Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Rule outlines the way to live out the Carmelite life in allegiance to Christ, according to the spirit of the Order. We are to ponder the law of the Lord, by day and by night, in silence and in solitude, so that the word of God may dwell abundantly in the hearts and on the lips of those who profess it. We are to pray with perseverance, especially by keeping vigil and praying the psalms. We are also to be clothed in spiritual armour; to live in fraternal communion, expressed through the daily celebration of the Eucharist, through fraternal meetings in chapters, through shared ownership of all material goods, through fraternal and loving correction of failings, and through a life of austerity, with work and penance, rooted in faith, hope and love, always conforming one’s own will to God’s, sought in faith through dialogue and through the prior’s service to his brothers.
Carmelite spirituality is characterised by two features. The first is its Elijan trait which the Carmelites developed living as they did on Mount Carmel, the scene of the great prophet’s deeds. Its second feature is an intimacy with Mary in our spiritual life, eloquently witnessed by the title of being her brothers and the dedication of the first Church on Mount Carmel in her honour.
(Constitutions O.Carm. no.11-12)