find souls willing to immolate themselves as victims? Does not Your Merciful Love need them too? On every side this love is unknown, rejected; those hearts upon whom You would lavish it turn to creatures seeking happiness from them with their miserable affection; they do this instead of throwing themselves into Your arms and of accepting Your infinite Love. O my God! Is Your disdained Love going to remain closed up within Your Heart? It seems to me that if You were to find souls offering themselves as victims of holocaust to Your Love, You would consume them rapidly; it seems to me, too, that You would be happy not to hold back the waves of infinite tenderness within You. If your Justice loves to release itself, this Justice which extends only over the earth, how much more does Your Merciful Love desire to set souls on fire since Your Mercy reaches to the heavens. (Psalm 35:6) O my Jesus, let me be this happy victim; consume Your holocaust with the fire of Your Divine Love!"
From Story of a Soul, translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Copyright (c) 1975,1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites Friars, Inc. ICS Publications 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 U.S.A.
"Before a Picture of Christ in My Cell"
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
Carmel At Work