A Secular Discalced Carmelite shares in the spirituality of the Carmelite Order. Secular Carmelites live the Rule of St. Albert according to the Constitutions of the Secular Discalced Carmelites while living their state in life in the world.
The following principles guide Carmelite life:
~ Living in allegiance to Jesus Christ
~ Being diligent in meditating on the law of the Lord
~ Giving time to spiritual reading
~ Participating in the Church’s Liturgy, both the Eucharist and the
~ Being concerned for the needs and the good of others in the community
~ Arming ourselves with the practice of the virtues, as we live an
intense life of faith, hope and charity
~ Seeking interior silence and solitude in our life of prayer
~ Using prudent discretion in all that we do.
[OCDS Constitutions I, 6]
Simply put, a Secular Discalced Carmelite is a contemplative in the world who is called to be a witness to the love of Christ to others. They live in communion with God through a life of prayer.
“Secular Carmelites are called to strive to make prayer penetrate their whole existence, in order to walk in the presence of the living God (cf. 1 K 18:14), through the constant exercise of faith, hope and love, in such a way that the whole of their life is a prayer, a search for union with God. The goal will be to achieve the integration of experience of God with the experience of life: to be contemplatives in prayer and the fulfillment of their own mission.” (OCDS Constitutions III, 7)
A Secular Carmelite’s day typically consists in:
*Meditating for 1/2 hr. each day in an atmosphere of quiet and solitude
*Wearing the Brown Scapular
*Attending daily Mass when possible
*Praying Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours
*Observance of the days set aside for fasting
*Recourse to regular confession
*Daily devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
*Daily period for spiritual reading or study
*Attend monthly formation meetings with the community
A profile of an OCDS can be found here. This is a wonderful tool of discernment if you think you may be called to the Secular Discalced Carmelite Order.