Thank you to all who came for the cleanup. It was a terrific effort and I believe may mark one of our most productive cleanups in the 20 years we have been coming to the Carmelite Monastery to do so.
Unlike some years past our numbers were significantly up this year. The output reminded me of what 300 Spartans did at Thermopylae; face a great challenge and with work and determination achieve. We had 32 people on the Sign Up sheet.
United in faith to perform corporal works of mercy is an honorable and ancient Catholic custom. Each one of you should feel very proud of the contribution you made and I want to thank you for giving up your Saturday to beautify the Carmel Garden for the sisters.
The Carmelite sisters are one our best weapons in the spiritual warfare raging all around us every hour of the day. My own life and the lives of my children were changed as a result of us finding Carmel. As the former prioress said to me one time, “No one comes to Carmel by accident, Michael”. In this she meant Our Lady calls us to Carmel. And we know why. It is because she wants us to get us to Heaven.
In speaking to Mother Teresa at the end of the day she could not stop smiling as she surveyed all that had been done. You all made her day and that of her sisters nicer. As for us, thank God for Advil and cold beer.
The mausoleum that was cleaned contains the bodies of the of original sisters who began the Carmel. Sr. Stanislaw of the Blessed Sacrament is an incorruptible. This means that the natural decomposition process which will turn all of us eventually to dust has, in her case, been suspended–it is a super-natural occurrence.
So for anyone who was engaged in cleaning the mausoleum know you came very close to a real saint. Many of the other sisters who have found perpetual rest, both in the crypt and in the ground, lived equally heroic lives of self-denial. They too could be incorrupt.
Mother Barbara was the most recent sister to die. She was a doll. She told me she came to Carmel after discerning her vocation at 17. She came from Frackville, PA smack dab in the middle of the Anthracite Coal region of Upstate PA (Hard Coal).
She said Broad Street was a dirt road at the time and everything around the Carmel was beautiful trees and farms in much the same character as the Garden. The sisters procured local hay and she recalled one of the first things she did was to stuff her mattress with it. The mattress was then laid on a rope net fastened by weaving rope in and out of holes drilled through the side rails, head, and foot board. This practice was maintained until 15 or so years ago when good bedding hay became near impossible to obtain locally. The sisters moved to sleeping on the floor.
I am hoping when I die Mother Barbara is nearest to Saint Peter. She will certainly plead my case but not just mine but all of our cases for there are no secrets in Heaven and well for she knows what you did this past Saturday. She is a prominent member of the Celestial Court and besides no one refuses Mother Barbara anything.