Life in Carmel
Some Aspects of Life in Carmel
Nuns dedicate themselves to a life of prayer and contemplation – the heart of their way towards God, which is, as St. Teresa saw it, a journey toward the centre of one's soul where God dwells. The key to this journey is prayer and meditation which opens up progressively one's capacity to receive God.
In prayer, God pours His love into her heart, and she grows more and more in love with Him; and she take advantage of her friendship with God to win favors from him for others.
The Eucharist is the centre of my life,
At the Liturgy of the Hours,
I continually praise the Lord,
In my daily personal prayer,
I deepen my relationship with Him.
The sisters come together to sing the praises of God seven times a day, beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at about 10 p.m.
The Sisters read in order to love. They read the Scriptures and a variety of Spiritual books for at least an hour daily. St. Therese said "Spiritual Reading is as important for the soul as food is for the body."
The Carmelites live in community. They pray and eat and recreate twice a day together. St. Therese taught a community lifestyle which is that of a small family in which all are evangelically equal, relationships are openly sincere, joys and sorrows are shared, and the members are committed to one another as sister for their entire lives.
"All must be friends, all must be love on another, all must be cherished and all must help one another" to create a joyful atmosphere that sets everyone at ease. Apart from the hours of recreation, silence is kept to create an atmosphere conducive to a life of intimacy with God to nourish and foster attentiveness and receptiveness to the Word of God; just like Mary, the Mother of God, when she pondered on and treasured God's Word in her heart.
Simple meals are prepared by our Sisters. Abstinence from meat is kept as a form of asceticism. However the diet is well balanced.
St. Teresa, well known for being the most human of saints, wisely planned a well-balanced life of prayer alternating with manual work and appropriate amount of rest for her Carmelite Sisters.