Call to Prayer
The challenge of Carmel is to seek God's
presence while living an active, busy life in the midst of the
world. This was the situation faced by the first
Carmelite hermits who migrated to Europe, men used to praying in solitude now called to be
involved in active ministry. Prayer and ministry
are mutual companions according to our traditions. Prayer
develops a center of faith which
reaches out generously to others while involvement with others often energizes the movement to prayer. It is an attempt to
live a prayerful presence in a busy world.
It is a vitality which has graced the Church
over the centuries.
The sacramental life of the Church
is central to the heart of a Secular
The Liturgy of the Hours
our day and unites us to the prayer of the Church.
Secular Carmelites should be faithful to liturgical year
and Marian devotions,
especially the daily Rosary, as far as their
circumstances of life allow.
When not occupied with the daily demands of life, we are called by the Rule
of Carmel to quietly listen to the Word
which is formed in our hearts. This
stillness and prayerful reflection on Scripture will lead to contemplative
prayer after the pattern of Mary,
our Mother, who
"treasured all these things and reflected them in her heart"
Through these efforts, the Secular Carmelite community
shall become a clear sign to all others of the Church at
From its beginning, the entire Carmelite Family
has been specially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Indeed, we have always been known as the Brothers and Sisters
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Therefore, all Secular
Carmelites shall honor Our Lady with a special
love and devotion. She is
the model of all that we desire and hope to be.
Carmelites have always put themselves under the maternal care of Our Lady, invoking her
as Mother. The Order enjoys
her special patronage. The brown
scapular is a sign of her protection,
a symbol too of one's interior life of devotion to Our Lady.
Call to ministry
Secular Carmelites, as all baptised
persons, are called to be deeply involved in the mission of
the Church. Immersed in the world as they are, they shall reflect a Christian spirit of service to their
families, in their work or professional surroundings, in their social responsibilities and
relations with others and in every action of their day.
They will find in the person of Elijah a valid
inspiration for this witness. It was he who said, "I have
been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts" (1Kings
20:10). In doing battle with false prophets of his day, Elijah
proclaimed the reign of God and
worked hard for its establishment. The Secular
Carmelite in the spirit of Elijah is called to critique the values,
actions, systems and goals which are
inimical to the Gospel.
Our mother Mary too is a
wonderful example for ministry, walking with
Jesus every step of the way, even to the
foot of the Cross.
Ministry in our day involves
a sacrifice of time, talent
and treasure on the part of the individual. The Secular Carmelite
accepts this obligation of stewardship, holding in esteem the invitation
of the Lord that we deny
ourselves, take up our crosses daily and
Any ministry undertaken by
individuals or the local communities should flow from our Carmelite heritage,
and bring about the sanctification of our
families, our work and society. The ministries
shall be integrated with the other areas of Carmelite life. Praying for others is a
valid ministry, exemplified so well in the Second Order,
our sisters in Carmelite cloisters all over the world. Saint
Therese of Lisieux viewed prayer
as redemptive -
and sacrificing for others.