Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meet the Author- Pat Tresselle, OCDS

Pat Tresselle, OCDS is currently a member of the Eugene Oregon Maria Regina Secular Carmelite Community.

She originally came from the Redlands California OCDS community, where she had entered into formation in 1974 and made her vows in 1983. She held the positions of treasurer and secretary before becoming formation director of that community from 1979 to 2002.

In 2003 she moved to Roseburg, Oregon with her husband and transferred to the Eugene, Oregon community. It was during this time that she began putting together the material she wrote as formation director (along with other articles she wrote– two of which were published in the Carmelite Digest.)

Pat's book, Insights from Carmel, is coming soon from Carmel Heart Media!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Feast Day of the Amazing Prophet Elijah, Father of Carmel!

"In Elijah, we see the solitary prophet who nurtured his thirst for the one and only God, and lived in his presence. He is the contemplative, burning with passionate love for the Absolute who is God, "his word flaring like a torch.” He is the mystic who, after a long and wearisome journey, learned to read the new signs of God's presence. He is the prophet who became involved in the lives of the people, and who, by battling against false idols, brought them back to faithfulness to their Covenant with the One God. He is the prophet who was in solidarity with the poor and the forgotten, and who defended those who endured violence and injustice. 

From Elijah, Carmelites learn to be people of the desert, with heart undivided, standing before God and entirely dedicated to his service, uncompromising in the choice to serve God's cause, aflame with a passionate love for God. Like Elijah, they believe in God and allow themselves to be led by the Spirit and by the Word that has taken root in their hearts, in order to bear witness to the divine presence in the world, allowing God to be truly God in their lives. Finally, in Elijah they see, one who belonged to a school of prophets and knew what it was to live in community; and with Elijah they learn to be channels of God's tender love for the poor and the humble."

From the Carmelite Consitutions, 1995.

O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, You alone are God.
Your servant Elijah lived in your presence and acted on your Word. Help us to drink from the well of his wisdom.
Shelter us in Cherith, and lead us to Carmel, luring our hearts away from all false gods. 
Open our eyes to the needs of those suffering. Open our mouths to speak comfort and justice. Open our hearts to your voice in the silence. 
Send angels to strengthen us. Send the rain of your grace to quench our thirst. Let us break bread with the starving and bring life to places of death and despair. Send us as prophets to herald your Gospel.
Allow us to rise to you in paradise.
Those who met your son Jesus saw in him
the spirit of Elijah. May Elijah lead us to your son.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(Photos are from the Shrine to St. Elijah at Mount Carmel, Israel. The first is from the cave and the second is the view from above. Photos are from our formation director from her pilgrimage.)

St. Elijah's message is deeply meaningful to me because it is through him I turned my heart back to the Lord when I felt lost and forgotten. Led by his spirit, I became infused with ever-growing zeal and faithfulness. I am in love with this very ancient and beautiful tradition.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Great New Media on the Horizon

Well, I'm having a busy week, putting together new inspirational media! 
Here's the progress I've made since my last post-

Borderline and Beyond App
I'm working with a developer. For those familiar, the RAQ and BSI tests are included and they self-score! The entire e-book for Borderline and Beyond is in the app. There is an "emotional crisis" guide, so the user can click on a feeling state and receive quick practical tips from the Borderline and Beyond book about how to cope. The app contains these topics to tap on- Emotional Overwhelm, Panic, Grief, Traumatic Memories, Obsessive Thoughts, Hurt and Sad. And there's more! Well, that hasn't been developed yet, but it is coming and it will be a great surprise!

Insights from Carmel- Pat Tresselle, OCDS
This book is in the editing phase. I have an assistant editor now, who is so outstanding I'm freed up to work on other things, such as graphic design and formatting for this book-

Autism, The Dogs I Love and Me- Christopher and George Dean
This children's picture's book is full of graphic art design and stories from Christopher's life, from birth to middle school. It is a joy to produce. I may provide some "sneak peaks" in further blogs.

And, in other news...
As usual, my books are for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. There is also a kindle edition on Amazon and my ebook is coming soon to the Apple store. Look for it there!

I'll keep you all updated!
As always, let me know if you'd like to pre-order or be notified via email as books are released.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coming soon- Insights from Carmel by Patricia Tresselle, OCDS

Patricia Tresselle, OCDS was the formation director for Secular Carmelite classes from approximately 1979 to 1999. During that time, Pat wrote many soul-stirring articles for use with formation.

Non-Carmelites will now have the rare opportunity to study some of the OCDS formation process and learn about the Carmelite way of life. Pat Tresselle teaches types of prayer and stages in the formation of prayer life, and she also shares insights she has had through the years about the teachings of various Carmelite saints and reflections on their literary works.

Pat is also a friend who served as my mentor during my year as an OCDS aspirant. As soon I met Pat, I experienced her natural joy and playfulness, and I knew she was someone I wanted to get to know. She is an incredibly insightful person and I have enjoyed her thoughts and reflections, especially in our lectio divina. For all these reasons and more, I am excited to be publishing her book, which will be a great resource to ordinary people who are searching for spiritual development, Carmelites and people discerning the call to Carmel.

Insights from Carmel is coming soon. If you would like to be notified when the title is released, please email laura@carmelheart.com.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Creativeness of Death

I rarely dream, but last night I dreamt that I was worried that a room in a house might be on fire. The room belonged to someone I worried about a lot, who had been perplexing me. I was worried he would burn the whole house down. Instead, someone showed me what was really going on inside. There was a large cylinder filled with liquid. Sparks were coming out of it, like electricity, which had only looked like fire. Inside, there was an animated skeleton at a workbench building other skeletons out of bones.

Usually in dreams, it helps to look at a "first feeling" and a "first association" in order to find out how the dream may speak to us. My first feeling was awe and happy surprise in the cleverness and originality. Also, relief that the "fire" was contained and no danger. My first association was of the "culture of death." Seems such a paradox- creative activity as the dead create more dead. Yet, this is what goes on in the majority of society today. That's what's happening in the "mass mind" of American culture.

It was not a "black and white" image, but animated with many facets of human experience. Unlike what Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead," the dead are creating the dead- They are using their creative power, the power of life, to create more death. The sad thing is how very few people see what's really going on.

For those of us on the outside, our first reaction is often alarm. We genuinely fear for the well-being of people because of the self-destructiveness that often results from "life" in the culture of death. We don't want to lose our friends and family members. The truth is that if we can be mindful of the emotion of fear and detach from it, it is possible to see how people are creating beauty from the "bare bones" of life.  Just because someone is a part of the "culture of death" does not mean they don't also have those amazing sparks of life in them. It's on a continuum, not a case of "us and them."

When I wrote Borderline and Beyond, I had the same emotions as the ones I had in the dream. Basically, I backed up from the train wreck of my life and saw the beauty in the worst of circumstances. My ability to write and produce art slowly helped me find my way out of the darkness that threatened to destroy me. We need to hold on to and nurture those strengths. If we are to help those who are struggling and lost, we should show them the light and not only disparage the darkness we see.

I can't forget how intimately I know the culture of death. For those of you who don't know what that means- The culture of death is about despair, self-absorption, apathy and poverty. Some say it is about abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, suicide and so on. I say that that despair and self-absorption often lead to these things, but the "culture of death" is a much wider concept. It permeates our media. And yet, in those creative sparks, so much hope abounds!

I loved the movie, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I have found joy in the Mexican celebration of the "Day of the Dead." As in Ezekiel,  "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." (Ezekiel 37:4-5)