The Carmelite Desert

The canyon on Mount Carmel which fostered the first Carmelites’ silence and solitude has its 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 a spiritual one: a desert of faith and hope; of braving dryness and aridity in prayer, quietly waiting like a desert lily bulb, for God’s moment to water it by grace into growth and full bloom.

The desert is the result of God’s action. We enter it only when God brings us there. All we can do to reach it is to open ourselves, like Mary and Elijah, to see the Spirit’s action. 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 oneness with Jesus.