Life of Prayer
According to Saint Teresa’s insight, the Carmelite Nun is a woman who lives in solitude for others. Her enclosure wall is not a sign of separation, but of commitment. She is an Ecclesial woman; her life is centered in the Eucharist, where she receives Christ and offers herself in union with Him for His Body the Church.
Saint Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) has expressed it this way: ”In the heart of my mother the Church, I will be LOVE…” for she knew that “love reaches through time and space, because it is eternal.” The Carmelite vocation is a many-faceted and richly rewarding total consecration to Christ through chastity, poverty and obedience in a life of prayer.
Our Holy Mother, Saint Teresa of Avila made prayer the foundation of our life and our primary activity. Daily we gather together to celebrate the Eucharist which is the source and summit of our life.The praise and gratitude of the Eucharistic celebration is extended to the various hours of our day as we gather together to chant the Liturgy of the Hours.
One hour in the morning and one in the evening is spent in personal prayer. Saint Teresa describes prayer as “an intimate sharing between friends, a frequent lingering in solitude, with Him who we know loves us.” Liturgical prayer enriches our personal prayer while personal prayer deepens our participation in the liturgical mysteries. Prayer is not confined to these specific times, however, for it permeates our entire existence.
Spiritual reading in silence and solitude nourishes our prayer. Through study of the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, we come to a deeper knowledge of Christ, our Spouse.
“In order to foster the prayerful and solitary atmosphere that is the hallmark of Carmel, all the sisters shall carefully keep silence, except when they are required to talk by necessity or by reason of their duties, or when they have the permission of the Prioress to speak with sisters in response to some need.” Constitutions #82
“For all the time in which the sisters are not with the community or are occupied with house duties, they will keep each to her own cell, as the Rule prescribes; they will remain in God’s presence in solitude and give themselves to prayer, study or work.” Constitutions #84