MANILA, Jan. 5, 2017 – Where is God amid the thousands of drug-related deaths? According to a priest, a newly-beatified French Carmelite showed how prayer is a way of seeing God in even the most challenging circumstances.
“I believe he reminds us of the importance of prayer and of one’s relationship with God,” said Diocese of Novaliches Catechetical Ministry director Fr. Aldrin Lopez in Filipino, pertaining to Blessed Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, who was beatified in France on Nov. 19, 2016.
In an interview after a thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of Blessed Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus held by the Diocese of Novaliches on Jan. 2 at Notre Dame De Vie Retreat House in Quezon City, the priest explained that this, after all, is what the beatified French Carmelite advocated while he was alive.
‘Persevere in prayer’
“He (Blessed Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus) said it is important for us to have a deep experience of God. This is why he said, ‘My vocation is to lead people to God, to journey with them towards God,’” he emphasized. “This we’ll find in his writings, especially the [book] I Want To See God.”
Infanta Bishop Bernardino Cortez similarly affirms one experiences God’s presence and mercy through prayer, particularly contemplative prayer.
“Persevere in prayer,” he urged gently during his homily during the Carmelite family’s thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of the French priest on Dec. 30, 2016 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Broadway, Quezon City. “Be open to God’s love in prayer…to experience the depth of God’s love in prayer.”
Prayer enables one to see God throughout the day, said the prelate – no matter the circumstance – to draw renewed hope and strength for challenging times.
Synthesizing Carmelite spirituality
Beatified in Parc de Expositions in Avignon, France, Blessed Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, OCD founded the Notre-Dame de Vie Institute (NDV) in France for lay people to live out Carmelite spirituality.
Born Henri Grialou in France on 1894, he became a Carmelite priest in 1922 and established in 1954 a branch of NDV in the Philippines before founding the Mother of Life Center (MLC) for cathechists in 1967. Both NDV and MLC are located in Bgy. San Agustin, Q.C., which are under the Diocese of Novaliches.
According to Lopez, Bl. Marie-Eugene’s I Want To See God, I Am A Daughter of The Church, synthesized the entire Carmelite spirituality by explaining the teachings of St. Teresa De Jesus, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese of Lisieux–the former two saints being the two major reformers of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD). (Minnie Agdeppa / CBCPNews)