[quote="barb_finnegan, post:4, topic:211357"]
I USED to be in the OCDS myself-I ended up having to leave ten years ago because the spiritual director and formation director felt that I 'didn't have a vocation', even after been in it for six years!
The group I was in met on the second Saturday of the month, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (so we wouldn't interfere with the Saturday evening Vigil Mass crowd). Started out with Morning Prayer in chapel (building was the former parish school, converted into a 'parish center'-one of the ground floor classrooms was turned into a chapel), chanted. Then after a short business meeting, we studied St. Teresa's writings. When I was with them, it took a few years to complete reading her 'Autobiography'. :o They were beginning 'The Way of Perfection' when I left.
After an hour for lunch at noon, we broke into 'small groups'-I think there was a separate one for the newcomers. Studied various books having to do with prayer. Then it was time for St. John of the Cross. Read first some of his letters, then got into 'The Spiritual Canticle'-that took a long time to go over, too. I think they were going to start 'The Dark Night of the Soul' when I left.
I know, too, that they were beginning St. Therese's 'Story of a Soul' when I left, too.
We closed with Evening Prayer, chanted in the chapel. After cleaning up the meeting room and putting everything away, then we left.
That was my experience. I loved it tremendously. But the stress of learning a new job 'outside' and the inability to 'verbalize' my spiritual life (plus the infrequency of confession-they didn't like that too much) caused me to be 'let go'.
But don't let that keep you from following the Carmelite way of life. I see that you are in London; I know that there is a Carmelite church near Kensington Palace, 'Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Simon Stock'. That was an 'OCarm' church; in fact, the late Princess Diana used to slip into the church to make 'on the sly' visits. Have you contacted the Carmelite Shrine in Aylesford, Kent? I went there in 1997; there's a TOCarmelite group that meets there, too. I met them during my visit-they treated me like a real 'sister'!
Good Morning Barb
Sounds like all in all you had a positive experience and six years is no small commitment. Thanks for the insight into the prayers and reading. I "found" St Therese when I was at primary school and have loved her ever since.
I'm aware of the church in Kensington - not far all. Not surprised about Princess Diana. She used to anonymously visit the sick in hospital in the late evening - until the press found out and stopped her from offering that kindness.
In all honesty, I'm all over the place. I feel that I would find true peace and happiness in the Carmel but there are so many things going round and round in my mind.
I need to just get started and see where it takes me. Maybe they'll think I'm not suited for it. I won't know until I try.
Thanks for your support and insight. Thank you for reading my post.