Saturday, August 01, 2009
Visiting a Carmelite hermitage in Chester, NJ is like finding your first love all over again. For want of a personal experience, I base my statement from friends who have told me that one never really forgets one's first love. It is the same experience I have with my own "first love." I have always been attached to the contemplative life of the Order of Carmel. When I visited the Carmelite hermitage today in Chester, NJ, I felt once again the feelings I had 25 years ago when I was first introduced to our Order. The solitude and silence all around me, the simple wooden chapel and furniture, the beautiful contemplative air I breathed- all reminded me of the first time I felt drawn to follow Jesus. I felt bonded with the early hermits in Mount Carmel, our forefathers. I felt the presence of the Lady of the Place. I felt a deep presence of God. Time passed quickly and it was time to go home. Even though Jesus had asked me to serve in the world, I carry my solitude within me. The mystical Mount Carmel will always be in me and I will never be parted from it. This is my inheritance and the inheritance of every Carmelite. I thank God for this beautiful day..
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