Friday, May 7, 2010

Carmelites are the signs of hope

"The common Carmelite Charism makes us one religious family even as our various personal charisms enrich it and express its multifaceted beauty. Community life is in itself both a proclamation and a challenge. A community that is full of life is both attractive and prophetic. Christ is present in the heart of our community as well as in the heart of the Church and in the hearts of so many people. We, as Carmelites, experience the beauty of community life, in which we share our common goods, and our gathering for the Eucharist nourishes our spiritual life as well as our relationships. Coming together with one another and finding communion with Christ provide the central moment of Carmelite spiritual life. The fact that we are living in community and celebrating the Eucharist together helps to nurture the spiritual life of the Church at the level of religious community. We can expand our prayer for those who, for some reason, cannot go to church themselves. Saint Therese, the Little Flower, spoke of this deep Communion with the Church and all its members as she wrote “in the heart of the Church I am love”. As a spiritual family within the Church, we Carmelites are the signs of hope, of the potential which we humans can reach with God’s grace. We respond to God’s call and to the Church’s teachings with humility. By our community lifestyle, we can inspire the world to live in peace with one another, and to share their concerns, their anxieties, and their resources with one another. Our lifestyle must be open and welcoming, inviting us to share with others the communion of hearts and the experience of God, which we are living in the community. When we live in the midst of the people, we help them to grow in their relationship with God and the Church. In the midst of the people, we bring them into the love of God, we do not shut them out."

--  The carmelite charism at the service of the church today by Peter Hoang Nguyen, OCarm

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