As Carmelites, we have each been drawn irresistably into relationship with Jesus, and with Him into deep communion with the Father, interceding for all our brothers and sisters. We long to keep our eyes fixed on Him, our sights fixed on heaven... He alone suffices, all other things pass away. The greatest desire of every Carmelite is to really know Jesus in a deep personal way, to love Him and to make Him loved, to grow into His likeness.
Every day we spend two hours in personal prayer - one hour in the morning and one in the evening. This is our special time of meditation and conversation with Jesus, the time to get to know Him more, to listen to Him or simply gaze at Him being aware of His presence within us. It is "mental prayer".
Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.
St Teresa of Avila
Prayer is a gift that we need to ask God for; it is an art that we must practise; it is an indicator of the health of our relationship with God and others; it is a compass to direct us...
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.
St Therese of Lisieux
Once a month we designate a "hermit day" when each Sister is more free to spend the time alone with God in whatever way she wishes. On a fine day, some Sisters may take their lunch outdoors! It is a day of keeping alive the spirit of the ancient origins of the Carmelite charism - the hermit monks on Mount Carmel.
The hermit day renews and refreshes us. The silence and solitude awakens our hearts to beauty and the healing harmonies of Nature. Mary, the Nazareth Mary, Mother of life, is very near in this hidden side of Carmel.
Mary our Mother and Queen of Carmel leads us all to a deeper relationship with her Son. She pondered the events of everyday life in her heart. She teaches us how to pray, and so she is our first role model.
© 2009 Carmelite Sisters, Kilmacud