top of page

Carmelite Retreat 2021


At the 2021 Secular Carmelite retreat at Kensington Priory Father Matt Blake OCD gave a series of talks on St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila. We are grateful to two members of the Secular Order for transcribing and editing these.

Click here for a summary of contents with links to the transcripts.


Links are also given to the original audio recordings.

The Freedom to Love:
the double impact of transforming union

At a London Regional Remote Day of Reflection in 2020 Fr Kelvin Ekhoegbe OCD gave a keynote talk on the spirituality of St John of the Cross. Entitled The Freedom to Love: the double impact of transforming union, the text can be read or downloaded here.

The Secret of Spiritual Growth

Fr Matt Blake gave this talk in April 2020. It provides an excellent introduction to the life of prayer in a way which is very accessible to those without a Carmelite background.


Click here to read the transcript.

Prayer in Difficult Times

Drawing on the Carmelite tradition

to help us pray during a time of change


These four short talks recently given by Fr Matt Blake OCD address the challenges of praying through the current pandemic crisis.


Click here to read the transcript.

The Living Flame of  Love


St John of the Cross 1542 – 1591

Written by St John of the Cross in 1586, in the midst of many duties as Vicar Provincial of Andalusia, The Living Flame of Love continues, it is suggested, where the Spiritual Canticle ends: at the highest degree of perfection attainable in this life.[1] It comprises four stanzas, each of six lines, with a commentary. 


We are grateful to Fr. Tony Cussens for permission to reproduce the text of a series of talks given during 2017, illuminating this work and the teachings of St John of the Cross. 

Each paragraph of the commentary is typically numbered. The paragraph numbers start from 1 for each stanza (i.e. Stanza 1, paragraph 1, paragraph

2 etc., then Stanza 2, paragraph 1, paragraph 2 etc.,) References to a particularcommentary paragraph in the text below are indicated by “CP” followed by the paragraph number for that stanza.

[1], See The Collected Works of St John of the Cross, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh OCD and Otilio Rodriguez OCD, ICS Publications Revised Edition 1991, The Living Flame of Love, Introduction, page 634.

Please click on the links below to view or download PDFs:

Stanza 1     Stanza 2     Stanza 3     Stanza 4

St Elizabeth of the Trinity


St Elizabeth of the Trinity
1880 – 1906

St Elizabeth of the Trinity (18 July 1880 – 9 November 1906), born Élisabeth Catez, was a French Discalced Carmelite who spent her professed life at the Carmel in Dijon. In addition to being a mystic she was also a profound spiritual writer.

In November 2017 Roderick Campbell Guion OCDS gave a talk on the mystical thought of Saint Elizabeth during an evening session at Kensington Priory. Titled 'Elizabeth of the Trinity: a Carmelite mystic who speaks to us today' it was based on his recently completed doctoral research at the University of London.

Click here to read or download the text of the talk.

bottom of page