Dear carmelites: How do you pray?



I must admit that the Carmelite order caught my attention: 2 hours of mental prayer a day?!
Whether you are a discalced/calced, or third order carmelite (toc) or secular discalced (OCDS), or just knowledgable in their spirituality and put it in practive, can you tell me how you pray? What role does praying in model of Mary have to do w/ carmelite charism?



I am a Third Order Lay Carmelite since 1975. I am so grateful for this journey and the discipline it gives me that I need.

We are asked to pray Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer. Since I am retired from raising a family, I also pray the Office of Readings, as of a few years ago.

We are also asked to pray at least 1/2 hour of mental prayer daily…perhaps Lectio Divina from scripture, or just talking to the Lord in our own words and sitting silently to listen.

Our Blessed Mother Mary is truly my spiritual Mother and a great model for me. I consecrate myself to her every day and ask her to intercede for me. She has a special role in the life of believers, as heart is one with her Son Jesus our Savior.

I need to ponder more about the Lord like she did.

In Carmel,



Thank you for showing me the 3rd order prayers; seems like a very strong prayer routine


Do third-order Carmelites have the obligation to the Divine Office (i.e. under pain of sin), or is it highly recommended, or best-you-can? Just wondering what “asked” means here.


Our obligation is to Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. It is not under pain of sin, but is not to be taken lightly.

Some Lay Carmelite members may have more emergencies than others…(mothers with several small children, medical problems, etc. That would of course, come first.


So, in other words, not binding to the same degree as priests and first/second order Carmelites?




It’s an expectation but not a canonical requirement, as you said.

Back to the OP:

There is something of a “method” recommended by St. Teresa of Avila, among others, for mental prayer, although it is certainly not the only one:


  1. Preparation (placing oneself in the Presence of God)
  2. Reading (biblical or by a spiritual writer)
  3. Meditation (on the reading or flowing from the reading)
  4. Colloquy (speaking directly to God from the heart)
  5. Thanksgiving
  6. Offering (good resolution)
  7. Petition (imploring God’s help)

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. treats of this briefly in the preface to “Divine Inimacy.”

He divides them into three parts.
Introductory (Steps 1 and 2)
Essential (Steps 3 and 4)
Optional (Steps 5, 6, and 7)

He calls this the “Teresian method.”

As Dorothy has stated, there are many Carmelite approaches to prayer; this is one commonly used to foster mental prayer.

closed #9

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