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Wisdom For Families Struggling in Stressful Situations

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Ask a Carmelite Sister…

Dear Sister,

I heard that Mother Luisita, your foundress, wrote letters of spiritual direction in code during the religious persecution in Mexico. Have they been decoded? If so, does she have any spiritual direction for families, helping them stay close to God especially during hard and stressful times? That is what my family is experiencing now, and we are looking for sound, practical advice.

Please, if you have anything, can you put it in your next “Ask a Carmelite Sister” post? I know many Catholic families who would appreciate this. Thank you very much.

Dear Friend

Thank you for your most timely question and I’m sure a lot of people would also be interested.

Mother Luisita lived at a time when it was against the law to practice the Catholic religion. Churches were boarded shut by the government. Tabernacles were emptied. Spies lurked on street corners to apprehend priests, religious sisters, lay people – anyone who still believed in God.

One newly beatified priest who was killed during that persecution was Blessed Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest who was martyred along with his two brothers. It was because of this religious persecution, that our founding sisters were forced to remove their religious habits, wear regular street clothes, and go into hiding. They hid with courageous Catholic families who took a sister into their home, even though it meant death if they were ever discovered.

Mother Luisita wrote the following during that time.

Do You Want God To Communicate with You?
A letter from Mother Luisita (de-coded)

My beloved child,

Do you want Our Lord to communicate with you? Then try to do the following:

* Preserve unity and peace with everyone who lives under the same roof.
* Try to have habitual recollection by thinking of God.
* Familiarize yourself with some little short prayer with which you invite Jesus to come into your heart.
* Make it a point to entertain yourself with things that pertain to God.
* Keep yourself in healthy fear, guarding the doors of your senses, being careful what you let come in.
* Ask for grace to know and overcome the obstacles that oppose a greater union with God.

Here are the counsels I give you:

* Do everything for God our Lord, seeing Him in the person of the poor and the sick and frequently offer Him your worries.
* Try to teach more with your example than with words, even though words are also necessary.
* Never make any decision when you are disturbed, but wait until your soul is in peace.
* Not to expect perfection in people because we live falling down and standing up.
* None of us is perfect, so don’t get scandalized at the sight of somebody else’s faults. We will only be perfect in heaven.
* Don’t get discouraged when greater difficulties come. Learn to suffer much, much for God.
* Humble yourself when humiliations come, and be happy that God our Lord is pleased with you, even though there are reasons for humiliations in the eyes of others.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be your love, your guide, and your consolation.

Mother Luisita

You can find more of Mother Luisita’s letters of spiritual direction (which can be printed) at: http://www.carmelitesistersocd.com/Foundress/MothersHeart.asp.

Thank you for your question and until next time,

Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.


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