Saturday, May 15, 2010

We belong to Mary

"Carmel is Marian. We belong to Mary. But if you notice, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is always depicted as holding the Child Jesus. Carmelites love Mary and honour her as the one who introduces us to Jesus. Strangely Mary is never mentioned in The Rule of St. Albert, the document that initially defines Carmel and its spirituality. In fact, Mary is mentioned relatively rarely in the ancient documents of the Order until the Book of the Institution of the First Monks which was composed in the final quarter of the fourteenth century. Furthermore, Mary is mentioned surprisingly rarely in the writings of St. Teresa or St. John of the Cross. Even St. Thérèse of Lisieux or Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity or St. Edith Stein mention her but rarely. Yet she is always present in the Carmelite tradition and her presence, though somewhat inconspicuous, is fundamental. When Mary is present in the Carmelite writings she is almost invariably eclipsed by her Son. It is a reminder that even though we cannot see the moon when the sun is shinning, the moon is always there, and it draws its light from the sun. In the same way, Carmelites remember that while our sight is focused on Jesus, Mary is still there. Like the moon she sheds not light of her own, but reflects the Light from her Divine Son."

-- Nine themes in carmelite spirituality by Patrick Thomas McMahon, OCarm

** Picture by Cofradía Pescadores

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