Friday, September 25, 2009
"From the earliest beginnings of the Order, the Carmelites have cultivated devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. They took her for their patron and tried to model their life on hers. The Carmelites were hermit solitaries, like Elias [Elijah], and were related through him to the tradition of the Old Testament. They participated in the spirit of the New Testament through Mary and tried to imitate her interior life. They knew that there is no better way of living Christ's life than to imitate Mary, because Mary is all for Jesus, as Jesus is all for God.
Carmelite friars and nuns, therefore, strive to live in intimate union with Mary. They have recourse to her in all their activities, begging her to enlighten and direct them. They take care to remain under her guidance, so that she may protect and defend them. They entrust themselves to her in all their needs of body and soul, and they especially take her as a guide in the way of contemplation. In short, they expect from her that she will form Christ in them."
-- The Spirit and Prayer of Carmel by François Jamart, ocd