Photo: Carmelite Monastery of Baltimore
Rooted in an ancient Order inspired by the prophet Elijah and reformed by St Teresa of Avila, our Carmels are built on a foundation of continual prayer, silence, solitude, community, and selective presence to the world. Through solitary and communal prayer we hope to touch all people with the healing and renewing power of God’s love.
Called by God to live together in Christian community, and blessed with the example of Mary, who pondered the Word of God in her heart, we endeavor to live according to gospel values.
The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience offer the freedom to live these values in a deeper way, challenging us to approach all creation with reverence, treasuring human relationships, and respecting one another through cooperative effort to live in creative harmony.
What do we do all day? While Carmelites know well the everyday ups and downs of living together, our day is enriched by the Liturgy of the Hours, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, two hours of silent prayer, solitude, spiritual reading, work, leisure and a simplicity of life that supports contemplative prayer.
Along with scripture and contemporary writings, the works of St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, and St Therese of Lisieux are powerful aids to fidelity. The Rule of Carmel would have us “meditating day and night on the law of the Lord unless otherwise justly employed.” This translates into our endeavor to remain conscious of God’s presence in all we do and in our relationships with others.
This Divine Companionship tends to accomplish what any close friendship does. Little by little the person takes on the mind and heart of the dear friend, Jesus. Soon God’s great love and care for all people and for all of creation is mirrored in the mind and heart of the person who is faithful to this life of prayer.