This is our work: seeking union with God.
Carmelites devote themselves to the spiritual life. This does not mean that we shut ourselves up as hermits, living in isolation from others where we can live quiet, undisturbed lives. Our concern is for others and their welfare. This means that we are not only to desire, but to work, act and suffer for the salvation of others. To do this we concentrate all our efforts on seeking God and trying to live a holy life in order to please Him. Then we will be “acquiring a power of action and impetration capable of obtaining the salvation of many souls.” (Divine Intimacy, #317 by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD)
“Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal bond of our sin would not be canceled, we should not have obtained our freedom, we could not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life and the gates of paradise would not stand open. Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled.”
(Taken from the Office of Readings – A discourse by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop)
Lukewarmness. It is nothing but laziness. It does so much harm. As a Carmelite I am to pray, pray for my own sanctification and to save souls through prayer.
There is one only thing to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved.
St. Therese entered the Carmelites to pray for souls and for priests. This is what Carmelites do. They pray for the salvation of souls . They also pray especially for priests and those who labor in the vineyards. As a Secular Carmelite I too share in this work of prayer – to save souls.
Yet, every time I omit prayer or turn away from Christ due to laziness, I do harm to others, spiritual harm.
At prayer I exchange glances with Christ. This encounter is powerful. No one can see Him and remain the same. Christ is my ideal; therefore, every time I turn away from this ideal I do spiritual harm to my brothers and sisters.
My life is meaningless if I am not a person of prayer. I need to remember that I came to Carmel to become a person of prayer. To truly become this person I must ‘die’. Mortification. I must put to death “I”. It is a mystical death that is necessary to attain a life of prayer. Whenever I become self-indulgent and fail to mortify my ego – I do harm to others.
Am I faithful?
Am I faithful to the times of prayer each day?
Am I making a regular daily examen?
Have I omitted mental prayer?
Am I fulfilling my duties?
Am I committed to the requirements of the Rule and Constitutions?