Sunday, April 30, 2006

Challenges for the TOC Philippines Ahead….

By Pat Holandez, TOCarm
Formator, Sikatuna, QC

Fr. Pete Manilag, O Carm, TOC National Spiritual Director, invited all Priors/Prioresses and Local Formation Director/Directress to a non-mandatory Recollection/Lectio Divina activity last April 26 at the Titus Brandsma Center. Nineteen (19) came including the National Prioress and NFC Director. NCR-Luzon communities that were represented were: Bulacan, Tondo, Sta. Ana, Cubao, Kamias, Project 7, Sikatuna, Makati, Bacoor and Pilar, Las Piñas.

Everything proceeded so smoothly and effortlessly under the expert guidance of Fr. Pete. It was obvious that a lot of preparation was done beforehand because he catered to our different senses: of sight – with his well-selected visual presentations; of taste – with a ready bottle of candies for everyone; of hearing – with the small "gong" that resonated a soothing, lingering sound and with the beautiful video recordings of "My Prayer" and "Healing". With keen planning, he led us to open ourselves to our experiences in our respective communities. He divided the whole proceedings into three movements:

The 1st movement was the opening rite – where we watched in the projector screen scenes of injustice, harassments and other cruelties inflicted on the marginalized against the backdrop of the song, "My Prayer." One or two scenes were taken from the movie, "Passion of the Christ."

This was followed by another visual presentation, this time, excerpts from the movie, "The Lion King." We were instructed to view these while keeping in mind the official roles we were occupying in our communities. These dealt with human brokenness, denial, indifference, anger and putting the blame on others. These were followed by scenes touching on acceptance of guilt and the process of repentance undergone by the prodigal son, in short, the inner journey towards healing of broken relationships.

Finally, we were shown pictures that reminded us that we were created in the image of God and that He lives in us. God is the loving Father who forgives and waits for our "homecoming" and accepts us back with open arms and restores us to our full former stature as children of God. We were challenged to let go, forgive and be forgiven and take our place in the circle of life where we are expected to respect passages, "as time is the eternal healer and God’s love is healing us."

It was remarkable how all these unfolded one by one through the use of appropriate, well-selected dialogues from "The Lion King." The pictures shown while the song "Healing" was being sung were equally very moving.

The second movement was the reading of a Gospel narrative taken from John 13:1-15. It was about the washing of the feet of the apostles by our Lord Jesus Christ. We were made to share the particular verses or words that struck us and to select scenes in the Bible that reminded us of the drama that took place in the reading.

The third movement was the personal sharing from each participant based on the chosen words or verses in the gospel that we have read. Our sharing dwelt on our experiences in our capacities as Prioresses or Formation Directors or more precisely how we handle rejections, hurts, and offenses while discharging our functions and responsibilities in the local communities. Interestingly, some talked about their family experiences instead, but they were not stopped from doing so because in the first movement, it was pointed out that, paradoxically, the family is the greatest source of both wholeness and brokenness.

Since everybody, without exception, had to give a sharing, a major portion of the morning was spent on this exercise.

In his synthesis of the whole exercise, he reminded us that "There is a need for an internal authentic spirit that will renew and sustain our reforming spirit. The challenge now is to continue to discern and deepen our relationship with God. It is only then that we can move together in the community. By sharing the experiences of God in our lives, we will be guided and be able to see where we are commissioned by Him."

One thing that Fr. Pete could not over-emphasize was the importance of discerning God’s will constantly and be purified continuously even if everything appears all right. "Maraming nabubuhay sa kaplastikan," Fr. Pete declared. " ‘Tama ako’ seems to be the attitude they take." This is a form of clinging, according to him, to a false god and this needs purification. "Even if we are near God, it does not mean that we are not capable of being tempted by the devil. Always discern and continue changing even if goodness or a transformation has been perceived. Our priority is to get in touch with our internal selves through prayer, reflection and contemplation."

The TOC is challenged to move on and to let go of biases and false gods in our lives. There is the challenge of how to continue the purification process in discerning our rule, our commitment and our responsibilities as Lay Carmelites.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


By Fr. Pete Manila Jr. O carm
National Spiritual Director

My first months as co-journeyer of the lay Carmelites broadened my mind on the meaning of commitment. I witnessed how these already committed people made another commitment in life or intensified their commitments to a new commitment as members of the community of lay Carmelites. I officiated in a number of rites of Reception and Profession of the different tertiary communities. I was able to visit Mayon in Bicol because of the Lay Carmelites. There is joy in my heart as I listened the prayerful moment of profession before God and the people. By the rite of profession, I believe that the Lord consecrates us for a very obvious reason: to transform us, to deify us. Personal holiness remains a divinely ordained goal of human life.

Newly professed lay Carmelites, I do pray for your perseverance and may you prolong the joyous moment of your profession, to ponder in your hearts the presence of God who called you to this life. There is joy in doing more sacrifices because of your option and commitment in life. To become member of this community is indeed a way of finding the meaning of life in the presence of the Lord in the alternate way of living in community and in service.

The joy truly radiates as you authentically make yourself available more for God through this community. The joy in you makes you young and energetic, makes you move further to reach to our brothers and sisters who are in need, makes you pray harder and makes you beautifully human as you relate to one another.

I imagined how the first Carmelites professed also before God that they have to live a way of life which they believe as way of being faithful to the love of God and being faithful to the Spirit that guided them to come together, to be able to risk their lives in the uncertainties of their way of life because deep in their hearts they were convinced that God is with them. In the spirit of our forefathers in Carmel, we also enter Carmel in the spirit of trust and confidence in the loving presence of God.

May we realize that entering Carmel is not simply a matter of entering a building or a group or community. There is uniqueness in Carmel that distinguishes us from other groups of organization. Our profession to be in Carmel is an act of actively entering a drama playing out deep within every human life. We are awakened in the midst of our love story with God. It is a story of the human spirit encountered by God’s Spirit. We are explorers of an inner place of intimacy with God.

We are entering into the cell of purification, opening our hearts and minds in the whole process of transformation. It is a process of unmasking us, of knowing who we truly are—we are God’s children. It is a process that our desires are transformed so that more and more our life as humans and as Christians is expressing desires which are in accord with God’s desire. God’s desire is to see us truly His children.

Entering into this story of our life in Carmel purifies us that we want what God wants. This is what holiness means…we are not building castles on the air, but we are living naturally and beautifully human.

By Nimfa C. Tangcuangco, TOCarm
National Prioress

Have you ever wondered why a baby cries as soon as he leaves his mother’s womb and enters this world? I guess it is symbolic of the suffering awaiting him to which he is being introduced to at the very outset of his birth.

Suffering, pain, trials and all sorts of tribulations is a necessary requirement in order to survive in this life. Certainly we cannot escape from this reality. As Christians and followers of Christ, suffering and the Cross take on a greater meaning and significance because it is something we can never and should never avoid. To follow Christ is to share in His redemptive suffering. Certainly we fully realize that now, don’t we? But how many of us had this kind of awareness when we were growing up? How many of us tried to inculcate this same value in our own children when they were growing up as well?

I think I had this awareness because my own mother taught this value to us at an early age. We were taught the value of mortification when we were kids; the value of restraining our wants and desires that were not essential in life; the value of simplicity in life; the value of honest and hard work, of toiling with our hands. "Beautiful hands are those that do" – this was fed into our young consciousness day in and day out. I remember an enlarged framed copy of the poem with the same title [it was given by my mother’s sister who was a Nun] hanging in the girl’s bedroom to constantly remind us that if we want beautiful hands we should know how to use them for productive work; idle hands are never considered beautiful no matter if they’re soft and dainty….

In this age of advanced technology where various electronic gadgets are in one’s easy reach and one can produce work at the touch of a button, young people of today have lost the love for hard work, sacrifice or any semblance of pain and suffering. The word ‘mortification’ has probably lost its meaning to this present generation. Young people have been accustomed to the "easy" life and the "instant" culture. And who’s partly to blame? I think it is us parents who failed to inculcate the value of suffering and sacrifice in our children when they were growing up. It is us parents who over-protect our children from pain and difficulties necessary to build character. It is the grandparents who are always perceived to be "spoilers" of their children’s children, trying so hard to indulge their every wants and desires, spoiling them with material things instead of teaching them the value of self-denial at a young age. Without being aware of it they are probably indirectly contributing in bringing up individuals who would be incapable of making sacrifices in their lives as adults, in short, persons who do not have the strength of character to cope up with problems, difficulties and sufferings later on in their adulthood.

My eldest daughter who is presently the Chief Resident (Internal Medicine) in one of the leading hospitals in Metro Manila confided to me her frustrations regarding some of the present crop of residents under her supervision. It is to be noted that from out of an original 12 resident trainees which started out more than two years ago there is only two of them from that batch left to finish the training program in Internal Medicine; all the rest have chosen to terminate their training during their first or second year of residency because they could not cope up with the pressures of the training program anymore.

"This generation is really turning out a new breed of resident doctors," she lamented to me a few weeks back. "They cannot seem to cope up with the pressures and the difficulties. They go on leave or absent from duty even when they are not supposed to. They lack the necessary commitment for the work. They have no desire to make sacrifices or to sacrifice their personal wants for a greater good which is to serve the interest of the patients they are attending to".

Although my daughter belongs to this same generation she speaks of, she may presumably be of a different mold having been brought up in an entirely different atmosphere. As a mother I never indulged my kids’ every wants and desires that were not essential to their well-being at certain points in their lives. I made sure however that everything they needed, they were provided for. As I place so much value on books and reading materials, I indulged them with all the children’s books and activity books they desired and needed. With regards to other non-essential things however I taught them the value of self-denial.

I remember, when my eldest daughter was six years old in prep school she had a friend and classmate whose mother (as I perceived her then) had been somewhat over-indulgent towards her little girl. My daughter would tell me each time her classmate had a new lunch box which was almost every month: "Mommy, Trisha has a new lunch box again," probably trying to implicitly remind me that her lunch box was the same old lunch box she had when she was four years old and hey, couldn’t I perhaps buy her a new one? I would assure her every time that her lunch box was still functioning as it should anyway and that I would buy her a new one when she really needed a replacement. And it was the same with shoes because Trisha had a closet-full of pairs in her room.

Because my eldest daughter had signified her desire to be a doctor as early as 4 years old (she never had any other career in mind while growing up other than being a doctor) I had to prepare her very early on for the rigorous medical study ahead of her. I had to properly make sure she developed a study and reading habit at a very young age.

I never had to hire tutors for my children. I tutored them myself and I must admit I was rather a very strict tutor. I decided to be a full time mother and left my office job (when my youngest was a year old) totally behind me to be able to undertake this. I continued to tutor and to closely monitor their studies until they were in 2nd grade. In the succeeding grade levels I had withdrawn little by little from tutoring them because by that time they already developed a study habit requiring minimal supervision from me. By the time they were in 5th grade they were entirely on their own. I never had to worry about their grades in school from thereon.

Very recently my youngest daughter (now 25 years old) and I were discussing about the deprivations we experienced when we were growing up and she exclaimed in remembrance:

"Hey, yeah! I was a deprived kid, Mom. Did you realize that? I remember I had wanted so much for you to buy me those big crayolas but you kept saying ‘no, you make do with your present set of crayons.’ And I had always wanted so badly a set of those Play Doh things like the ones my other classmates had but you kept buying me those cheap molding clays. Aah! That was mean. You were a mean Mommy", she recalled with amusement.

And I guess this ‘mean-mommy-streak’ in me resurfaces each time I, as National Prioress, try to implement the rules on attendance very strictly refusing to make compromises because I would want to instill the value of self-discipline and of commitment among the members perhaps in the same way that I tried to instill the same values in my own children when they were growing up.
Nowadays I am very lenient with them because I know they have already imbibed the value of self-regulation as adults. I don’t worry much about them straying from the path of righteousness because of the value formation I gave them when they were young children. In the same way I would probably turn very lenient in the years to come just as soon as the whole TOC membership has undergone complete re-formation. After all what is there to be strict about when each and every TOC has learned to follow the rules dutifully at their own initiative without having to be reminded every time?

I believe it was those little deprivations in their young life (they had to answer the children’s activity books that I bought for them or do their school assignments first before they could watch TV or play outdoors), those opportunities at self-renunciations that certainly built their character and strengthened them to bear with frustrations and disappointments later on in their growing-up years and into adulthood. It was those ‘little pin pricks’ they have experienced early on that is helping them cope up with difficulties and hardships as they presently go through life in this world. Indeed "character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."2
Suffering and the Cross are very essential ingredients to live a genuine Carmelite life or genuine life in allegiance with Christ. Suffering builds our character and strengthens our faith in God. "Suffering breeds character, and character breeds faith, and in the end faith will prevail."3 We ought to always welcome every opportunity to suffer with Christ and to share in His redemptive suffering for others because we shall only be "made perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10)

And yet (again, may I ask!) how many of us truly appreciates the value of sacrificing our time, talent and treasures for the good of the Order? How many of us willingly & joyfully attend community meetings even when we would prefer to be at the mall or elsewhere? How many of us eagerly reads formation materials without complaints? How many of us follow directives obediently no matter how difficult it is for us? How many of us are truly willing to undergo the difficulties for the Third Order of Carmel?

The Cross. Suffering. The Dark Nights. The Desert. The Mount. These are images and symbols closely associated with Carmelite Spirituality. We do away with them and we do away with Carmel altogether….

1 Jesse Jackson
2 Helen Keller
3 Jesse Jackson, 1988 Democratic National Convention Address


By Joe Generoso III
NFC Director

Last March 27, Pope Benedict XVI told Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (our recently elevated Cardinal), before he left Vatican, that the Philippines would play an important role in Asia in the next years. The Pope told this to him not once, but twice.

And just a month before that (prior his elevation as Cardinal last Feb. 22), during an interview with CNS (Catholic News Service) in Vatican, Archbishop Frank Cardinal Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, announced that Pope Benedict XVI is seeking to revitalize the faith life of the church, a "spiritual reform" that must begin with the world’s men and women religious. He spoke about the challenges facing religious life and the directions being set under Pope Benedict. Incidentally, the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is the person who approves and confirms the TOC Rule of Life.

Since the Second Vatican Council, continued Cardinal Rode, some orders have abandoned their traditional fields of apostolate, only to lose themselves in uselessness or unproductive activities. The result, according to him is stagnation.

In Canada, for example, he said it is "mathematically certain" that, if things do not change, by the year 2040 the majority of existing religious congregations will disappear. However, he added that Asia has enjoyed a boom in vocations (up about 40 percent in recent years), and similarly, Africa has witnessed a tremendous increase in religious vocations except that some problems in the structure of formation and programs of study were encountered.

According to Cardinal Rode, one positive sign that’s receiving considerable Vatican attention is the growth of lay movements, many of which are tied to religious orders for their spiritual formation. "Throughout the history of the church, religious orders and congregations were always the ones pushing forward, bringing dynamism and a call for holiness. They were always on the front lines," declared Cardinal Rode, a 71 year old Slovenian, and a member of the Vincentian order.

Now, therefore, as contemplatives, we should consider these developments as providential and not just coincidental. We should reflect on what God’s message to us is; what is He trying to tell us as Lay Carmelites in the Philippines? What should our role in Asia be?

Whatever this role may be, are we prepared to assume it? Let us examine ourselves. What sort of spiritual preparation should we undertake to be effective in our role? I guess it is in this context we should view the statement of Pope Benedict when he says "spiritual reform".
When we speak of reforms, we are always at the forefront of them. We started ours many years ago and we are still at it. Though a little delayed, we are now seeing some results - members have begun to realize the real purpose of joining the Third Order and some of those who joined for the wrong reason have left. Those who joined for the right reason have started to seriously discern their vocation before applying to the next level of formation and they are starting to learn the real implications of being a final professed.

When Pope Benedict said, "the Philippines will play an important role in Asia in the next years", he did not give any specific time frame. It may happen next year, or it may happen three or four years from now. What is more important is, when that time finally comes will we, the Lay Carmelites in the Philippines, be ready to play that role of being "on the front lines, pushing forward, bringing dynamism and a call for holiness?"

Held at the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish,
Pilar Village, Las Pińas City on April 8, 2006

"What is your name?"

"What do you ask of the members of the Order here present?"

"I will render my promises to the Lord in the sight of His people within the walls of the house of God."

"May Jesus Christ, light of the world, be your guide and your great reward. May He who has brought you into the midst of us also bring you unto perfection..."

The NCR-NORTH Regional Council held its first Regional Reception, Temporary Profession and Hermitage Rites on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25, 2006 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Cubao, Quezon City. The Eucharistic Celebration was officiated by the National Spiritual Director, Fr. Pedro Manilag, Jr., O Carm. The National Prioress was not able to come. She was admitted at The Medical City due to severe abdominal pain where she underwent a series of medical procedures. All results were normal, thanks to prayers offered for her. In her absence, Natividad Santos, Regional Coordinator for NCR-North assisted the National Spiritual Director during the rites. Joe Generoso, NFC Director graced the occasion and was like a "Carmel Big Brother" to the "CBB community mates".

The Cathedral was decorated for the 11 am wedding so the Eucharistic Celebration and the Reception/Profession Rites started at 9 am. Elvie de Dios, Regional Secretary prepared the booklets for the Eucharistic Celebration and the Rites. The processional march included the candidates for the said Rites and the National Officers. Offerors were the Regional Coordinator and the Local Prioresses – Mercy Castro (Immaculate Conception Community, Cubao), Trudy Mencias (Holy Family Community, Kamias), Sally Castro (Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Project 4) and Rosmel Chavez (Tanay Community.) The choir was composed of members from Cubao and Project 4.
Candidates for Hermitage

The Local Prioresses as Offerors

Received into the Novitiate were Tina Guillerme, Rodolfo Ilo and Jerome Figueroa, all from the Immaculate Conception Community. Those who made their temporary profession were Heidi Bobis and Crisanta Coloma both from the Holy Family Community and Rossana Garcia from the Tanay Community. Hermitage Rites were conferred on Nena Concepcion (Project 4) and Carmen Santos/Estelita Songcog (Project 7).

A simple lunch was served at the Parish Social Hall. The success of this regional activity may be attributed to the coordinated efforts of the Immaculate Conception TOC Community and especially to Winda Poblacion, Cubao Formation Directress, Elvie de Dios, Regional Secretary and Sally Castro, Prioress of Project 4 TOCC. Almost all members of the region were in attendance except those from the Divine Mercy TOC Community, Sikatuna, Quezon City.

Received into the Novitiate

By Ruel Santos, TOCarm
Regional Coordinator for Bulacan

After the split of the Guiguinto Community and the foundation of the Pulong Buhangin TOC community last year, two (2) more communities were formed in the Bulacan Region.

On February 19, 2006, after obtaining an approval for the foundation of a TOC Community from Msgr. Flint Capiral, parish priest of the Barasoain Church, five (5) TOCs from the Malolos community transferred to the new foundation. They were later followed by another four (4) members from the same community to become the founders of the "St. Teresa of Jesus TOC Community." These were Menchie Martinez (Prioress), Baby Malana (Councilor), Susan Gregorio (Treasurer), Isabelita Tiongson, Ysabel Tecson, Merceditas Cruz, Raquel Ysais, Pol Gregorio (Secretary), and Ruel Santos (Formator). This new community meets every 3rd Sunday of the month at the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Barasoain, Malolos, Bulacan.

In the same manner, on March 25, 2006, the TOC community of St. John the Baptist in Calumpit was split into two which gave birth to "St. Therese of the Child Jesus TOC Community" situated at the far-flung yet beautiful parish of St. Helena in Hagonoy. Fr. Emai Estrella, parish priest, was very supportive of this foundation. On the said date, the whole community of Calumpit came to Hagonoy to celebrate their last community meeting as one community and to inaugurate the foundation of this new fraternity. It was also on this day that election of the community officers was held under the supervision of the Regional Secretariat. The election gave birth to the following officers of this community: Priscilla Jose (Prioress), Efren Lopez (Councilor), Cristeta Tolentino (Secretary), and Paulina Calanoc (Treasurer). The formation of the new community will still be handled by the Regional Secretariat. The foundation of this new community was also graced by the presence of prospective aspirants.

By Natividad Santos, TOCarm
Regional Coordinator for NCR-North

For years, a man searched for the secret of achievement and success in life. In his dream, a sage appeared to him with the secret. The sage said, "Stretch out your hand and reach what you can". The man answered, "No, it can not be that simple". The sage said gently, "You are right. This is it. Stretch out your hand and reach what you can not". That is vision.

On March 11, 2006, Saturday, the TOC national leadership called for a whole day General Assembly for NCR-LUZON [mandatory for all Local Heads and Formation Directors/Directresses] to help the local communities create a better future. The National Council had wanted to know what their present inadequacies are and what have been done half-heartedly in order to focus all energies towards the fulfillment of an authentic vocation. The session would hopefully bring out knowledge of what yet are needed which lay Carmelites do not possess. That too, is vision.

That same vision must be the vision of all of us to enable us to stop anything that hinders our spiritual growth and to begin something that will help us soar with eagle’s wings to the mountain of holiness. We all desire esteem and praise, not of the world but of God. Do we all have a vision of what we truly need to satisfy that desire? This is what counts most - we must know where we are going. We must be "clothed with humility" to be brutally honest and conscious of where we are right now. Instead of being satisfied with what is now, our sights must be focused on what can be.

The session started with the assessment of how much we know our Rule of Life and Formation modules, directives and guidelines. They are the compass that chart our way. Like seafarers in the vast seas, we make use of them as guides to reach our destiny. If they are fully known and thoroughly understood, there would be no room for questions, complaints, doubts, fears and disobedience. The Roman philosopher Seneca said, "When we do not know to what harbor we are going, no wind is the right wind".

Survey questions were distributed. I myself found out that I could not perfectly answer them. When the correct answers were given out, it became the moment of truth for all of us. How many of us know them and apply them to our lives? How many of us know only half-truths? It revealed what we are and what we are not, what we know and what we do not know.

The session made me realize the urgent need to develop what I am and to stop pretending to be what I am not. For all of us, this was a lesson on humility. The Rule of St. Benedict states that the second element of humility is the acceptance that God’s will for us, may be at first seen as difficult to follow, will always be for our own good in the end. And what is His will for us lay Carmelites? It is "studiousness or the right effort after knowledge" as expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in His "Summa Theologica". Otherwise, he could easily accuse us of ignorance, which he considers a "sin when it is man’s fault because it pertains to knowledge he is under obligation."

Are we not obliged to know our Rule by heart?. In our excitement during our reception, we might have not been aware that we asked to be accepted and to share with others a way of following Christ more closely according to our Rule of Life. When we made our temporary profession, we promised to observe the Rule. Were we excited again? Have we been formed? During our final profession, we promised obedience to the Rule "at the altar of the Lord in the sight of His people within the walls of the house of God". Were we still excited? Have we not mastered our feelings? Do we really know the whole Rule? If not, is this clear negligence which is defined by St. Thomas as lack of due and proper care in the acquisition of knowledge?

Another element of humility is the ability to recognize that others may know just as well or even better, what ought to be done in a given situation and to accept directions from those who know. Some of us may be lacking this ability. Could it be the reason why some of us have been always quick to question directives from our superiors or to argue uncontrollably or to make compromises out of pity or shame or to complain of anything?

It really takes humility to study thoroughly and be formed. It takes humility to accept that others know better and are capable of giving directions. Humility is needed to bow to the God within others.
At the latter part of the session, questions were entertained. People who ask questions are admirable people. Sad to say, the same people asked questions. How about the others? Is everything clear to them? Sr. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine sister said that "superficial people are those who simply go along without question in the world – ask nothing, troubled by nothing, examining nothing. Whatever people around them do, they do too." That is a sad and plastic life – routine and comfortable maybe, but still sad.

On my way home that very day, I got some form of inspiration - to form resolutions to make myself a formed lay Carmelite. These resolutions have been derived from truthful answers to many fundamental questions. Why was I not able to perfectly answer the survey questions? Have I pursued all the facts in the Rule and Formation modules? Have I realized that when I find myself under the power of my superior, it may not be to my liking and everything would not be easy; that others will do things differently and that it is another lesson in the lay Carmelite life to be learned? Have I realized that obedience is easy if I thoroughly know and fully understand the Rule? Am I being self-righteous that if I say so, it must be so and if I want it, I ought to have it? Can I stop complaining and start obeying? Have I realized that when I try to be when I am not, I become unhappy? Do I do all to become an authentic lay Carmelite?

Let us all have a vision that will make life better for all lay Carmelites. Instead of living flatfooted day by day, doing what must be done and resenting every step, let us fly like an eagle, regarding every moment a good moment and a step towards our goal of perfection. "As the Father is perfect, you must be perfect".