Thursday, November 23, 2017

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Vocation

The Call to Carmel is a Vocation

“Carmel is not an organization, even a Christian organization, but a Christian community committed to leading an evangelical life … consequently, the Call to Carmel is a vocation. This vocation, like all vocations, requires not only careful discernment, but careful maintenance as the grace of a vocation implies a commitment to perseverance in that vocation.” (Provincial Statutes I, 4:1)


The Carmelite spirituality is based on a commitment “To live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience,” inspired by St. Paul’s words and proposed by St. Albert as the foundationon which their way of life is constructed. (Con 14).

Ministry

The purpose of the Church is to spread the kingdom of Christ on earth so that all may share in that salvation brought about by the Cross. [80] (The Third Order Rule of Carmel)

Since it is the proper calling of lay people to live in the world and in the midst of secular affairs, they are called upon by God to carry out this mission of the Church so that there is a Christian yeast in the temporal activities which they are deeply engaged in. [83] (The Third Order Rule of Carmel) Our lifestyle, which must be open and welcoming, invites us to share with others the communion of hearts and the experience of God which are lived within the community.(RIVC)

Faithful to the Order’s spiritual heritage, we focus our work, in its various dimensions, on increasing the search for God, and we invite men and women of our time to the experience of contemplation, sharing with them the richness of our spiritual tradition.(126) Our life as a contemplative community becomes a credible witness to the possibility of encountering the Other and others through silence, openness and sincere communication.(127) (RIVC)

Community

Sharing the Experience of God
“True community is formed from the relationship each has, not with the others, but with God at the center of the community.” (John Welch, The Carmelite Way)

Lay Carmelites commit themselves to co-operating with other members of the Carmelite family and with the whole Church so that it may realise its calling to be missionary in every circumstance and situation. [79] (The Rule for the Third Order of Carmel}

Lay Carmelites have monthly meetings and formation classes.
Lay Carmelites participate in an annual Day of Reflection and a weekend silent retreat.

Prayer

‘Prayer is life, it is not an oasis in the desert of life’, claimed Blessed Titus Brandsma. [67] John Paul II confirms that in Carmel ‘prayer becomes life and life flourishes in prayer.’ [68] (The Rule of the Third Order of Carmel)

Following the charism of the Carmel Order, the Lay Carmelite lives a life of intense prayer. We do this through:

The Sacramental life - Eucharist
Liturgy of the Hours - Morning, Evening and Night prayer
Lectio Divina - Contemplative
Devotional prayers and practices of the Catholic Church - wearing the Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel, the rosary etc.
“The challenge of Carmel is to seek God’s presence in prayer while living an active, busy life in the midst of the world.” (Provincial Statutes I, 3:1)

Copyright 2010 by The Lay Carmelites of Georgia