PaulaOkeefe Blog Site

Life is a journey and for me it is like climbing a mountain. As you get closer to the top, you are closer to heaven. Whether you are on a mountain with much glory or on the mountain of suffering, you journey.....and for believers like me the journey is to a place we call heaven.
We have many other small journeys that all belong in our life for some reason and even if it seems like some stuff doesn't belong, perhaps we can learn something from it. When others treat us poorly, we can turn the other cheek and learn how to treat others in a kinder way than we might have experienced. Anyway, before I ramble on too much, I will say see you blogging.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saint John of the Cross

Whispers of God

noise. We need to allow ourselves to experience internal quiet and peace that comes from being in the Presence of God. This is the simple message of today's reading.  God is present for each of us.  He speaks to each of us.  We just need to do a better job listening to Him.


After the earthquake there was fire-but God was not in the fire.  After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.  When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. 
The reading today help us recognize the gifts we have been.  I am not sure who wrote this, but am sharing it anyway. Rest assured it was not me, but it is so lovely, I am sharing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three Signs of Being in the Night, by Fr J. Chalmers

St. John of the Cross gives three signs for discerning whether God is in fact leading someone into the dark night towards contemplation.  

According to the work called "The Dark Night", these 3 signs are:
1. These people do not get consolation or satisfaction from the things of God, nor do they get anything out of  anything else.
2.  The person wants to pray but cannot.  There is a painful sense of not serving God and turning back because of this distaste for the things of God.  This dryness does not come from laxity for a lukewarm  person does not care much for the things of God.

3.  The 3rd sign for the discernment of this night of the senses is the powerlessness, in spite of one's  efforts,  to meditate and make use of the imagination, as was one's previous custom.

God come as darkness and dryness and the divine presence is more commonly experienced as absence.  so consolations become a thing of the past and there is a pervasive sense of dryness in prayer and in daily life.  The reason for this is that God is beginning to change my motivation.  when we have no satisfaction in prayer, we are still asked to be faithful to prayer and when there is no more satisfaction in our good deeds, we are asked to continue doing them.


1.  Are you experiencing darkness or dryness usually when you pray?

2.  If you answer to number 1 is yes, you must check your spiritual pulse: Are you praying regularly?  In your prayer do you try to listen to God?  Are you holding on to some sin?  Are you holding on  to some  attachment of which you know you are being called to let go?  Put right whatever you feel is wrong.

3.  If your dryness and darkness persists when you pray after you have tried your best to let go of  anything that may be impeding your relationship with God,  just wait patiently in the darkness


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Carmelite stuff

Well, I hoped to keep this blog up weekly, but looks like I am slipping. So, I will simply like to dedicate this blog to Our Trinitarian God, Our dear Mother, St Joseph, all the saints with special attention to St Therese, St Teresa, St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein & all the Carmelite saints and in a special way to St Anthony, St. Ann and St Pio.  Geesh, I could go on, but will stop here and pray they will help keep me on focus to keep up this blog.  Even if nobody reads it, it is a great way to help me focus, learn Carmelite spirituality and grow in matters of heart and soul. God bless you all and hold you in the palm of HIS HAND!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The " wound of love" is the way God touches us throughout life in order to waken us up to the fact that there is more to life.  God is the only sufficient food for our infinite desires because only god is infinite.  When we turn towards this light, or let God into our lives, our other loves are relativized and sometime we can feel that w have entered into a dark night because we see the bankrupcy of our normal way of loving and we feel touched by a deeper love.  The night is the stage of moving from one way of loving to the other.  We begin to love according to the logic of God's love, with no motive.  During the night "lesser gods" begin to fall from their pedestals and die.
Johon of the Cross writes about what happens to the human being who discovers the reality of being unconditionnally and boundlessly loved by God.  In order to receive this love we must let go of our own ways of grasping to "unknowing."

John of the Cross is a guide for the pilgrim.  He takes readers into the wilderness where the encounter with God can take place.  Our hearts can be lead astray by many disordered desires.  John's poem tell the story of love purified, healed and reoriented.  Only God can finally accomplish this purification.

The night of sense allows the "false god" from whom we have sought the happiness that can only come from God alone, to die as a God substitute.  The night of spirit is when instead of having made something finite into god, the person has tried to make God finite.

Look over you life and try to remember when you were "touched by love", when God helped you look beyond the externals and see that there was more to life.

Do You have any "false gods" or "lesser gods", that is people, places or things from which you seek happiness that only God can give?

"The heart becomes free only by accepting the invitation of a deeper love."  Does that mean anything to you?

Stanzas Of The Soul
1. One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.
2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! -
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.
3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.
4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.
5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.
6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.
7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.
8. I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

Spirituality and Gods Love

Well, just go back from Carmelite retreat, entitled... "Wounded by Love."  It was just wonderful and in case you do not know, it was about St John Of the Cross and his 2 poems, which express Gods love and how he reaches us in the Darkness, Dark Night of the Soul.    The problem is that the enormity of the light that comes from the Lord often blinds us as we are not ready to receive the fullness of HIS gift, Union with Him......the Beatific Vision........Marriage....Oneness or however you want to word having complete union with Our Awesome God.  I am not good writing on this, but will share online the highlights of the retreat, as explained  and outlined by Fr. Joseph Chalmers, O.C.(he gave me permission to post his hand-outs on my blog).  They come with some self-searching questions and I hope some of you will be prompted to go deeper into your relationship with the Lord from this.  I will say it is a journey, see that mountain top, you do not get there be patient with yourself and trust that God will take you where you need to be.
Shalom and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

St Pio and His Spiritual Children.

May we always remember and take comfort in this promise from Padre Pio. When Padre Pio spoke of his devotion to his spiritual children, he said that he keeps the souls entrusted to him on his shoulder, and never forsakes them. It is believed that Padre Pio during his life on earth, offered up the slicing pain of his shoulder aches for his spiritual children.
Padre Pio never neglects anyone who has prayed to him. Just because it had slipped our mind to pray to him - it didn't mean that Padre Pio would cease to intercede for us. Padre Pio puts his spiritual children on his shoulder – the very place where he felt the most agony. This shows the love and importance Padre Pio gives his spiritual children, he would offer up his greatest physical trial for the souls that are his children in spirit.