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Author Archive: Father Nicholas Blackwell O. Carm.

I am Carmelite Friar. I serve in the Archdiocese of New York via the St. Elias Province of the Carmelite Order. I am originally from Michigan. I served in the Peace Corps in West Africa. I love to read and walk through nature. I enjoy sharing my Carmelite Spirituality through my, YouTube channel, podcast, and blog. I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. and the Catholic University of America with a M.Div. and S.T.B. My YouTube Channel is: https://www.youtube.com/c/thefrankfriar

My Podcast can also be found on soundcloud,, iTunes, and GooglePlay under the name 'The Frank Friar.'

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The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: A Scriptural Journey

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: A Scriptural Journey

“All gracious God, may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel, protect us, and bring us to your Holy Mountain, Christ our Lord ….” These lovely words are from the opening prayer for the Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The words may not be familiar […]

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Principles for Your Spiritual Life: Insights from the Carmelite Rule

Principles for Your Spiritual Life: Insights from the Carmelite Rule

Here then are a few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming, will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense […]

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Knowing the Holy Spirit: Insight from the Gospel of John

Knowing the Holy Spirit: Insight from the Gospel of John

Who is the Holy Spirit?  We must never forget how important it is to formulate a question in order for our minds to understand what it is we are looking for, particularly when our subject is God.  For the Holy Spirit is a “Who” not a “What.” The Holy Spirit is not a thing sent […]

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The Life of a Gardener: Prayer and St. Teresa of Avila

The Life of a Gardener: Prayer and St. Teresa of Avila

This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.  Of its own accord, the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then […]

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Discipleship and Union with Christ:  A Carmelite Insight

Discipleship and Union with Christ:  A Carmelite Insight

Discipleship within The Carmelite Rule The Rule of St. Albert of Jerusalem, also called The Carmelite Rule, speaks about religious life being a call to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ with a pure heart and stout conscience (Rule #2).  The Carmelite sees that the life of discipleship is made possible by allegiance made manifested […]

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Remaining Obedient to God: Understanding the Tools of Our Enemies

Remaining Obedient to God: Understanding the Tools of Our Enemies

The Season of Lent can be seen through many different lenses, all correct and important. This diversity makes lent a truly rich season for any Christian willing to open themselves up to the experience it offers. Recently, my mind is on the idea of obedience as an important lens that lent offers us. The life of a Carmelite […]

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The Carmelite Cell: A Place of Prayer for All

January 26, AD2018 0 Comments
The Carmelite Cell:  A Place of Prayer for All

A unique and interesting aspect of Carmelite spirituality and prayer is that we do not look to a founder as a guide but to a place. What do I mean? The other great mendicant orders, like the Augustinians, Dominicans, and Franciscans, look at a founder as their lens for approaching Jesus and the spiritual life He […]

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The Brown Scapular: Mary’s Maternal Embrace of the Carmelite Order

The Brown Scapular: Mary’s Maternal Embrace of the Carmelite Order

I am celebrating my first Christmas as a Priest this year. I was ordained back in August by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. As I am working on homilies for the week leading up to Christmas and my Christmas Day homily, I just find myself approaching the infancy narrative texts in new ways. As […]

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Conversion: The Doorway to Transformation

November 30, AD2017 1 Comment
Conversion: The Doorway to Transformation

Conversion: Learning from a Child My Religious Order allowed me to go home this year for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  To say I am overjoyed by this gift is an understatement.  Now, one of the many blessings I receive when I visit my family in Michigan is the time I get to spend with my two […]

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Seeing Faces:  A Call to Have the Eyes of a Shepherd

November 13, AD2017 1 Comment
Seeing Faces:  A Call to Have the Eyes of a Shepherd

No Faceless Crowd Before Jesus When we read, study, and pray with the Gospels it is important for us to remember who is the audience that Jesus is speaking to.  I mention this scriptural tool in many of my homilies and talks I give, and recently a question came to me and this tool “How […]

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Free Speech: Its Recent Legal History and Our Response as Catholics

October 26, AD2017 2 Comments
Free Speech: Its Recent Legal History and Our Response as Catholics

I write this article with the hope that it may help people understand the recent 20th-century foundation for “Free Speech” in the USA as shaped by the Supreme Court.  Also, I would like these factual insights to aid individual people who seek to defend her or his right to free speech.  As a minister of […]

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Understanding the Holy Spirit Through the Life of the Virgin Mary

October 15, AD2017 1 Comment
Understanding the Holy Spirit Through the Life of the Virgin Mary

As we look at Holy Spirit in the life of the Virgin Mary I want you to think about what our Catechism says at the start of its section on Mary “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines, in turn, […]

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The Face of Christ, the Gateway to Humility

September 24, AD2017 2 Comments
The Face of Christ, the Gateway to Humility

Devotion to the Holy Face of Christ I have yet to meet a Catholic that does not know who St. Therese of Lisieux is.  However, from my experience, many people tend to cut her religious name short.  She is not St. Therese of the Child Jesus, she is St. Therese of the Child Jesus and […]

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Being a Prophet: Learning From Elijah, Father of Carmelites

September 9, AD2017 2 Comments
Being a Prophet: Learning From Elijah, Father of Carmelites

Carmelites are rooted in a prophetic tradition which goes back to the time of the Prophet Elijah.  The original hermits of Carmel chose to reside at the Wadi Carith, Elijah’s well.  The choice of location for the Carmelite’s initial foundation placed them within the prophetic shadow of the Prophet Elijah, who is identified as the […]

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Who Am I? A Sinner

Who Am I?  A Sinner

Early on in the pontificate of Pope Francis, during an interview, when asked who he was Pope Francis responded with the statement “I am a sinner.”  At the time, this statement was used in the U.S., to exclaim the humbleness and relatable-ness of Pope Francis to the everyday person.  In the light of recent events […]

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