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St Joseph and Carmel

St Teresa had a great love for St Joseph - whose Feast Day is of course today - and she took him as patron of the first convent she founded. I always feel that he is the true model of the Christian gentleman. He was called to a unique trial for a husband and he came through it triumphantly, with the help and support of a special revelation. Teresa liked to say that special revelations are particularly given to those who have specially demanding and challenging tasks, and she herself was a splendid example of this. A particularly demanding vocation requires particularly powerful weapons. The example I treasure in this connection is St Francis of Assisi, who was blessed with divine communications that showed him his very particular way forward, a way that was to be strenuous in its promotion of poverty and therefore scandalous in the eyes of the world and indeed in the eyes of some fellow Christians. Some of us crave special revelations for ourselves, but it is perhaps unwise to do so unless you are prepared for the challenge that goes with them.

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