It is a mysterious gift of God, and different Christian traditions and religious orders have slightly different understandings of it. So if all Christians are called to be contemplative, what makes the Carmelite way of life distinctive? We seek to live in God’s presence and consent to God’s will for us. Discover the birth of the Carmelite Order & its growth through the centuries. The Order eventually came to receive women as nuns and also laity who formed a secular spirituality. 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. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. 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. A creative tension The objective is to facilitate integration of the Carmelite way of life within the context of Baptism and the universal call to holiness. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. Carmelite Spirituality Also available in print as Carmelite Spirituality Teresian Tradition P… The Essence of the Carmelite Charism is Prayer and Contemplation. Another Carmelite has said that the Order's charism is "to know and love God, and to make God known and loved". The Carmelite Charism A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. Catholic religious orders use the word ‘charism’ to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. All are called to contemplation Carmelites are not restricted to one particular ministry or apostolate. 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. These three elements are at the heart of the Carmelite charism. In community building (or fraternity) we encounter God in our brothers and sisters, who comfort and challenge us. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel Every religious order, every Christian, and indeed every person of any faith is called to practice and combine these elements. This kind of community is in itself a witness that the love of Christ can break down the barriers which human beings set up and that it is possible for people of different backgrounds and nationalities to live together in peace and harmony. 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.’ The links below give some flavour of that spirituality and thought both from the distant past and also from our own days. The Carmelite Order is currently engaged in an academic project to see how our charism has been understood in different eras of history. 16 • Christocentrism of the Carmelite Charism Horizons – Carmelite Spiritual Directory Project must function along the lines of a hermeneutic of suspicion, that is a hermeneutic which stands in judge-ment of and corrects every past and present interpretation of … by virtue of our Christian calling, but it is given to different people and religious congregations to live and witness to the different charisms of the Spirit in a particular and very pronounced way. The charism of the Carmelite order is prayer. The most recent statement about the charism of Carmel was in the 1995 Constitutions of the Order, in which Chapter 2 is entirely devoted to the idea of 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. The Carmelite charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The spirituality of Carmel is a dynamic, life-giving tension. 1061342) © 1995-2020, Safeguarding     Privacy Policy     Complaints Procedure, Contemplation is a gift we can be open to, Modelled on Elijah and Mary, and inspired by Carmel's saints, There is no single form of Carmelite apostolate, There is no single form of Carmelite prayer, There is no single form of Carmelite community, Biographical Register of Carmelites in England and Wales 1240 - 1540, The early history of Saint Albert's Press, The 1995 Constitutions of the Carmelite Order, The Carmelite Charism and the Third Order in Britain. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel 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 Charism of each Christian religious family emphasizes the particular way in which its members follow Christ. Placing too much or too little emphasis on one particular element is not helpful. The precise form that community takes can vary considerably from place to place, and country to country. I Am a Daughter of the Church: A Practical Synthesis of Carmelite Spirituality (Vol II) Bl. This involves us in listening to God who speaks to us in many ways and especially in the words of Scripture. 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. 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 end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries. Neither private prayer not public service by themselves fulfill the Rule of Carmel. Carmelite Palliative Care accompanies each … The charism (or spiritual focus) of the Carmelite Order is contemplation. Teresian Charism. Again, this is not unique to Carmelites, but is a distinctive aspect of our life. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel I Want to See God: A Practical Synthesis of Carmelite Spirituality (Vol I) Bl. www.carmelite.org is a website of The British Province of Carmelites (Carmelite Charitable Trust - Charity Registered in England & Wales No. We can say that there are several elements which make up the Carmelite charism. 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. 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. So what is distinctive in Carmel? When nuns developed in the Order, the monastic elements of Carmel came to the fore. Our Rule encourages us to ponder Christ and the Scriptures, particularly in the Liturgy (Mass and Divine Office), and to spend some time in silent meditation. Carmelites believe that it is the combination of these three elements - prayer, community and service - that makes us better disposed to receive God's gift of contemplation. In such ways we contribute to the Order the benefits proper to our secular state of life. These three elements are at the heart of our charism. But for those called to live out the Carmelite vocation, what is distinctive is the way that we practice the elements of prayer, community and service, taking particular inspiration from the prophet Elijah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, patrons of our Order. This gift is handed down through the centuries and enriched by all who are called to live it. Other than that, Carmelites are free to practice whatever forms of prayer they find helpful in nurturing their friendship with God. Leading to union with God, Carmelite spirituality is characterized by an intense thirst for a direct experience of God and acceptance of His will. These hermits lived in community, and therefore had elements of the cenobitic or monastic life. This gift is handed down through the centuries and enriched by all who are called to live it. Carmelites seek to be contemplatives: God-seekers, friends of God who are open to God's transforming action in our lives. Carmelites seek to be contemplative. The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm provide compassionate care that validates a person’s choice and dignity. Many people understand the term 'contemplative' to mean someone withdrawn from the world, perhaps living in silent retreat and practicing 'contemplative prayer'. Carmelites speak of contemplation as a gift of God that can be nurtured by a life of prayer, community, and service. Whilst Carmelites value silence and solitude, we understand contemplation in a broader sense. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. We might be better referring to 'active' and 'meditative', but again the two are linked. Teresian Prayer. They were perhaps former crusaders and pilgrims who adopted a penitent lifestyle in the desert tradition. 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. Carmel is therefore an interplay, a balance of tensions between these different forms of life: eremitic, mendicant, monastic, lay. There is no single form of Carmelite prayer The charism of each religious family is the particular way in which its members are called to follow Christ. Modelled on Elijah and Mary, and inspired by Carmel's saints The heart of the Carmelite charism is prayer and contemplation. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. As an idea 'contemplation' is both complex and radically simple. Prayer opens us to the Ultimate Mystery. 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. 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. There is no single form of Carmelite community 1. Overview of Carmelite spirituality and charism  Description of Carmelite Charism; Inspired by the teachings of St. Teresa of Jesus; … It is centered on a loving friendship with God … The Carmelite Rule 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. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. A charism (from the Greek: χαρ?σμα) in general denotes any grace that God gifts to an individual or group to perform a specific mission in the Church and the World. 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. God’s presence must not be imagined as tangible and tangible. The elements of prayer, community and service are not unique to Carmel. Firstly, and most importantly, it is a way of following Christ with total dedication. We seek to live in God's presence and consent to God's will for us. Carmelites seek to form communities where each person feels accepted and valued not for what he can do but simply because he is. 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. 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. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. This book reaffirms the relevance of the Carmelite charism for all believers and opens up the biblical foundations of the Carmelite way of prayer. I know Thomas Aquinas considered marriage an impediment to contemplation, and one of the key elements of Carmelite spirituality is contemplation, so how does it work together in the case of a married secular Carmelite? I’m curious as to how the two vocations work together. It is a depth that is suspected in the whole reality. Yes and we all have to feed the poor, care for the sick etc. Prayer is the way we relate to God and as we grow in friendship with Christ our prayer will tend to become more and more simple. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. New tensions, causing divisions, arose in 1432 when some mitigations were made to the Rule. The way of prayer is mysterious and goes beyond our normal human categories. The Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm.). It used to be common to speak of religious orders as 'active' or 'contemplative', but Carmel understands contemplation and action to be complimentary, not contradictory. The Cardinal explains Carmelite prayer and charism in a concise way. When the Carmelites came to Europe, the hermits quickly developed into an order of mendicant friars (begging brothers). Elijah and Mary pondered God's Word in prayer, related to others in their local communities, and served those in need. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. Rather than doing a particular form of ministry, we seek through a variety of ministries to know and love God better, and to make God better known and loved. 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. 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. For example, some orders are devoted to teaching, or caring for the sick, or spreading the Gospel as missionaries abroad. A charism (from the Greek: χαρίσμα) in general denotes any grace that God gifts to an individual or group to perform a specific mission in the Church and the World. Carmelite Spirituality . Flos Carmeli; Carmelite Constitutions 1995; Lectio Divina; The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Carmelite Charism; Carmelite Saints; Carmelite Charism . Solitude in which the soul can begin to hear God’s silent whisper and community life in which each sister will experience love and support from others who also share in the same Carmelite spirit. 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. Fraternity, service and contemplation are therefore essential values for all Carmelites. More recently Fr. To become contemplative Carmelites seek to open their hearts to God, practicing what our tradition calls 'vacare Deo' (Latin for 'space for God' or 'openness to God'). 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. carmelite charism Our particular charism as members of the Carmelite Family is a pure gift from God. 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. Just as Carmelites are not restricted to one particular apostolate, so we are not restricted to one particular form of prayer. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. A formal commitment to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience shapes the life of all religious orders in the Church. The relationship with Christ will change us, impelling us to move out of the prison of selfishness towards the bright daylight of pure love for God and our fellow men and women. The Charism of Carmel embraces a healthy balance of solitude and community-living. 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