Sunday, May 9, 2010

We are called to live a life of service

" Service is an integral part of our charism. As baptized people, we are called to live a life of service. Based on the value of the Gospel, our Rule mentions that the prior is the one who best serves of the needs of his brothers and so our leaders today serve the needs of the brothers and sisters — but we are all called, in turn, to serve others. Our lifestyle and our spirituality must be translatable into attitudes and actions capable of communicating our Carmelite spirit through an ongoing effort to inculturate our charism and the gospel message. We are open to every kind of service, apostolate or profession. As we bring Christ to people, we encounter Christ present in them by obedience to Christ’s command to “go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe my commands” (Mt 28:19-20). Our Order promotes the continuation of a long missionary tradition which reached its high point when St. Therese of the Child Jesus was made patron saint of the missions. We are confident that missionary work today will reveal in a new way the heart of the Carmelite charism as the Carmelite family goes into new cultures and nations. The Carmelites can cooperate with the Church in this most sacred duty because we participate with all Christians in the Church’s one channel of grace. But we have a unique vocation in the service of the people. The Carmelite, by virtue of our contemplative prayer, can help the Church to listen to the cry of the poor, the oppressed, the outcast, and the marginalized. We are willing to learn to work with others in the service of the Kingdom, to develop a special love for and interest in the Church and her mission. Thus, in whatever work we do, we focus more on the spiritual journey of those around us."

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

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