WE CAN READILY SEE that the Blessed Virgin Mary was endowed in high measure with a remarkable interior
enlightenment, such as might have been anticipated in view of her sinlessness and the nature of her task in the world. The Gospels make abundantly clear that her soul was gifted with an extraordinary insight into
the ways of God and a prophetic intuition. Yet above all else it was faith that most characterized the Mother of Godthe kind of faith that does not need proof, but accepts a thing as true because God has spoken. The
Second Vatican Council declares that "the Blessed Virgin went forward in her pilgrimage of faith," and the Gospel records how generous and meritorious that pilgrimage was when it cites Elizabeth's high
tribute, which tells us so much about Mary's psychology and holiness: "Blessed are you, for you have believed."
Every page of the Gospel which relates anything of herwho she was, what she did, whatever she accomplished
gives proof of Mary's outstanding faith. This certainly draws us to imitate her, so that in our minds there is gradually shaped Mary's own mental outlookher grasp of the mystery of Christ which achieved its
perfection in her. This is the ideal frame of mind for those who, according to the divine plan of salvation, feel themselves called to be religious. This pattern of life means that we must learn to listen, to
search, to accept, to sacrifice. It must be our habit to meditate, to wait, to question; to be selfpossessed, to be free and calm, to be definite in judging and acting. Finally, we must develop prayer and communion
with God. All these attitudes, because they are inspired by faith, suggest our own situation, so that we can not only admire them, but imitate them as well.
We are aware that it is Carmelites we are speaking to, a virile family, full of enduring vigor, whose
interior life and apostolic activity shine with a light reflected from your unshaken, courageous and tender devotion to Mary. Before all else, we urge you to become proficient in the art of converse with God.
May the holy Virgin confirm you in your Carmelite vocation; may she preserve your relish for the things of
the Spirit; may she obtain for you the gifts necessary for that difficult yet holy ascent towards divine things and towards the ineffable experience of dark nights and lightfilled days; may she give you a thirst for
holiness and a desire to bear eschatological witness to the kingdom of heaven; may she grant you the grace of being models of brotherhood within the Church; and may she at last bring you to the possession of her
Son, to whom, even now, you want to dedicate yourselves so completely.