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Carmelite Customs

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BarbaraTherese

Have any of you ever read "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD?  A friend of mine entered the Buffalo Carmel and she told me, after her visit, that Mother Miriam said they read this.  It has daily meditations.  She said she purchased it for $25 or 35 for the full volume (hardback) in their gift shop which is a great deal considering it usually is $50 or more.  I really want to buy it because I love Fr. Gabriel's writings.  :)

 

I have read it, or read some of it, but quite some years ago now and don't remember anything about it and doubt I would have understood that much of it back then for sure anyway and possibly why it has vanished out of memory as to content.  The cover is quite familiar, as well as title and author.  I could only have borrowed it from somewhere or other as no way years ago could I afford to buy a copy - once over $25 - $30 books tended to be outside my budget reach.   Perhaps I bought a copy when married and in a better financial position.

 

The Amazon prices are totally alarming and in the hundreds of dollars, even for used copies - apparently due to the fact that it is out of print.  I wonder why it has gone out of print being a well known and read spiritual classic, and if it will be reprinted and bring those dreadful prices right down. .

 

I really hope you will be able to find a reasonably priced copy.

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Yaatee

check out bookfinder.com

 

http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&ref=bf_s2_a1_t1_1&qi=f9jGfoYAiWbDPawtELgFRHtC6ug_9920980129_1:1515:10106&bq=author%3Dfr%2520gabriel%26title%3Ddivine%2520intimacy%252C%2520vol%2E%25202

 

 

for "Divine Intimacy" in the title search box, I found offerings for vol.II and vol.4 from about 14.00 on up.

 

There were a lot of other books with "divine intimacy" in their titles which may be of interest.

 

I assume that this is the same "Divine Intimacy".

 

Bookfinder.com is great. It is a meta-search site. the only caveat is that you have to try multiple different approaches if our search doesn't come up. this is why I didn't use Fr. Gabriel's name in the search. It is complicated and may compromise the search.  The search engine isn't like google, where it can say "...do you mean"  (Is google alive?!)

 

 

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Chiquitunga

bookfinder.com is great!! :like: Those shorter volumes of Divine Intimacy are a version of it re-arranged with the new/Ordinary Form calendar. I believe Buffalo Carmel probably still has copies of the old one volume leather version for $25. They have so many wonderful things in their little gift shop area for the lowest prices. They say they want to keep the prices low so more people can buy them and benefit from them spiritually :pray:

 

A number of Carmels read from DI before their mediation time every day. The JMJ Carmels even require those entering to bring their own personal copy when they enter.

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graciandelamadrededios

Welcome to Phatmass. :)

I wish I could help you and am hoping a member who knows more about Phatmass and computers than I do (my knowledge is not much at all) will post a reply or private message you and help you out - and perhaps some kind member has already done so.

 

  I have sometimes done the same as you did with no idea why it happened except that with me it is operator error and for me, not at all difficult to do on Phatmass - and I've been a member for a few years now.

 

Barb

 

 

Thanks Barb!

 

I have done of mistakes here and I thank you all for your patience.

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graciandelamadrededios
REGULAR CUSTOMS OF THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS

TO SUPPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONS AND CEREMONIAL OF THE ORDER

TAKEN FROM

LES USAGES DES CARMELITES DECHAUSEES

PUBLISHED BY THE

DISCALCED CARMELITES OF MONTELIMAR, FRANCE

 

SIGNS

   

            In order to observe silence more perfectly, the Religious will make use of certain signs, to designate the most ordinary things.  This custom dates from the time of our holy Mother, St. Teresa, and has always been maintained in the House of our Order.  The signs will be made as intelligibly as possible, and the Religious will not invent new ones, which would cause distraction to those whom they address. 

 

            The Mother Prioress – Touch the Veil.

            The Mother Sub-Prioress – Touch the Toque.

            The Mistress of Novices – Touch the Scapular.

            The Calvaries – Make a sign as if writing.

            The Sacristan – Form a cross with the two forefingers.

            The Turn Sister – Form a circle in the palm of the left hand, with the forefinger

       of the right hand, as if to designate the Turn.

            The Provisor – Close the left hand.

            The Infirmarian – Bow the head and place the opened hands on the forehead.

            The Vestier – Make a sign as if sewing.

            The Cook – With the right hand, make a sign as if cutting something on the

                                 left hand.

            The Choir – Raise the hands as if in prayer.

            The Chapter Room – Strike the breast two or three times with the opened hand.

           

Dormitory – Make the sign of sleeping, which is to lean the head a little against

                                 the opened hand.

            Refectory – Make the sign as if for bread, namely, a circle by joining the ends of

                                 the thumbs and two forefingers.

            The Speak-Room – Make the sign of the Grate, which is, to place the fingers

                                                of one hand over those of the other, leaving an opening

                                                between.

            The Humble Office – Place the left hand on the breast.

           

The Large Veil – Pass the opened hand over the face and person,

                              as if covering it with a veil.

Scissors – With the index and middle fingers, make the motion of cutting.

A needle – Show a pin, and make with it the motion of sewing.

A cup – Turn the palm of the right hand upward, join the fingers and raise

               It to the mouth as if dinking.

A spoon – With the index and middle finger of the right hand, make a motion

                   as if taking something from the left.

A dish – Open both hands, and bring them together in concave form. 

Water – Make a movement as if pouring a vessel.

Milk – Touch the lips with the little finger.

Butter – Pass the forefinger of the right hand over the palm of the left,

               as if you were spreading something. 

            Eggs – Show a hand with the ends of the thumb and fingers joined.

            The Bell – Make the sign as if ringing.

            To ask the hour – Join the two little fingers.

            To answer – Show as many fingers as there are hours; for the quarter,

                                    With the forefinger of the right hand touch the first joint

                                    of the forefinger of the left hand; for the half hour, touch

                                    the first and second joints, and for the three quarters

                                    touch the three.

            To Beg Pardon – Incline the head and body with the eyes lowered and hands

                                           joined.

            To Indicate Silence – Make a cross on the lips with the right thumb. 

            To say that the silence Bell has rung – Make the sign of silence

                                                                                then of the ringing bell.

            Confession – Join the fingers of the right hand and strike the breast.

            Communion – Gently place the forefinger of the right hand on the end of

  the tongue.

            Holy Mass – Make the sign of the Cross, then join hands. 

            To say the Divine Office – Open the hands, as if you were opening a book.

            For the Office of Server – Make a motion as if you were carrying the

         Serving Board. 

 

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VeniJesuAmorMi

Have any of you ever read "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD?  A friend of mine entered the Buffalo Carmel and she told me, after her visit, that Mother Miriam said they read this.  It has daily meditations.  She said she purchased it for $25 or 35 for the full volume (hardback) in their gift shop which is a great deal considering it usually is $50 or more.  I really want to buy it because I love Fr. Gabriel's writings.  :)

 

I do have this. It's great to have before starting prayer. I wonder if you were to contact that monastery to buy one if they would send it to you? I don't know if this could be done? The cheapest I have found online as you said is $50. I have found it online at other places for so much more and its sad it can't be bought cheaper. I hope you can get this book, and that it won't be so expensive. :)

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VeniJesuAmorMi

REGULAR CUSTOMS OF THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS

TO SUPPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONS AND CEREMONIAL OF THE ORDER

 

TAKEN FROM

 

LES USAGES DES CARMELITES DECHAUSEES

 

PUBLISHED BY THE

 

DISCALCED CARMELITES OF MONTELIMAR, FRANCE

 

 

 

SIGNS

 

   

            In order to observe silence more perfectly, the Religious will make use of certain signs, to designate the most ordinary things.  This custom dates from the time of our holy Mother, St. Teresa, and has always been maintained in the House of our Order.  The signs will be made as intelligibly as possible, and the Religious will not invent new ones, which would cause distraction to those whom they address. 

 

            The Mother Prioress – Touch the Veil.

            The Mother Sub-Prioress – Touch the Toque.

            The Mistress of Novices – Touch the Scapular.

            The Calvaries – Make a sign as if writing.

            The Sacristan – Form a cross with the two forefingers.

            The Turn Sister – Form a circle in the palm of the left hand, with the forefinger

       of the right hand, as if to designate the Turn.

            The Provisor – Close the left hand.

            The Infirmarian – Bow the head and place the opened hands on the forehead.

            The Vestier – Make a sign as if sewing.

            The Cook – With the right hand, make a sign as if cutting something on the

                                 left hand.

            The Choir – Raise the hands as if in prayer.

            The Chapter Room – Strike the breast two or three times with the opened hand.

           

Dormitory – Make the sign of sleeping, which is to lean the head a little against

                                 the opened hand.

            Refectory – Make the sign as if for bread, namely, a circle by joining the ends of

                                 the thumbs and two forefingers.

            The Speak-Room – Make the sign of the Grate, which is, to place the fingers

                                                of one hand over those of the other, leaving an opening

                                                between.

            The Humble Office – Place the left hand on the breast.

           

The Large Veil – Pass the opened hand over the face and person,

                              as if covering it with a veil.

Scissors – With the index and middle fingers, make the motion of cutting.

A needle – Show a pin, and make with it the motion of sewing.

A cup – Turn the palm of the right hand upward, join the fingers and raise

               It to the mouth as if dinking.

A spoon – With the index and middle finger of the right hand, make a motion

                   as if taking something from the left.

A dish – Open both hands, and bring them together in concave form. 

Water – Make a movement as if pouring a vessel.

Milk – Touch the lips with the little finger.

Butter – Pass the forefinger of the right hand over the palm of the left,

               as if you were spreading something. 

            Eggs – Show a hand with the ends of the thumb and fingers joined.

            The Bell – Make the sign as if ringing.

            To ask the hour – Join the two little fingers.

            To answer – Show as many fingers as there are hours; for the quarter,

                                    With the forefinger of the right hand touch the first joint

                                    of the forefinger of the left hand; for the half hour, touch

                                    the first and second joints, and for the three quarters

                                    touch the three.

            To Beg Pardon – Incline the head and body with the eyes lowered and hands

                                           joined.

            To Indicate Silence – Make a cross on the lips with the right thumb. 

            To say that the silence Bell has rung – Make the sign of silence

                                                                                then of the ringing bell.

            Confession – Join the fingers of the right hand and strike the breast.

            Communion – Gently place the forefinger of the right hand on the end of

  the tongue.

            Holy Mass – Make the sign of the Cross, then join hands. 

            To say the Divine Office – Open the hands, as if you were opening a book.

            For the Office of Server – Make a motion as if you were carrying the

         Serving Board. 

 

 

Nice list. Thanks for posting it.

 

When I entered a Carmelite monastery we had these kinds of signs for customs, but some were a bit different then what this list says. The ones that come to mind the most is the sign for Reverend Mother which was to pat the top of your head. Mother Sub-Prioress is a little sign of the cross on your forehead. Confession was the same as the sign for mea culpa (closed fist tapping the breast), the sign for asking permission or being told to turn on or off a light looked like blowing out a candle. You would put your index finger to your mouth and make that blowing out look with your lips. The only sign the postulants and novices could make to each other without permission, and it was the sign I think was most used by every Sister was for may God reward you. This was just using the index finger to the Sister (as if pointing up to God.) There are more I could share but it would sound confusing trying to type them!

 

A couple of funny stories to share:  When I first entered, I don't remember if it was the first day, but I did an act of charity for a Sister (I think it was that I just opened the door for her) and she turned around and held up her index finger and smiled (the sign for may God reward you) I didn't know what this meant at the time so I looked up wondering what she was pointing at.

 

Another one, a postulant was sitting in the Mass choir and Reverend Mother came in and signed for her to turn on the lights, as that was where she sits, so Mother made the sign to her (with her index finger to her lips like blowing out a candle look) Sister thought Mother was blowing kisses at her and thought "how sweet" not getting that Mother kept signing for her to turn on the light. We all got a laugh at this one at recreation! There were many times that this kind of sign language was misinterpreted and caused some funny stories to be told at recreation! :)

 

edit: fixing all of my spelling mistakes! :)

Edited by VeniJesuAmorMi

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graciandelamadrededios

This list of signs is taken from a Pre-Vatican II Custom Book of a French Carmel.

 

Did you enter a Spanish line Carmel or French line Carmel?  That might account for the differences in signs.

 

Sorry, I need to edit as well! :saint2:

Edited by graciandelamadrededios

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VeniJesuAmorMi

This custom if taken from a Pre-Vatican II Custom Book.

 

Did you enter a Spanish line Carmel or French line Carmel?  That might account for the differences in signs.

 

Hello graciandelamadrededios. :wave:

 

This Carmel is more Mexican than Spanish and so some of the customs are different (no French customs.) 

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graciandelamadrededios

Hi VeniJesuAmorMi!

 

That explains it! I will post some more customs or excerpts from a Ceremonial.

 

 

 

 

 

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graciandelamadrededios

PRAYERS OF THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS

 

O my God, I wake on this break of Day to think of Thee, to love Thee and to serve Thee.  Behold me, O my God, Thy holy will shall be mine, I will observe it with all my heart the whole of this day.    

 

WHILE DRESSING     

 

Lord, prepare my soul interiorly while I prepare my body to go to Choir.  Clothe me, O my God, with the fervor of Thy Divine Spirit and with the precious gifts of Thy grace

 

PUTTING ON THE HABIT                                    

 

Clothe me, O my God, with Thy holy religious practices so that I may appear before Thee such as our habit and profession require.                                       

 

THE GIRDLE                                                           

 

Unite me to Thee, O my God in an     intimate union and attach me to Thee in the bonds of charity the links of which may never break   

 

THE TOQUE                                                                                  

 

Conside, O my soul, the whiteness of this toque represents the purity of conscience you should have in order to please God.  O Lord, grant me this grace, to die rather than to defile my soul by any sin. Purify it in Thy Precious Blood and grant me perfect contrition for my sins.       

 

THE VEIL                                                                                                        

                                                                 

This veil should teach me, Lord, that I should die to the world and to myself so as to live no longer but for Thee.  Grant me, therefore, the grace that nothing of this miserable life may remain in me, which prevents my union with Thee. 

 

THE SCAPULAR                                                                                                                       

 

Lord, grant me the grace to carry with joy and love Thy yoke and burden all the days of my life.

 

THE MANTLE

 

O spotless Lamb of God, adorn Me with the purity with which all those are adorned who follow Thee.

 

MORNING PRAYER

 

Live, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, now and at each hour! Into the wounds of Jesus and in the sweet hearts of Mary and Joseph I commend myself.  O my God, I offer Thee all the movements, my life, my work and my death.  In the name of Jesus and in the hearts of Mary and Saint Joseph I wish this day to commence, offer and terminate everything.  Lord I unite myself to all the Holy Communions, to all the holy Sacrifices of the Mass, to all the good works, and to all the indulgences of the Catholic Church in which I wish to participate and apply to the souls in Purgatory.

 

GOING OUT OF THE CELL

 

Do me the favor, my Lord and my God, that my heart remain in solitude, never losing Thy divine presence, but that I may ever remain united to Thee, my Way, my Truth and my Life.  All for Jesus and Mary! Judge me not, O my God according to the purity of Thy Eternal Son, but consult rather Thy mercy in my judgment and place the blood and death of Jesus Christ between Thee and Thy poor creature. Amen, sweet Jesus, Amen.

 

Source:

 

Carmel of St. Joseph

Seattle, Washington, USA

 

 

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios

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Chiquitunga

Regarding the unique custom of the nuns in Italy (& some of their foundations) pinning wooden crosses to their scapulars, here are some Italian Discalced Carmelite Nuns' documents from the 17th century. I skimmed through them a bit and tried to look out for anything regarding this practice, from the little I could understand, but didn't find anything yet.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=VYufxZZlp5sC&rdid=book-VYufxZZlp5sC&rdot=1

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carmelitane_scalze_Ordinario_o_ceremoniale_delle_m?id=GwJlJJdpZ0AC&feature=more_from_author

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carmelitane_scalze_Compendio_de_gli_essercizii_che?id=7sd1BylvbNYC&feature=more_from_author&rdid=book-7sd1BylvbNYC&rdot=1

 

Gracian, again, I'll let you know if I ever find anything on this. My guess is that perhaps it was something adopted when the Spanish and Italian OCDs split into two congregations in like 1600 (& didn't reunite until somewhat recently) But maybe as you mentioned once, it was something the Genoa nuns adopted at the beginning of their foundation in 1590 as a sign of their missionary spirit, since they were the first OCD Carmel founded outside Spain...  :detective:

 

 

 

 

 

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Chiquitunga

 

image011.jpg

 

I was thinking this picture of Blessed Elia proves that the wooden cross was also worn by Novices, until I looked it up and see she was in Carmel right after the time when temporary profession began in the Church (in 1917) so she may be in First Vows in this picture. http://ocarm.org/en/content/liturgy/bl-elia-st-clement-ocd-virgin-m  So there's a chance the wooden cross could be something given at First Profession. Anyway, just some thoughts.. 

 

Here is the part in the Constitutions about receiving the Habit - https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=VYufxZZlp5sC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA106 No mention of the cross put on the scapular. 

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graciandelamadrededios

Regarding the unique custom of the nuns in Italy (& some of their foundations) pinning wooden crosses to their scapulars, here are some Italian Discalced Carmelite Nuns' documents from the 17th century. I skimmed through them a bit and tried to look out for anything regarding this practice, from the little I could understand, but didn't find anything yet.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=VYufxZZlp5sC&rdid=book-VYufxZZlp5sC&rdot=1

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carmelitane_scalze_Ordinario_o_ceremoniale_delle_m?id=GwJlJJdpZ0AC&feature=more_from_author

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carmelitane_scalze_Compendio_de_gli_essercizii_che?id=7sd1BylvbNYC&feature=more_from_author&rdid=book-7sd1BylvbNYC&rdot=1

 

Gracian, again, I'll let you know if I ever find anything on this. My guess is that perhaps it was something adopted when the Spanish and Italian OCDs split into two congregations in like 1600 (& didn't reunite until somewhat recently) But maybe as you mentioned once, it was something the Genoa nuns adopted at the beginning of their foundation in 1590 as a sign of their missionary spirit, since they were the first OCD Carmel founded outside Spain...  :detective:

 

 

Hi Chiqui!

 

We can only speculate at this point. 

 

A friend told me that it could be a custom of the Mantuan Reform and the Nuns kept it as a sign that there Carmel has been reformed following the Constitutions of St. Teresa.

 

I also think, just like you, that the wooden cross worn outside the scapular was to signify that the Carmelite Nuns in Italy are under the Italian Congregation and are independent from the Spanish Congregation.

 

I consulted "Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced Carmelite" by Fr. Peter-Thomas Rohrback , OCD.  This is a great source of information on anything about Carmel.  This book was recommended to me by a Discalced Carmelite Extern Sister during one of my visits to Baguio Carmel.

 

While checking my copy of the book, I found the following:

 

“In 1590, Doria finally acquiesced to the demands of Marguerite Spinola, a wealthy Genoese widow then travelling to Spain, who had been asking him for a foundation of Discalced Nuns in Genoa, promising to subsidize it from her considerable fortune.  A group of nuns was sent from the convent of Malagon, arriving in Genoa in December of 1590.  After Doria’s death, the convent in Genoa became the mother foundation for a succession of other convents in Italy, and at Avignon in Frnace, and at Vienna in Austria.” Page 230

 

“When Peter of the Mother of God first came to Rome he discovered a group of nuns who called themselves Discalced Carmelites living in Pincian Hill.  These Nuns, whose only connection with the Order was an acquaintance with the writings of St. Teresa, has been founded by a Spanish Oratorian, Francis de Soto.  Peter took the disorganized community in hand, instructed it in the Carmelite traditions, and officially incorporated it into the Order.  The convent, which soon became one of the most celebrated in the Eternal City, was expertly guided by Peter, and later by Jerome Gracian during the years he spent in Rome following his release from captivity in North Africa.  The Roman convent and the Genoese convent were nucleaus for the expansion of the nuns in Italy and southern Europe.”  Page 232

 

“A number of convents were established in other parts of South America suring the seventeenth century, but these were usually founded by local bishops who gathered a group of pious women and instructed them in the Carmelite life without any direct foundation from another convent.  Thus Bogota in Colombia was founded in 1606 and Leiva in 1646; and a convent was established at Lima in Pero in 1643.  A number of foundations in other countries were made by the Lima convent – Quito in Ecuador in 1653, Sucre in Bolivia in 1665, Guatemala in 1677, and Ayacucho in Peru in 1683.  Most of these convents endured, and during the twentieth century they came under a more direct supervision of the Order.  On the other hand, the convents in Mexic, beginning with the first one at Pueblo in 1604, were founded by the Carmelite friars, who usually selected the candidates from among the Spanish colonists in New Spain.” Pages 271

 

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graciandelamadrededios

I was thinking this picture of Blessed Elia proves that the wooden cross was also worn by Novices, until I looked it up and see she was in Carmel right after the time when temporary profession began in the Church (in 1917) so she may be in First Vows in this picture. http://ocarm.org/en/content/liturgy/bl-elia-st-clement-ocd-virgin-m  So there's a chance the wooden cross could be something given at First Profession. Anyway, just some thoughts.. 

 

Here is the part in the Constitutions about receiving the Habit - https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=VYufxZZlp5sC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA106 No mention of the cross put on the scapular. 

 

 

Monastero+di+Legnano+fratie+monache.jpg

 

As you can see from the photos above, the novices are wearing the wooden crosses outside the scapulars just like the solemn professed nuns.  This photo is from Legnano Carmel which photos are all available in google.

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graciandelamadrededios

Photos of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Czech Republic - the nuns and novices are seen wearing wooden crosses outside their scapulars:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2-3-b.jpg

 

 

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graciandelamadrededios

Photos of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Czech Republic - the nuns and novices are seen wearing wooden crosses outside their scapulars:

 

3-4-b.jpg

 

 

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