In the beginning of summer, we received the beautiful encyclical of Pope Francis: "Laudato Si’". When we meditate and contemplate the landscape of our holiday or those of our everyday life illuminated by a bright sunshine and the joy of making new friends, “we can see God reflected in all that exists” and “our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them” (Laudato Si’ 87)
How not to turn to St. Mariam of Jesus Crucified One morning, the prioress of the Carmel finds Mariam ecstatic, sitting on a small bench in front of an open window. She said:
"Mother, everyone is sleeping. And God, so full of goodness, so great, so praiseworthy, is forgotten ...
Nobody thinks of him! ...
See, nature praises Him; the sky, the stars, the trees, the grass, everything praises Him
but man who knows his benefits, man who should be praising Him, is sleeping! ...
Let us go, let us go and wake the universe ..."
This contemplative contact with the creation Mariam has received it from the spirit of Carmel. St. Teresa already founded in the water, flowers, and wide horizons, a great help for prayer. Saint Jean de la Croix contemplating the starry night, exclaimed: "Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth ... and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me." It is no coincedence that the Pope dedicates the number 234 of his encyclical to Saint John of the Cross and the intimate connection that the saint recognized between God and all living beings. Here we are far, thank God, of presentations of the saint as someone hard, cold and far from everything created!
In this beginning of July, we are preparing ourselves for the great solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Elijah already contemplated her in the little cloud that rose from the sea. He could understand the creation “as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all, and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion" (Laudato Si’ 76). The Virgin of Carmel leads to the union of love with his Son with images of the nature transfigured to tell us that in it, through his Son, all creation and ourselves achieve perfect beauty:
“Let the desert and the dry lands be glad, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom;
like the asphodel, let it burst into flower, let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
then they will see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God”
We may ask especially to Our Lady of Mount Carmel “to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom”" and to take care “with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world” (Cf. Laudato Si’ 241) We then go into this "integral ecology” to the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux who invites us “not to miss out on a kind word, a smile or any small gesture which sows peace and friendship” (Cf. Laudato Si’ 230). Then the pilgrims, visitors, friends, neighbors we meet will praise the Creator so good!”
This month of July, a particularly Carmelite month, may be full of praise and love!