What do you know about Carmel? Who are your favorite Carmelite saints? Do you know of any Carmelite Priest, Sister, Brother?
Hi Sr. Helena. Without a moments hesitation… St. Therese of Lisieux. She is my Baptismal Patroness; and over the past couple of years, we have become very close friends… through prayer. She has also “introduced” me to 2 of her sisters… Celine (Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face); and Leonie (Sr. Francoise-Therese)… as intercessors, for various needs in my family.
I love her simplicity… which has always appealed to me; since I too, am one of those “little ones” spiritually.
I have also read a little about the life of St. Teresa of Avila and thoroughly enjoyed becoming more familiar with her. I still hesitate, though… about reading her great spiritual writings. Or those of St. John of the Cross; I fear that they will be so far above my little punkin’ head… that I will give up, and not finish reading them.
If there is any Carmelite reading… which you would recommend… I’d love to know! Thank you, Sister.
When I was in the seminary getting my theology degree I wrote my dissertation on The Spiritual Dialogue Between Franciscan Poverty and Teresian Detachment. I loved reading Teresa’s writings and other commentaries on them.
Br. JR, OSF
I think the book “The Carmelite Way: an Ancient Path for Today’s Pilgrim” by Fr. John Welch is a good one. The link is below:
Yes, the world loves St. Therese! Her ability to live her “little way” just as she preached it, makes her so attractive to a multitudes of people. As you deepen your familiarity with Carmel, you will meet many more Carmelites who you will learn to love and admire, just like the Little Flower.
I always believed that if you want to get to know someone, let the person introduce and say something about herself. Others opinions of that person will come later. It’s the same about getting to know our Saints. If you want to meet St. Teresa herself, allow her to tell you her story . I suggest you read her autobiography entitled simply as 'Life" before you read her writings. You can browse www.icspublications.com, it’s available there. Her autobiography can be confusing to read because of her style of writing (she jumps from one subject to another) but it is worthwhile. You can read about what other writers think about her and her teachings later.
St. John of the Cross is a challenging read. He has plenty to say but you may want to pick him up later in your spiritual journey.
I love St. Therese dearly. However, St. Teresa of Avila reached out to me first. Both are my “spiritual” sisters in Christ. Sisters in Heaven! They have both taught me so much! I’ve said it before…you don’t go looking for the saints, they come looking for you! Such is the case with these two.
i love st therese and her little way
I have been interested in the LayCarmelites, but there are none near me. So I take it as God’s will. The Little Flower is my patron saint. Naturally, I’m partial to Carmelites. St. Therese gives hope for people like me, that through her Little Way we can all become close to God.
Have you checked their national website? Let me see if I can find it for you. Please hold.
Try this site.
You’ll be in my prayers.
Br. JR, OSF
I know Sr. Lucia of Fatima was a Carmelite
The parish I live in belongs to the carmelite brothers. Also, my dear friend is a carmelite nun.
I wear the scapular and recently have been thinking of joining the secular carmelites.
My favorite carmelite saint is saint Simon Stock, for obvious reasons
I love St. John of the Cross. . . His book the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ will always have a special place in my heart.
‘Wherefore, because the soul is purified in this furnace like gold in a crucible, as says the Wise Man, (Wisdom iii, 6) it is conscious of this complete undoing of itself in its very substance, together with the direst poverty, wherein it is, as it were, nearing its end, as may be seen by that which David says of himself in this respect, in these words: “save me, Lord (he cries to God), for the waters have come in even unto my soul; I am made fast in the mire of the deep and there is no place where I can stand; I am come into the depth of the sea and a tempest hath overwhelmed me; I have laboured crying, my throat has become hoarse, mine eyes have failed whilst I hope in my God.” (Psalm lxviii, 2-4) Here God greatly humbles the soul in order that He may afterwards greatly exalt it; and if He ordained not that, when these feelings arise within the soul, they should speedily be stilled, it would die in a very short space; but there are only occasional periods when it is conscious of their greatest intensity. At times, however, they are so keen that the soul seems to be seeing hell and perdition opened.’
St. John of the Cross
One of my dearest friends is a discalced Carmelite nun. The Carmelite priests and brothers have their personal ways of expressionthe charism, but every one I’ve known has deep spirituality and deeply compassionate and wise humanity.
I’m very fond, and inspired by, several members of the Martin family, that is, St Therese’s family. I’m fond of Leonie also though she wasn’t a Carmelite.
My dear friend
Love St Teresa, St Therese, St John of the Cross and wear St Simon Stocks brown scapular, have been heavily influenced by all and extremely grateful.
God bless you:thumbsup:
St. John of the Cross and Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity are the two Discalced Carmelites whose writings I find most appealing. Although our Holy Mother Teresa’s works are, of course, foundational, these two have the most resonance for me personally.
I would be interested to read your dissertation!
Let’s start the ball rolling: Why don’t you write something about your favorite Carmelite Saint, why you like him/her, what influence was brought to your life and how will you share the saint’s message?
My favorite Carmelite saints are St. Teresa of Avila and St. Edith Stein. I like them because I respect them. St. Teresa of Avila seems to have been intellectual, courageous, humble, with a great sense of humor, bold while still being feminine, able to advise, teach, and lead without insulting or offending, strong in influencing the Church to a greater center on interior life. St. Edith Stein. I don’t know very much about her but I imagine that she must have been very much like St. Teresa of Avila. I respect the difficulty of her decision to live as a Jewish convert during the Holocaust. It must have been heartwrenching for her to see a Church with such saintly ideals while the majority of the population, including many of the Catholics, blindly participated in the Holocaust. I emphathize with the sorrow that she must have felt. (
Unfortunately, I do not know what influence has been brought into my life nor how I will share these saints messages. I have read The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila and I think this book made me concentrate more deeply on the meaning of the words that I had been praying. I am currently working through Interior Castle, which I think is very helpful as I have reached a point in my faith where I am starting to wonder about God’s desire for change in the world and so I am more interested in theoretically exploring what faith means, what faith is, what the purpose of faith is, what it means to have a Messiah, the true purpose of prayer, what it means when one says that God is Love, what are reasonable expectations for life in this world. I am expecting great things from Interior Castle and have been enriched thus far by a greater understanding of the severity of sin.
**The Way of Perfection ** catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/way/wayofperfection.cfm
Interior Castle: sacred-texts.com/chr/tic/index.htm
I got interested in St. Therese through a prayerbook that my mother had. It came from the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Chicago. In the prayerbook there were excerpts from her writings, and I’d always dip into it whenever I could. This happened when I was in my pre-teen years.
When I was fifteen, I thought about religious life, and I found out about the Discalced Carmelites. I wrote to a monastery of nuns in eastern NY, and visited them several times in the 1970s. Sadly, I was not accepted as a postulant. The Mother Prioress told me that I had ‘a love and a loyalty to the Order, but not a vocation.’
But that ‘rejection’ did not become a ‘repudiation’ of Carmel. I read books on St. Teresa such as ‘Teresa of Avila’ by Marcelle Auclair. The nuns of the monastery I corresponded with sent me an old edition of the ‘Souvenirs’ of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. Of course, I continued to read about St. Therese, with different editions of her Autobiography, her Letters, her Prayers, her Poems.
In 1991, I was blessed in making a pilgrimage to Alencon and Lisieux, France, and visited the places made holy by St. Therese. And in 1996, I visited Avila and Segovia in Spain, and venerated the sites of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross.
From 1994 to 2000, I was a member of the Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelites. As a matter of course, I got to know and read the books by St. Teresa and St. John, though at times they were difficult to understand. I have also read books by or about St. Teresa of the Andes, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] and the Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne, France.
I love delving into my ‘Carmel books’ from time to time. And to think-it all started with me ‘diving into’ my mother’s old prayerbook!
As mentioned before, I’ve been interested in the lay Carmelites for a number of years, but there are none by me. The three are on the east side of the state, and I live in by the Mississippi in La Crosse. A beautiful area. I’ve been here 25 years and haven’t yet tired of its beauty.