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carmelite spirituality and charism

There is no single form of Carmelite community The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. Fraternity, service and contemplation are therefore essential values for all Carmelites. Lay Carmelites occasionally live together in community, but in most instances they live in their own homes and form community when they come together for meetings perhaps once or twice a month. The mistake would be to think of mystics as esoteric people who live on a cloud or a pillar; mystics, contemplatives, are people with their feet firmly rooted on the ground in the reality of ordinary life, and open to God's extraordinary love. The Shield of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is a symbolic expression of the Teresian Carmelite charism given to us through Mother Luisita, our Foundress. If we are to speak of 'contemplative prayer', then we should also speak of 'contemplative service' and 'contemplative community'. The Charism of Carmel embraces a healthy balance of solitude and community-living. By Rancy Varghese on May 17, 2018. The Essence of the Carmelite Charism is Prayer and Contemplation. The Order eventually came to receive women as nuns and also laity who formed a secular spirituality. It was sometimes said that the Carmelite friars were 'active' and the Carmelite nuns were 'contemplative', but both vocations are contemplative, and that means being both active and meditative. Every religious order, every Christian, and indeed every person of any faith is called to practice and combine these elements. A charism (from the Greek: Ï‡Î±Ï Î¯ÏƒÎ¼Î±) in general denotes any grace that God gifts to an individual or group to perform a specific mission in the Church and the World. Marie-Eugène, OCD (1955) 3. The Carmelite Family believes that the heart of our way of life - whether we are friars, enclosed nuns, apostolic sisters, laity, or hermits - is contemplation. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. In community building (or fraternity) we encounter God in our brothers and sisters, who comfort and challenge us. Flos Carmeli; Carmelite Constitutions 1995; Lectio Divina; The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Carmelite Charism; Carmelite Saints; Carmelite Charism . Modelled on Elijah and Mary, and inspired by Carmel's saints With the growth of the Third Order (Lay Carmel), the secular spirituality of Carmel in the world was recovered. The spirituality of Carmel is a dynamic, life-giving tension. These three elements are at the heart of the Carmelite charism. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel Catholic religious orders use the word ‘charism’ to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. We believe that God's grace and friendship is offered to all people, not as something we can earn or attain by our own efforts, but as a free gift of God, given whenever and to whoever God wishes. Our brothers and sisters in the Discalced Carmelite Order take particular inspiration for their charism from Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, whom they regard as founders of their particular branch of the Carmelite Family. New tensions, causing divisions, arose in 1432 when some mitigations were made to the Rule. Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., has described it simply as 'friendship with God'. 1. The reforms of Carmel over the centuries have often been attempts to rebalance the creative tensions between these forms of life, or to draw out more strongly one particular element. A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. During these times, St. Teresa, who entered the Carmelite Order in 1536, received mystical graces from the Lord, who led her to undertake the renewal of the Order of Carmel and to make prayer and contemplation its total commit­ment. Prayer is the focal point of our lives and the heart of our service for God. The Rule unites all the different branches of the Carmelite Family; its spirit is expounded in the Constitutions or Statutes governing each particular group within the Family. Carmelite Spirituality Index Throughout the centuries a particular spirituality has developed within the Carmelite Order with Mount Carmel being a constant theme along with the twin themes of Mary and Elijah. Carmelites are not restricted to one particular ministry or apostolate. The heart of the Carmelite charism is prayer and contemplation. The charism of the Carmelite order is prayer. Carmelites seek to form communities where each person feels accepted and valued not for what he can do but simply because he is. I Want to See God: A Practical Synthesis of Carmelite Spirituality (Vol I) Bl. Yes and we all have to feed the poor, care for the sick etc. A charism should be conceived of in a similar vein as a religious order (as with our Carmelite nuns above). Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. There is also a great degree of flexibility in the Carmelite charism when it comes to forming community. As an idea 'contemplation' is both complex and radically simple. They asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St. Albert, to write for them a rule of life (c.1206‑1214) which laid down certain guidelines based on the previous way of life of the hermits. Marie-Eugène, OCD (1953) 2. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. The Carmelite Rule CARMELITE SAINTS; CARMELITE CHARISM; Living in God’s presence The most important characteristic of Carmelite spirituality is living in God’s presence. With regard to a Religious Order, the term refers to the gift which God gives to an individual or group to inspire the founding of a new religious family within the Church. It is a response to the call of Vatican II to return to the scriptures as ‘the food of the soul, the pure and perennial source of spiritual life.’ Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. They aren’t bound to celibacy and so they are able to marry, and I know I saw somewhere on here a married OCDS. Rather than being restricted to one particular form of prayer, we seek through a variety of forms of prayer to know and love God better, and to make God better known and loved. The origins of Carmel are therefore eremitic and cenobitic. We might be better referring to 'active' and 'meditative', but again the two are linked. Carmel is therefore an interplay, a balance of tensions between these different forms of life: eremitic, mendicant, monastic, lay. To be faithful members of this family, along with our models Elijah and Mary, we are given the task of receiving this gift and sharing it with the Church and world. The Rule encourages Carmelites to place particular emphasis upon Scripture, God's Word in the Bible. The Carmelite way of life began with a group of consecrated lay men living as hermits on Mount Carmel. The Carmelite charism opens up a rich 800-year-old tradition of prayer to readers of all denominations who wish to enter more deeply into it through the word of God. Carmelites seek to be contemplatives: God-seekers, friends of God who are open to God's transforming action in our lives. Carmel is distinctive in the variety of forms in which it is found, and the diverse elements it encompasses. Carmelite Palliative Care accompanies each … As we follow Christ along this path of trust in God we are inspired by the example and virtues of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the Prophet Elijah. Doctors of the Church such as John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Thérèse of Lisieux have contributed to our understanding of Carmel, as have many other holy men and women, canonised or not. carmelite charism Our particular charism as members of the Carmelite Family is a pure gift from God. There is no single form of Carmelite apostolate Carmelite prayer is more an attitude or understanding, rather than a particular method. friars, sisters, laity (our family element), and secondly, our spirituality – charism and tradition (our Carmelite element). For example, some orders are devoted to teaching, or caring for the sick, or spreading the Gospel as missionaries abroad. Thus the charism of the Carmelite Order flowed through the eremitic, mendicant, monastic and lay forms. Rather, to be present to God in the midst of His people, to bring to the world flames from the divine fire burning within … The way of prayer is mysterious and goes beyond our normal human categories. The Carmelite charism The term Charism, with regard to a religious order, refers to the set of characteristics which inspire a group and distinguishes it from other religious orders. The Carmelite Order has no known founder but sprang from the desire of those first hermits to follow Christ together with a pure heart and a good conscience. The Carmelite Charism A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. This book reaffirms the relevance of the Carmelite charism for all believers and opens up the biblical foundations of the Carmelite way of prayer. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. Many people understand the term 'contemplative' to mean someone withdrawn from the world, perhaps living in silent retreat and practicing 'contemplative prayer'. All religious families have been asked by the Church to rediscover their original founding charism and make it come alive in each culture and in every age. We do all we can to respond to God’s initiative in calling us but we are very aware that in the end only God can change our hearts and so we learn to wait patiently for the coming of God to us. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel So if all Christians are called to be contemplative, what makes the Carmelite way of life distinctive? It is a depth that is suspected in the whole reality. Our prayer, community building and service inform one another, and together are part of our contemplative vocation. Carmelite nuns live a more 'intense' community life that is enclosed, whereas Carmelite apostolic sisters are 'out and about' and are closer to most friars in their style of community life. Neither private prayer not public service by themselves fulfill the Rule of Carmel. Placing too much or too little emphasis on one particular element is not helpful. In service (also known as mission, apostolate, or ministry) we open ourselves to be God's hands in the world, responding to the needs of others, especially the poor and marginalised. Carmelite spirituality is not so much about doing certain things but rather about being a certain kind of person and so it affects every aspect of our lives, and every relationship or interaction we have with others. Centered on prayer and contemplation, Carmelite spirituality seeks to awaken in its practitioners an intense thirst for an immediate and direct experience of God, from which can grow a deep and loving friendship with Him. The essence of the Carmelite charism is to pursue, by the action of divine grace in the soul, the radical transformation, spiritual fecundity, and divine union that are the blessed fruits of ardent penance, spiritual purification, assiduous meditation and loving contemplation of the Triune God. In all these different ways of living the Carmelite charism, emphasis is placed on the value of solitaries coming together to form community. This is a thorough look into the spirituality of our order: the roots of our vocation, the Teresian charism, the chief elements of our vocation. The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm provide compassionate care that validates a person’s choice and dignity. The Cardinal explains Carmelite prayer and charism in a concise way. It is centered on a loving friendship with God … The Carmelite is aware that the transformation of the human heart by God may be hidden from most eyes but has far reaching consequences for our world. The Carmelite charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Charism of Carmel embraces a healthy balance of solitude and community-living. Carmelite Spirituality Also available in print as Carmelite Spirituality Teresian Tradition P… A creative tension The hermits were forced to leave their home on Mount Carmel and settle in Europe. These patrons of the Order have inspired Carmelites over the centuries, and the Order today takes inspiration from other saints - holy men and women - who have lived the charism. It has a unique history and origin with a spirituality that continues to foster holiness in the lives of her many sons and daughters. Another Carmelite has said that the Order's charism is "to know and love God, and to make God known and loved". Carmelite way A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. I Am a Daughter of the Church: A Practical Synthesis of Carmelite Spirituality (Vol II) Bl. We seek to live in God's presence and consent to God's will for us. The Carmelite Order is currently engaged in an academic project to see how our charism has been understood in different eras of history. The Carmelite Charism What is a charism? There they changed their style of life from hermits to friars. This involves us in listening to God who speaks to us in many ways and especially in the words of Scripture. Carmelites speak of contemplation as a gift of God that can be nurtured by a life of prayer, community, and service. Carmelites are also aware of being part of an international fraternity which is present in many parts of the world. The charism of the Carmelite Order is God's gift given originally to those nameless hermits who gathered together on Mount Carmel, beside the well of Elijah, at the … To become a contemplative - some might say "mystic" - is not something strange; it is what all Christians are called to by the grace of baptism. These three elements are at the heart of our charism. For some religious orders, their charism inspires work in a particular area. The contemplative attitude to life of the Carmelite is aimed at this. Saint John of the Cross described contemplation as the inflowing of God's grace into a human being. While there have been a number of books on Carmelite spirituality and the origins of the Order, this is the only one that explores the charism in relation to the scriptures. Since all Christians follow Christ, the charisms will have many elements in common, but the way in which these elements are emphasised gives each religious group its unique feel. The charism or the special gift of the Carmelite Order is particularly important to our world today especially in the West, where there is a great spiritual hunger and many are bewildered and lost, cut off from the sustaining food of eternal life. 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