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Letters from the Heart



Those who knew and loved Fr. Bruno were privileged to receive lots of letters and notes from him.  He tried to stay close to everyone and was a prolific letter writer.  The words he wrote to one person could easily apply to ALL persons.  He always prayed for the same graces for all mankind.  You will understand this great love when you read his “Christmas Letters”. 


I will begin to include excerpts from some of the letters he has written to “isolated Carmelites” that accompanied his conferences on “The Virtues” as well as some other letters that have been saved by his friends.  If anyone has a letter or parts of a letter that he or she would like to have included in this series, please send them to me at jtocds@charter.net.  We will be happy to include them.


We will only be sharing "parts" of letters that pertain to "all", in other words, spiritual sharings, direction or advice to his friends and to Secular Carmelites.





May 11, 2001

....Many years ago I came to the conclusion that nothing would make me happier than to know I had done all within my power to become a saint, that I had not refused any grace nor failed to utilize perfectly the manifold grace God gives me, and then find out in Heaven that everyone turned out holier than me. In fact, I even altered the Litany of Humility to reflect that. I changed one of the petitions in the Litany to read something like: That everyone else, without exception, surpass me in holiness, even though I have done my very best to become a saint, I beseech thee, grant it. I changed the text from the first person singular (I) to the first person plural (we), and made a few other slight changes. One other [change] I made was to put in with the prayer (Let us Pray) the petition that we receive the grace to share in the redemptive suffering of Jesus for the salvation of all souls...

(Fr. Bruno's version of the Litany of Humility)


May 5, 2001

....I do hope you have managed to get to daily Mass. Often we think of not being able to receive communion daily as something that we are missing, and so we are rightly sad. But we also have to look at the other side of the coin. Jesus Himself is missing something when one of His devoted followers is not able to receive Him in communion some days. I really do think that He is looking for comfort and consolation from His dear ones to make reparation for the many, many souls who neglect Him in favor of their own selfish pursuits. May the Lord always help us to think first and only of what joy we can bring Him, and not even to think about ourselves. I think that to abandon ourselves to His unbounded mercy and goodness is really the best way to console Him. I realize I am telling you something you already know, but I repeat it because it does me so much good to hear [or read] those words....


May 8, 2001


...Thinking about my own childhood when I hear others speak of how much they suffered as children, or how they blame some of their present troubles upon an unhappy childhood, I realize how lucky I was when I was a child. I have only pleasant memories of my growing up. About the only time I remember being heart-broken when a youngster and crying my eyes out was when my mother refused to let me go and see the movie: The Great Dictator. Later on, when I was grown up, I saw that the cause of my grief was a flaw in me, and not a flaw in my mother or in her care for me...


May 8, 2001

...I will take advantage of the day off to visit, I hope elderly friends who have just moved to a Senior Citizens apartment...(Wow! I can't believe I just thought of others as "elderly" and did not include myself!)...




April 8, 2000

....Although the case of the fellow guilty of the beating and rape of the 92 year old woman is very different from the case of....[a young man who had committed suicide}...here again we must not despair of his salvation. Mortal sin requires perfect freedom of the will. There are so many things that can diminish the free exercise of the will that we cannot ever say that one or another is or was not present to prevent a sin from being mortal. Fear, coercion, depression, shame, etc., can rob a person of the ability to think clearly about the gravity or moral character of an act, and so prevent the requirements for a mortal sin to be present. Surely, Our Lord, takes into account, too, the fact that this man had [circumstances that drove him to despair]. Anyway, this story also helps to motivate me to continue praying daily for the salvation of all souls who, at every moment of time, are at the point of death...


May 29, 2001

...Perhaps if I had very difficult crosses to carry, as (she) does, I would also experience moments of sadness, depression, weakness and fear. I really am shielded from them by my life in the monastery. Of course, I do suffer somewhat when I hear of all the pain and anguish my loved ones suffer, and when I hear about people making shambles of their lives, but that is nowhere near the same as suffering trials personally. I cannot but have extraordinary admiration for persons like (her) and others in the world who, in spite of all those sufferings, continue to grow in Faith, Hope and Charity. Well, maybe it's because she is immersed in such situations that her Faith, Hope and Charity has to increase, otherwise she would never get through those trials...


August 12, 2001

...I had an attack while preaching in Hillsboro, NH. A [friend] picked up my vibes which indicated to her that I was not well, and she was worried about me. She said "listen to your body, learn to say NO!" As much sense as it makes from the human point of view what she told me, I have to follow the example of Jesus.... So many were advising Him: "Don't cure on the sabbath, don't speak to the Pharisees" (because He would tell them truths that increased their hatred of Him) "Don't go around in public because your enemies are on the look-out for you to do You harm". And He would always say: "Must I not do what my Father wants? Must I not reward the faith of the afflicted who come to me for cures?" And I must always tell the truth when I know it will hurt me. And He told the Apostles, always speak the truth, even though you know it will hurt me. And so I must do what I can, even though it may take a toll on my body or health. If I am to stop doing what I think God wants of me, then I trust in Him to put me out of commission for as long as He knows best. With His help and favor I will be able to fill in for [him]....while he is [away] and I will try to resume Mission appeals the week-end of Aug 25/26....


June 1993

Of utmost importance is that you, our Lay Discalced Carmelites, know that each and every one among you is a "treasured" member of the Discalced Carmelite Family (along with the Friars and the Nuns) because each, in his/her own way, is indispensable. Indispensable insofar as each branch, Friars, Nuns and Seculars have its own distinct purpose in the Order and in the Church. Each branch needs to be complemented by the other two; otherwise, "relationally" and "functionally", the Family would not be complete.

However, even though each branch of the Order is equally important from a theoretical point of view, it seems to me that our Lay members are more important, practically speaking. It is our seculars, who because they live in the world (though not of it), are best situated to bring about the redemption and transformation of human social relationships (in particular) and of "society" (in general). You, our Lay Carmelites, are the ones who "interface" with secular society, and thus are in a position to bring Gospel values and Teresian-Carmelite values directly to bear upon the respective "forums" in which you live out your baptismal consecration and specific vocations as "laity". And because the Secular Order is so highly valued as a component of our Discalced Carmelite Family, all of you, its members, should be convinced that the provincials in the respective jurisdictions and the General of the entire Order are most anxious to help and serve you to grow, prosper and find happiness and fulfillment in living the Teresian-Carmelite charism in the manner appropriate to your states in life. Thus, never hesitate to have recourse to the General and the Provincials, through their respective delegates, for the help that they can provide.


August 17, 2001

...I was telling [her] that God seems to trick mothers into being close to Him because He gives them such a profound concern for the welfare, especially spiritual, of their children, that they stay close to Him and become fervent pray-ers and sufferers for the good of their children, and eventually they become saintly women. What is your opinion on the matter? I have often said at funerals for mothers that again, God trick's them into holiness by giving them family, because their maternal instincts incline them to forget themselves completely and live for the good of the family members. I think that is a very accurate assessment.



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