The Cardinal explains Carmelite prayer and charism in a concise way. The major difference is that friars are called to serve the People of God in some active apostolate. 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. Marie-Eugène, OCD (1953) 2. There are many good and holy ways of living that are not Carmelite. 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. In community building (or fraternity) we encounter God in our brothers and sisters, who comfort and challenge us. Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., has described it simply as 'friendship with God'. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. For example, some orders are devoted to teaching, or caring for the sick, or spreading the Gospel as missionaries abroad. Teresian Charism. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. 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. 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. Some Religious Congregations were founded for a specific work but the Carmelite Order tries simply to respond to the needs of the Church and the world which differ according to time and place, and so, many friars work in parishes, schools, universities, retreat centres, prisons, hospitals etc. The Charism of Carmel embraces a healthy balance of solitude and community-living. It has a unique history and origin with a spirituality that continues to foster holiness in the lives of her many sons and daughters. A charism defines the particular essence of an individual or religious community. The Carmelite charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Again, this is not unique to Carmelites, but is a distinctive aspect of our life. 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. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. In prayer (or worship) we build up a friendship with 'the God whom we know loves us', as St. Teresa of Avila described it. 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. 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. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel 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 … An evolving understanding Carmelites are also aware of being part of an international fraternity which is present in many parts of the world. Modelled on Elijah and Mary, and inspired by Carmel's saints When nuns developed in the Order, the monastic elements of Carmel came to the fore. There they changed their style of life from hermits to friars. In addition, each order has a particular spiritual orientation, way of living and role or mission within 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. As Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner once said, "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist at all." Carmelite prayer is more an attitude or understanding, rather than a particular method. The goal of the Carmelite life is union with God. The spirituality of Carmel is a dynamic, life-giving tension. So if all Christians are called to be contemplative, what makes the Carmelite way of life distinctive? This Rule of St. Albert and the experience of the Carmelites as they sought to be faithful to it in various circumstances gave definitive shape to the charism. Flos Carmeli; Carmelite Constitutions 1995; Lectio Divina; The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Carmelite Charism; Carmelite Saints; Carmelite Charism . carmelite charism Our particular charism as members of the Carmelite Family is a pure gift from God. For some religious orders, their charism inspires work in a particular area. 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. Rather than being restricted to one particular form of community, we seek in many different forms of community to know and love God better, and to make God better known and loved. God’s presence must not be imagined as tangible and tangible. Our charism is also informed by our Rule of Saint Albert, given to the first Carmelites on Mount Carmel around the year 1200 as a sort of 'vision statement' of how they should live together. Discover the birth of the Carmelite Order & its growth through the centuries. Rather, to be present to God in the midst of His people, to bring to the world flames from the divine fire burning within … 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. Neither private prayer not public service by themselves fulfill the Rule of Carmel. Firstly, and most importantly, it is a way of following Christ with total dedication. Yes and we all have to feed the poor, care for the sick etc. Our prayer, community building and service inform one another, and together are part of our contemplative vocation. In this 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. By Rancy Varghese on May 17, 2018. 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 quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. Carmel is distinctive in the variety of forms in which it is found, and the diverse elements it encompasses. The hermits were forced to leave their home on Mount Carmel and settle in Europe. Our Ideal I. 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. The Essence of the Carmelite Charism is Prayer and Contemplation. Carmelite Spirituality . 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. Carmelite Spirituality Also available in print as Carmelite Spirituality Teresian Tradition P… 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 … The roots of our vocation 1. Leading to union with God, Carmelite spirituality is characterized by an intense thirst for a direct experience of God and acceptance of His will. 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. Prayer and contemplation for the Carmelite are not private matters between the individual and God but are to be shared with others since the charism is given for the whole world. The heart of the Carmelite charism is prayer and contemplation. Carmelites seek to be contemplatives: God-seekers, friends of God who are open to God's transforming action in our lives. The Carmelite way of life began with a group of consecrated lay men living as hermits on Mount Carmel. There is no single form of Carmelite community The Charism of each Christian religious family emphasizes the particular way in which its members follow Christ. Whilst Carmelites value silence and solitude, we understand contemplation in a broader sense. 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. These three elements are at the heart of the Carmelite charism. Prayer is the focal point of our lives and the heart of our service for God. A formal commitment to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience shapes the life of all religious orders in the Church. We are called to embark on a journey of faith whereby we are gradually stripped of all that is not God so that we can put on Christ. They aren’t bound to celibacy and so they are able to marry, and I know I saw somewhere on here a married OCDS. Communities of friars (brothers) may vary in size and style depending on the members of the community and the place that it serves. Marie-Eugène, OCD (1955) 3. We might be better referring to 'active' and 'meditative', but again the two are linked. We seek to live in God's presence and consent to God's will for us. These hermits lived in community, and therefore had elements of the cenobitic or monastic life. Overview of Carmelite spirituality and charism  Description of Carmelite Charism; Inspired by the teachings of St. Teresa of Jesus; … A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. 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. Carmelites seek to be contemplative. Carmelites seek to form communities where each person feels accepted and valued not for what he can do but simply because he is. Another Carmelite has said that the Order's charism is "to know and love God, and to make God known and loved". 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. 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. 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. Elijah and Mary pondered God's Word in prayer, related to others in their local communities, and served those in need. 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. SPIRITUALITY . 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'). 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. Carmelites do this by seeking to form contemplative communities at the service of God’s people in whose midst they live. As an idea 'contemplation' is both complex and radically simple. 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. The charism (or spiritual focus) of the Carmelite Order is contemplation. Catholic religious orders use the word 'charism' to describe their spiritual orientation and any special characteristics or values. So what is distinctive in Carmel? This gift is handed down through the centuries and enriched by all who are called to live it. The charism of the Carmelite order is prayer. It is a mysterious gift of God, and different Christian traditions and religious orders have slightly different understandings of it. The quality of our prayer determines the quality of the community life and the quality of the service which is offered to others. 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. Carmelites speak of contemplation as a gift of God that can be nurtured by a life of prayer, community, and service. 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. 1. Prayer opens us to the Ultimate Mystery. 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. Carmel's spirituality therefore became mendicant. 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. At different times in the Carmelite Order's history our charism has been articulated in slightly different ways, or with varying emphases. They were perhaps former crusaders and pilgrims who adopted a penitent lifestyle in the desert tradition. The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm provide compassionate care that validates a person’s choice and dignity. The kind of service which each individual friar is involved in will depend on the needs of the people in whose midst he lives and his own particular talents. In such ways we contribute to the Order the benefits proper to our secular state of life. 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. You might say sure we all have to pray. 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. Therefore there is an emphasis in the Order on the ministry of teaching prayer and giving spiritual direction. All are called to contemplation 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? The elements of prayer, community and service are not unique to Carmel. Other than that, Carmelites are free to practice whatever forms of prayer they find helpful in nurturing their friendship with God. The Carmelite Charism A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. Each person who joins the Carmelite Family brings unique gifts that we seek to match to a particular form of outreach. Contemplation is at the heart of Carmel I’m curious as to how the two vocations work together. Carmel is therefore an interplay, a balance of tensions between these different forms of life: eremitic, mendicant, monastic, lay. 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. A year ago in my Province’s publication, The Sword, I wrote an article that emphasized our first treasure – community and fraternity – the family aspect of our charism. www.carmelite.org is a website of The British Province of Carmelites (Carmelite Charitable Trust - Charity Registered in England & Wales No. 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. With the growth of the Third Order (Lay Carmel), the secular spirituality of Carmel in the world was recovered. Many people understand the term 'contemplative' to mean someone withdrawn from the world, perhaps living in silent retreat and practicing 'contemplative 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. Action vs. Contemplation? The links below give some flavour of that spirituality and thought both from the distant past and also from our own days. I Am a Daughter of the Church: A Practical Synthesis of Carmelite Spirituality (Vol II) Bl. It is centered on a loving friendship with God … 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. There is no single form of Carmelite apostolate Every religious order, every Christian, and indeed every person of any faith is called to practice and combine these elements. 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. 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