I’m blessed to share with you the details of the Flame of Love gathering at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg this month of the Holy Souls.
In addition to a beautiful reflection by Fr. Eugene Wehner, O.C.D., Friar of the Discalced Carmelites, and spectacular fall weather, we enjoyed two beautiful miracles while praying the Rosary: leaves falling with a sound like a rush when there was no apparent wind, and the scent of roses wafting through those assembled!
Here are some insightful excerpts from Fr. Gene’s talk on the significance of Carmelite spirituality in the Flame of Love:
“Then the mystical experiences began. Three days before the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1960, she had a “wonderful spiritual illumination” at the age of 47. In 1962, she received the locution: “You must be selfless, for we will entrust you with a great mission and you will be up to the task.” (page xv of her Spiritual Diary) Who are the “we” in this message? Are they Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, from whom she would receive individual locutions? Or are they the Holy Trinity? I will answer these questions in a few moments.
Many years before she died on April 11, 1985 at the age of 72, she became a Secular Discalced Carmelite. In the middle of March 1981, she wrote: “The Blessed Virgin asked that we urge the competent authorities for the restoration of the Third Order of Carmel throughout the world…. While the Blessed Virgin was speaking about the Carmel, Jesus interrupted: ‘Because the Flame of Love of the heart of My Mother is Noah’s Ark.” (page 293 and 294 of her Spiritual Diary) We know that the story of Noah’s Ark from Genesis is about Noah saving life on earth from extinction.
Jesus is stating that his Mother’s love is the primary means by which God is saving us from destruction today. Also, she herself is a Flame of Love, distinct from the Flame of Love referred to in the phrase God requested that we add to the Hail Mary prayer: “spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all of humanity.” That “Flame of Love” is God, as only God can confer grace. The Blessed Virgin Mary spreads the effect of that grace. The main effects are the salvation of souls, brought about by the conversion of sinners, and the release of souls in purgatory. This is made possible by the blinding of Satan, which Elizabeth revealed is “the principal and only purpose of the Flame of Love of the Blessed Virgin.” To this statement, she added: “She, herself, promised an outpouring of graces so great as have not happened on earth since the Word became Flesh.” (page 198 of her Spiritual Diary) Jesus assured Elizabeth: “Our Mother wants no soul to be damned. Therefore, all must share in this great saving work whose purpose is to save souls.” (page 210 of Spiritual Diary)
As a Discalced Carmelite, Elizabeth Kindelmann would have been familiar with St. John of the Cross. The words “flame of love” appear prominently in the poem and commentary of St. John of the Cross entitled The Living Flame of Love. He identifies “the Living Flame of Love” as the Holy Spirit. It is by this Spirit that the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived our Savior. The “we” who spoke to Father, his Son, and the Holy Spirit, who always speak and act in agreement with one another in love. God is love and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is always one with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They both speak and act under the influence of the Holy Spirit to do the will of the heavenly Father. They cannot be separated.”
We had about 20 people, representing DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and handed out the diary and literature to several prospective members!
Dawn Walsh, the director of the Shrine, and Diane Salem, were instrumental in helping in the planning of the event!
Dear Jesus, may our feet journey together,