Discaliced Carmelite Charisim


#1

Hi,
I'm new to the forums, and am wondering if anyone could give me more information about the charisim of the discaliced carmelites. I am being called to join a discaliced carmelite monastery (God willing) and have gone to visit them three times now and will be going again to visit next Saturday. At this visit I will hopefully be making arrangements for an extended stay sometime this summer, but I would like to know more about their charisim before then.

Right now I am reading St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography and wow!, God is speaking so much to me through her that it's unbelievable. He knows exactly what I need to read and when. I know from my reading and the research that I've done on-line that they focus on mental prayer, but I'm not completely sure what that is. My spiritual director has told me that when I have more time this summer (I'm a teacher) he'll begin teaching me about mental prayer during our visits and have me do it for 15 minutes to start out with. I would like to have a better idea of what mental prayer is before then so any info you could share would be great, Thanks!

Also, is there anyone else out there being called to carmel? I'd like to hear from you and share about how God called you to carmel.

Thanks again:)


#2

vent801- First off welcome to CAF. :)

I also have a great love for the Discalced Carmelites as well. I am discerning with Carmel of St. Joseph in Armstrong, B.C.

carmelspall.org

Here is a thread I started a year ago titled " A calling of Love" that basically explains my call to Carmelite.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=308955

I have some information on Carmelites throughout my threads so you are more than welcomed to browse around. I think there are people on CAF that are really helpful.

If you have any questions or comments why not ask your Carmelite Sisters?

I will Pray for you.

God bless you on your journey,
goforgoal


#3

I envy you your invitation from God to Carmel -- it's a beautiful life and one that will bring you very close to Jesus.

I've been informally associated with the Carmelite monastery at Carmel, California, for many years and the sanctity and power of prayer there are as real as the beautiful chapel.

Thomas Merton has written extensively on contemplation (mental prayer) in many of his books. "New Seeds of Contemplation" is a treasure, in my opinion, St. John of the Cross is a little tough for beginners, but many of the well-known contemplative monks/nuns/saints have also written on this form of prayer. Maybe Google "contemplative prayer" and see what turns up.

I wish you all the best in your discernment process, I pray daily for Carmelite men and women -- count yourself among those prayers. God bless you!


#4

I do not know if I would go into reading Merton's book 'New Seeds of Contemplation'...one has to be quite mature in the Spirit to realize that this book can be quite ambiguous! I would stay away from it.

There are books that interpret St John of the Cross's spirituality and it is there I would venture. Mother Theresa herself has said that just reading his works caused her to thirst more for Him who was calling her to be such a great Saint! And she is not the only one!

Search in that area...I have for the past 25 years+ and can say you will be greatly enriched! An easy book to start off with maybe is Ralph Martin's book 'The Fulfillement of all desires'. He expands on 5 doctors of the church...he speaks of St Therese of the infant Jesus, St Theresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Sienna, St Bernard and St Augustine.

In this book it encompasses the different stages of prayer. Here are the main titles:

Transformation begins (the purgative way)
Reaching Stability but mving on (the illuminative way)
Transforming Union (the unitive way)

It is very simple and very well written....you will dip into tall these saints' experiences and you will want to enter more into this journey. A spiritual director is very good to have as you grow day to day in the Lord.

If you are interested, there are some books that Fr Benedict Groeschel also wrote about the different stages of prayer which also encompass our psychological well-being. Wonderfully done also...


#5

I agree fully with Shoshana, Thomas Merton is NOT a good place to start for learning about the depths of prayer. That being said, he was an excellent writer, one of my favorites, and I believe he was greatly misunderstood in many ways. But, as was said, his writings are extremely ambiguous, incorporating many eastern religions and ideas. Great literature, but not a place to go to learn the depths of Catholic prayer.

I am currently in the minor seminary formation program for the diocese, but I too strongly feel called to a cloistered Carmel. The desire to be truly united with God, free of ALL other attachments and resigned to whatever His will is for life (a difficult path, to be sure) is at the center of Carmelite spirituality. St. John of the Cross as well as Teresa of Avila CAN be extremely tough, but I still feel they are worth pursuing, even when first getting into this deeper prayer. Have you read St. Teresa's "Interior Castle"? Even if you don't get everything, that's a wonderful book to become acquainted with the Carmelite way of prayer. Shoshana's recommendations of Ralph Martin and Fr. Groeschel are excellent choices as well. May God bless you and help you in your discernment process!

In Christ and Our Lady,
Frank


#6

[quote="Cominghome89, post:5, topic:197633"]
I agree fully with Shoshana, Thomas Merton is NOT a good place to start for learning about the depths of prayer. That being said, he was an excellent writer, one of my favorites, and I believe he was greatly misunderstood in many ways. But, as was said, his writings are extremely ambiguous, incorporating many eastern religions and ideas. Great literature, but not a place to go to learn the depths of Catholic prayer.

I am currently in the minor seminary formation program for the diocese, but I too strongly feel called to a cloistered Carmel. The desire to be truly united with God, free of ALL other attachments and resigned to whatever His will is for life (a difficult path, to be sure) is at the center of Carmelite spirituality. St. John of the Cross as well as Teresa of Avila CAN be extremely tough, but I still feel they are worth pursuing, even when first getting into this deeper prayer. Have you read St. Teresa's "Interior Castle"? Even if you don't get everything, that's a wonderful book to become acquainted with the Carmelite way of prayer. Shoshana's recommendations of Ralph Martin and Fr. Groeschel are excellent choices as well. May God bless you and help you in your discernment process!

In Christ and Our Lady,
Frank

[/quote]







Thank you Frank! I have also read many of Merton's books...but I have given them all away....God was calling me to the carmelite charism...mainly John of the Cross. But as I said there are many books that 'interpret' his writings.

As far as Fr Groeschel goes, here is a link of most of his books...but mainly these books are excellent for a grounded spirituality (he also uses John of the Cross, etc)

http://franciscanfriars.com/BTC/atthecross/journey.jpg and Spiritual Passages is a very good one on prayer...and 'In the presence of Our Lord' is the history of the Eucharist through the ages. There are so many good books of his!!!

franciscanfriars.com/books/benedict_books.htm

Also the book "Fulfillment of all Desire:

*The Fulfillment of all Desire by: Ralph Martin *

1.bp.blogspot.com/_2_UP4DuuNxE/S3mGIpM_veI/AAAAAAAADGo/x4WGqo8ZS2I/s200/FulfillmentDesire.jpgThe Fulfillment of all Desire:
A Guidebook for the Journey
to God Based on the Wisdom
of the Saints
**
***Ralph Martin*
ISBN 1931018367
Emmaus Road Publishing

The subtitle of this book is A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints. Ralph Martin, a leader within the renewal movement, has taught on this subject in many different settings and in many different ways. In this book he examines seven of the 33 Doctors of the church and how their writings contribute to the understanding of a spiritual journey. These studies are done through the three stages of spiritual growth.

bookreviewsandmore.ca/2007/02/fulfillment-of-all-desire-by-ralph.html


#7

I also have a great love for the Discalced Carmelites as well. I am discerning with Carmel of St. Joseph in Armstrong, B.C.

If you have any questions or comments why not ask your Carmelite Sisters?

I will Pray for you.

Thank you for welcoming me,
I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one is being called to Carmel on CAF. I think I will take your advice and ask the sisters about mental prayer on Saturday. The mother superior said we would have a lot to talk about at this visit and I'll ask about it while we're talking. Thank you for praying for me and I'll pray for you

God Bless You,
vent801


#8

*Thomas Merton has written extensively on contemplation (mental prayer) in many of his books. "New Seeds of Contemplation" is a treasure, in my opinion, St. John of the Cross is a little tough for beginners, but many of the well-known contemplative monks/nuns/saints have also written on this form of prayer. Maybe Google "contemplative prayer" and see what turns up.

I wish you all the best in your discernment process, I pray daily for Carmelite men and women -- count yourself among those prayers. *

Thank you for your prayers,
I think I'll take your advice and google contemplate prayer. I wasn't sure if "mental prayer" and "contemplative prayer" were the same thing but it seems that they are.

Thanks again,
vent801


#9

I am currently in the minor seminary formation program for the diocese, but I too strongly feel called to a cloistered Carmel. The desire to be truly united with God, free of ALL other attachments and resigned to whatever His will is for life (a difficult path, to be sure) is at the center of Carmelite spirituality. St. John of the Cross as well as Teresa of Avila CAN be extremely tough, but I still feel they are worth pursuing, even when first getting into this deeper prayer. Have you read St. Teresa's "Interior Castle"? Even if you don't get everything, that's a wonderful book to become acquainted with the Carmelite way of prayer. Shoshana's recommendations of Ralph Martin and Fr. Groeschel are excellent choices as well. May God bless you and help you in your discernment process!

In Christ and Our Lady,
Frank

I can't wait to unite myself completely to Our Lord away from "the world" and devote myself fully to him. God will I'll be able to enter in a little over a year. I would love to enter now, but my teaching contract still has another year on it, so now I must have patience and continue to trust in The Lord.

Right now I'm reading volume one of the complete works of St. Teresa of Avila, which is mostly her autobiography. I think volume two has the "Interior Castle" and "The Way of Perfection" in it, and I plan on reading that next. My spiritual director told me the same thing you did, that it's okay if I don't understand everything she writes.


#10

vent801- May God reward you for your prayers and continue to pray as you discern.

I'm glad you and Mother Superior will discuss a lot this coming Saturday.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." - Matthew 7:7

Although I've never read this book it could be a good read. It's called:

"The Carmelite Charism" by: James McCaffrey, OCD

amazon.com/Carmelite-Charism-Exploring-Biblical-Roots/dp/1853907375/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

You can also browse around amazon.com for other Carmelite books.

cgi.ebay.com/Carmelite-Charism-James-McCaffrey-Paperback-2005-/341509094256

CAnnElizabeth, Cominghome89, and Shoshana- God bless you for recommending all these wonderful books I'll be sure to check them out as well.

vent801 and Cominghome89- May I ask which Discalced Carmelites you are discerning with?


#11

[quote="vent801, post:7, topic:197633"]

Thank you for welcoming me,
I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one is being called to Carmel on CAF. I think I will take your advice and ask the sisters about mental prayer on Saturday. The mother superior said we would have a lot to talk about at this visit and I'll ask about it while we're talking. Thank you for praying for me and I'll pray for you

God Bless You,
vent801

[/quote]

Vent801, you are not the only one is being called to Carmel on CAF.
With God's grace and God's will, I may start trying to live in for 3 months this November.


#12

[quote="wina, post:11, topic:197633"]
Vent801, you are not the only one is being called to Carmel on CAF.
With God's grace and God's will, I may start trying to live in for 3 months this November.

[/quote]

Congrats on your upcomng live in. My meeting on Saturday with the mother superior went wonderfully. We visited for a little over an hour and she invited me to a "come and see' experience this summer. At first she was thinking a week or two, but I told her that my spritual director and I and thought that one month would be a good amount of time, and she agreed :D . We looked at the calender and picked out a date for me to come. She even told me that she hadalready started cleaning out a cell for me just in case and wanted to come in the summer. I'm so excited, God willing in about a month I'll be starting me live in :)


#13

[quote="vent801, post:12, topic:197633"]
Congrats on your upcomng live in. My meeting on Saturday with the mother superior went wonderfully. We visited for a little over an hour and she invited me to a "come and see' experience this summer. At first she was thinking a week or two, but I told her that my spritual director and I and thought that one month would be a good amount of time, and she agreed :D . We looked at the calender and picked out a date for me to come. She even told me that she hadalready started cleaning out a cell for me just in case and wanted to come in the summer. I'm so excited, God willing in about a month I'll be starting me live in :)

[/quote]







May the Lord bless and keep you...may He let His Face to shine upon you....and may He grant you his wonderful peace..


#14

You are very fortunate. I have to correspondence for 1 year before they allow me to live in although one of the sister has known me for almost 7 years. And they only allow to live in for 3 month there is no other choices. But Thy will be done.
Congratulations…


#15

Hello-

I’m sorry, new to the thread :rolleyes: I’m entering a Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Georgetown, CA in July. Have you heard of it? Maybe if you are still interested in charism of the order or if you are looking for a monastery you could look at them. They are truly beautiful and in a beautiful setting in the mountains of Northern California.

Through Jesus and Mary,

Karissa


#16

[quote="KarissaS, post:15, topic:197633"]
Hello-

I'm sorry, new to the thread :rolleyes: I'm entering a Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Georgetown, CA in July. Have you heard of it? Maybe if you are still interested in charism of the order or if you are looking for a monastery you could look at them. They are truly beautiful and in a beautiful setting in the mountains of Northern California.

Through Jesus and Mary,

Karissa

[/quote]

God bless you and congratulations I am also discerning with the Discalced Carmelite Nuns

Is this the Monastery?

carmelitemonastery.com/

I'll be sure to Pray for you and your Carmelite Sisters and for all who are discerning a vocation to Religious life. Amen.


#17

Howdy,
I'm sorry, I thought the only OCD friar monastery in North America is in Cody, Wyoming? Am I wrong? Thanks.


#18

[quote="Saint_Macarius, post:17, topic:197633"]
Howdy,
I'm sorry, I thought the only OCD friar monastery in North America is in Cody, Wyoming? Am I wrong? Thanks.

[/quote]

Nope, they are not OCD .. they are a new independent community .. neither O.Carm or OCD (and they do not intend to join either actually) They aren't friars either, but are monks. carmelitemonks.org/ Traditionally male Carmelites are either friars or hermits, so what they are doing is pretty unique. Basically they are trying to live the life that the cloistered OCD nuns live .. but as Carmelite monks. It's interesting. I think they are Diocesan Right .. though I'm not sure .. a new site of theirs about their foundation, newmountcarmelfoundation.org/

There are many OCD friars communities throughout the country .. I think there are three Provinces .. ocdwest.org/ - carmelitesok.org/ - ocdwashprov.com/ I've heard the Western Province is the best (just an opinion though .. and I mean best in terms of being orthodox, etc.)

As for the nuns, they are all autonomous and each Carmel has it's own unique spirit .. but some basic differences are the French vs. Spanish customs (for one thing, the habit/veil is a little different) and then there's the two different sets of Constitutions approved for the nuns .. the 1990s and 1991s. For a little more on that, here's a blog a friend of mine who entered Carmel started, discalcedcarmelites1990.blogspot.com/ though it's not finished yet .. I'm hoping if I can to finish it for her. So far it's a rough translation of this blog, carmelitasdescalzas1990.blogspot.com/ though she was going to add a lot of what she learned through her own experience too.

Basically the 1990s are the 1581 Constitutions updated to the current code of Canon Law and the 1991s are the new ones. The 1990 Carmels are directly under the Holy See, while the 1991s are under the OCD Father General. Also, an old thread from phatmass about it .. phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=71812

Generally speaking, you can't do a live-in visit with a 1990 Carmel .. you just take the plunge and enter as it was in the old days (though I can understand there are definitely huge advantages to being able to do a live-in .. and especially these days, as things are a not less stable in the world than they were 50 years ago, etc. ... though I can also see the reasons for not doing live-ins .. so anyway, both exist in Carmel!) and a couple exceptions I know of as far as 1990 Carmels allowing lives are the Carmels in Littleton, CO and Kirk Edge, UK (I've heard they've allowed live-ins for overseas vocations at least)

Georgetown is the one Carmel in the US that is under the 1990s in all things, except that they are under the OCD Father General .. so technically they are under both. That is neat! They look like a beautiful Carmel!

Anyway .. just thought I'd add some of these thoughts here. And I am discerning Carmel too :thumbsup: God bless!


#19

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