Sr. Rose-Marie Teresa of the Holy Spirit OCD (R.I.P)

"Life Was His First Gift to Us" - Liturgy.
I was born on the 27th August, 1928, at Midnight in Rawene Hospital, Hokianga, New Zealand. My mother, because of a serious heart condition chose to sacrifice her life in order to bring me forth, rather than have me aborted as the Doctor strongly advised. She had six other children under the age of ten years but she was a fervent Catholic and believed in God's loving Providence. Before she died she asked that I be placed in her arms and Baptised and gave me the name Rose-Marie for remembrance. My wonderful mother gave me physical life but was also instrumental in giving me supernatural life as well. It was said by the Doctor that she died smiling, "she died like the sun going down!". Then, before my 4th Birthday, my God-parents Daniel and Margaret Leader welcomed me into their home and treated me as their adopted daughter, pouring out on me the fulness of affection and care, nurturing my life physically and spiritually. They made sure that I often saw my own Family and my 3 brothers and 3 sisters have always been most dear to me and have faithfully visited me in Carmel over the years.

In that atmosphere of joy and love I grew and developed. My years at Primary School were both happy and successful. At great a sacrifice to themselves my God-parents sent me to board at St. Mary's College, Ponsonby, Auckland for my 4 Secondary School years. When these were successfully completed I was accepted at Auckland Teacher's Training College and did subjects part-time at Auckland University. I was only quite small when I felt God's call in the depths of my heart. This call became stronger in my teen-age years but I did not heed it. It was only when I had finally became a teacher in Royal Oak School, Auckland, that the call now became insistent. At last I joyfully accepted God's invitation and I entered the Carmelite Monastery in Epsom, Auckland on December 8th, 1951.

The Spirit of the Lord now revealed to me the depths of Life and Love that I had never before experienced and I knew that I was in love with God. What I came to realize was that God deserved the highest, purest and most profound love and that only His Love alone was worthy of Him. Also that God desired to share His Love with us so that we might accept this Love and together with our own self-offering return it wholly to Him. This participation in His Love was also an intimate sharing in His Life. Again I realized that when physical life ebbs away, His Divine Life within us endures and that we pass from death to Life Immortal in eternity.

On June 10th, 2003, I was 50 years professed in Carmel but our big celebrations were held on Saturday, 31st May, 2003, the Feast of the Visitation, as the Bishop was able to officiate at the afternoon Mass and preach on that occasion. It was a day of greatest joy, and our chapel was crowded with friends and relations from near and far to celebrate with me. Everyone remarked on this wonderful spirit of joy and rejoicing that pervaded the whole ceremony. My heart was overflowing with joy, love and gratitude as I publicly renewed my Vows at the Mass. June 10th!, and that day was spent in great rejoicing and celebration within our Community in Carmel. So join now with me in giving thanks and praise to God for all these Blessings as I look forward to the Eternal Jubilee when we will rejoice together in Heaven. May this loving Lord of ours draw us continually into His intimate movement of Living and Loving within the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For God is the source of Love and Light and Life. From His Breath all life proceeds, Amen.

"The Annunciation - Mary, Mother of the Living God & Our Mother".

The Painting is designed to portray the Dynamism, Power and radiant Joy of the Holy Spirit's life giving action at the Incarnation of the Word. If the Living God, Creator of all life, destined the human reproductive act to be an act of wondrous joy, how much more ecstatic and rapturous must have been the happiness that inundated the soul and body of Mary, as she consented to the Divine Motherhood. Mary, is instrumental in sharing with us all, the precious gift of Divine Grace received at Baptism. This grace destines us for fruition in Heaven in the glorious, infinite happiness of eternal life. The Holy Spirit, symbolised by the Dove, is set within the radiance of sunset clouds evoking the glory of the Theophany. I wrote this poem as I meditated on this picture.

The Kiss of God
From depths of God to human depths,
Life-giving Kiss of God on Mary's lips, Transforms her in Love's joy.
Now Word made Flesh within her bides, Her chaliced hands this treasure hides;
And from her eyes, transforming love shines out upon our human race-
A mother's gaze that claims as hers, Each child of God, Christed in joy,
Destined eternally for God's embrace.


By Sr. Rose-Marie Teresa of the Holy Spirit OCD.

WHAT CARMEL MEANS TO ME

As a small child I noticed on the first finger on my left hand a mark, the letter C, like a signet ring in the flesh. I would look at it and say "Carmelite". And so the idea grew with me that I would be a Carmelite. It was the beginning of a call and I still have this clear mark!
At the age of 23 I entered Carmel feeling a great happiness and peace and a sense of God's presence. For me, Carmel, when I entered there with such great joy, was not so much a place or a garden, as its name means, but the "meeting with" and "living with" the God Who is Love. At the Profession of Vows the Church publicly witnesses to the Covenant of love made between the Bride and her Lord. In our exchange of love, Jesus' desire to save and bring all souls into His Kingdom, now became my prayer, my life-long desire. In this Nuptial context, before the Lord to Whom I am solemnly betrothed, my life is lived out in Carmel under the shadow of the Cross and in the glorious dawn-light of the Resurrection. In Faith, Hope and Love I press forward with great eagerness to that eternal moment when Carmel's vocation is finally fulfilled in the meeting of my Beloved Lord face to face. It is then I hope to sing forever of the Mercies of the Lord.
Sr. Rose-Marie Teresa of the Holy Spirit. OCD