Taking time off from our regular routine and getting away to specifically ponder and pray features prominently in growing in the interior life of the spiritual journey. The Advent season is a perfect time for all to detach from the world and focus on the life of Christ in our soul. Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen said “The Spirit of the Advent liturgy, commemorating the age-long expectation of the Redeemer, will prepare us to celebrate the mystery of the Word made flesh by arousing in each of us an intimate, personal expectation of the renewed coming of Christ to our soul. This coming is accomplished by grace; to the degree in which grace develops and matures in us, it becomes more copious, more penetrating, until it transforms the soul into an alter Christus.” Co-host Mark Danis is interviewed in this program regarding his recent visit for a week with our Discalced Carmelite Friars. He shares some of his thoughts and experiences. We can profit from his sharing and get more inspired to dedicate this Advent season to a deeper preparation for the coming of Christ into our souls in a more intimate way than ever before. Will we make room in the “inn” of our souls for Christ to come in?
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Book: “Divine Intimacy” by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD, Advent Week One; Tan Books.
Frances and Mark continue their conversation about Mark’s recent trip to Spain. While there he was able to visit some of the most important sites for the founding of the Discalced Carmelite Order. Frances continues this interview by asking Mark what he read while he was on the trip and how that might have both prepared him and affected him while visiting this important locations. Frances draws out some of the most important events from the trip and how those contributed to the graces Mark received while on the trip. They also discuss the conferences provide by the Carmelite Friars who were on the pilgrimage with them. Finally, as this program originally aired on Veterans Day, Mark takes the opportunity to discuss a chance encounter with a young soldier who the pilgrims met on their return flight to the US. He also makes a point about our need to lift up our Veterans in this country as they face so many challenges today.
During this spirited conversation, France turns the mike on Mark and interviews him about his recent pilgrimage to Spain. While there Mark was able to visit many of the most important sites associated with the Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross’ Reform of the Carmelite Order. He began the trip in Avila where the pilgrims spent most of the 11 days. While there they also traveled to Alba de Tomas where St. Teresa is buried, and Segovia where St. John’s tomb is located. They also visited the birth place of John and the location for the original Friar foundation in Durelo. Finally, they got to visit and stay in the famous city of Toledo, where Mark share a special moment he had at the Carmel in Toldeo. If you have been to Spain before, of even if you have not, you will enjoy listening to this colorful conversation about the most important locations for the beginning of the the ‘Reformed,’ Discalced Carmelite Order.
What is the difference between a Pilgrimage and a Retreat? What are the elements that make up either a successful Pilgrimage or a successful Retreat? In this informative program Mark and Frances draw a clear distinction between these two different journey’s of seeking God. They discuss the motivations that might be behind the decision to go on Pilgrimage or Retreat, and how someone might best prepare for either one. They also discuss the benefits one might expect to receive from undertaking either of these efforts to seek out a more intimate relationship with God. Finally, in the case of the Retreat, Mark and Frances discuss the Israelite journey into the desert, and Christ own desert experience following His baptism, as models of how one might both prepare for, and hope to get the most out of a retreat experience.