Jesus Christ The Center of our lives Our relationship with Our Lord is primarily an intimate union of friendship with HIM, whom we know loves us.
The whole life of Carmel is to live in Christ. Then all our sacrifices, all our immolations become divine, for through everything we see Him whom we love and everything leads to Him; it is a continual heart to heart communion.
Day in and day out we seek Jesus as our companion, our friend, the One with whom we live. His love and friendship fills our days and nights.
There is so much to fathom in Christ, for He is like an abundant mine with many recesses of treasures, so that however deep a person goes they can never reach the end but rather in every recess find new veins with new riches everywhere.
Carmel is radical option for Jesus as the center of one's existence….
As the most important person in one's life…. without exception.
Carmel belongs to Mary!
Choosing the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother and Patroness places us under her protection. When the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel gives her holy Habit to a person, it is to communicate her own spirit to them as well as a sign of fidelity between the newly invested Carmelite and Mary.
Under Mary's maternal protection and guidance and with her sisterly companionship and example, we journey up the mountain of Carmel.
We find ourselves called to follow Jesus to the foot of the Cross, where we stand with Mary in prayer and hope.
The Carmelite views Mary not only as Mother, but Sister as well. The official title of Carmelites is "Brothers" or "Sisters" of The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.
Mary is with us in prayer as: *our Mother as in our advocate and protector, as a mother protects and cares for her children, we are her children. After all Jesus GAVE us Mary as our Mother from the Cross when he told his disciple, "Behold thy Mother". Jesus also told His mother Mary, "Woman, behold your son."
* our Sister, by supporting us in our prayers and efforts in living out our vocation.
How lucky we are to have such a loving Mother who guides and cares for us from heaven.
Carmel is a Life of Prayer and Contemplation
We come to Carmel for one single reason: to pray, to be persons of prayer; that is to say, souls of love, who spend their lives loving God!
We are in Carmel only for this; to love! To love, of course, requires that we give proof of our love. This love expresses itself in continual prayer. Continual, because this state of prayer must be our life not only for two half hour periods a day, but all day long. Contemplation is (according to our Holy Mother St Teresa of Jesus) talking to God as with a friend.
A person comes here because they thirst for God, because they desire to find God and to reveal God to the whole world. Our very life is a witness to the reality of God.
At prayer, we are fed with the spiritual food that will strengthen us throughout the day. And our "main meal" is found in the Holy Eucharist. In the heat and haste of our modern journey through life, Jesus invites us: "Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you." And he promises us that: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, lives in me and I in him." Jesus abides with us Emmanuel--God with us.
Silence and Solitude create the material and spiritual atmosphere which is most apt for intimacy with God, who gives Himself only in the sanctuary of our hearts. We take our hermitage with us in our daily lives. Even though we work in the world, we always keep in our thoughts and prayers, Jesus, who is the central focus of our lives, even as we serve His people.
Recollection is looking at Jesus more and more. It is our occupation throughout the day. This prayer is intensified during the hours of mental prayer.
Because of our title, Hermits of Mercy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we have a mission to offer spiritual and corporal works of mercy to Jesus for the denial and unbelief of his great love for us. We also reach out to the marginalized of society and the mainline churches, to those who hunger and thirst for holiness, who want to become closer in union with our Lord. We do this especially through our weekly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, our physical work and our intercessory prayers for all those who request it of us and for the world in general.
In addition to Holy Mass, we also have two half hours of meditation, chant the Divine Office together, pray the rosary and the Chaplet of Mercy daily, have spiritual reading and adore the Exposed Blessed Sacrament. And why pray so much? Because without Christ we can do nothing. Prayer brings heaven to earth. In heaven we will be caught in the loving presence of the God who created us--the God who is Love. In the end there are three things, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love!
Our day begins, flows and ends with prayer and work. As a stream flows down the mountain to refresh the ground and make the grass and flowers live, so does our prayer give life to all our apostolic works. Through our prayer, we are able to bring God's presence to the People whom we serve.
We have many excellent guides to assist us in our mission, those who in the Carmelite family showed by their example of living a life of service and virtue. These guides are the saints of the Carmelite Order.
All of them are with us as we climb the Mount of Carmel, offering to God their prayers on our behalf, along with our own prayers and good works. All of God's people have many friends already in heaven - the saints. The saints are very willing to help us when we ask their intercession.