Community

ZEAL

Surprisingly perhaps, Carmel’s motto, rather than being about contemplation, refers to a fruit of contemplation. In the words of the Prophet Elijah:

“I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of Hosts.”
(I Kings 19:10)

Flamed by the call of the Holy Spirit, Carmelites inherit the zeal of Elijah. Elijah burned with an ardent love that made him fearless in defense of God’s honor and earnest in making known the truth at all costs. The fruit of such zeal in the cloister goes out to the entire world, at the speed of grace!

Who is weak and we are not weak? Only by the grace of God can we hope to support others in their struggles, to love Christ with passion, and to love all with compassion.

Working together
Being together

COMMUNITY LIFE

Community life is a challenging opportunity to make concrete one’s union with God by relating to each Sister in a spirit of caring, sharing, and bearing. Each one has her strengths and weaknesses; each is a handpicked spouse of Christ.

“Gathered in the name of the Lord, animated by the Holy Spirit, and following the Mother of God and the primitive Church, the community seeks to live united in ‘one heart and mind’, so to form an authentic religious family.” (Constitutions)

Convinced of the presence of the Lord Jesus in our midst, we join in the effort of community work. Together, we share our meals, reflect upon the common good, and enjoy recreation. A give and take of Vitamin H (humor!) each day helps to keep all kinds of things away!

Although each Sister sacrifices some of the joyful aspects of her femininity for an even greater Love, as a woman, she has not buried herself. She imitates, meditates, serves, contemplates, and loves Jesus Christ with all her heart and her entire being. As a result of her consecration and dedication to His Love, her whole existence takes on a more complete growth as a woman. (Fr. Falco Thuis, O. Carm.)

A moment of prayer

SPIRITUALITY

The canyon on Mount Carmel, which fostered the first Carmelites’ silence and solitude, has a contemporary counterpart. Placed by Providence in a climate very similar to that of the Holy Land, the Christoval monastery has a desert atmosphere. The Carmelites’ desert inevitably becomes an interior one.

A desert of faith and hope
A desert of braving dryness and aridity in prayer
Quietly waiting like a desert lily bulb
Waiting for God’s moment to water it
By grace into growth and full bloom

The desert is the result of God’s action and God’s timing. Like Mary and Elijah, all we can do to reach it is to open ourselves to the Spirit. In this desert experience, God forms desert hearts – emptied enough for God’s sunlight of Truth and wind of Love to do their searing, sanctifying work of union with Christ.

Time to reflect