Prayer – Communion with God
Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good…For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him Who we know loves us.”
St. Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chapter 8,5
Prayer, the vocation of the Teresian Carmel
Our Holy Mother St. Teresa “renewed the call to contemplation of Mt. Carmel’s fathers of old. She made prayer the foundation of her daughters’ life and their primary activity…As a consequence, prayer must be the first priority in organizing the life of the community and in the personal commitment of every nun.”
Liturgy and Prayer Life
“The Sacred Liturgy is the highest expression of our sharing in the prayer of Christ…The liturgy enriches personal prayer which, in turn, enables us to bring a truly contemplative spirit to a worthy celebration of the divine mysteries.”
“All the religious shall take part every day in the celebration of the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of the life of the Church. They will remain in prayer for a suitable period of time after Mass in order to give thanks to the Lord.”
We make a ten-minute thanksgiving after daily Mass.
Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration
“At the heart of community life is the abiding Eucharistic presence of Christ, Whom Holy Mother Teresa calls ‘our Companion in the Most Holy Sacrament’. All the sisters will adore Him and offer Him other expressions of Eucharistic worship in keeping with the norms of the Church and with the traditions of their own monastery.”
During our weekly Hermit Day we have Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration within the nuns’ Choir immediately following Mass and continuing until 6:00 p.m.
Liturgy of the Hours
“Each community represents, in a special way, the Church at prayer and exercises its ministry of prayer on behalf of both the entire Mystical Body of Christ and the local Churches. Mindful of this, every community will celebrate in common every day all the hours of the Liturgy of the Hours—which comprise Morning Prayer, the Office of Readings, the three middle hours of Terce, Sext and None, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer—in accord with the norms of the Church.”
Sacrament of Reconciliation
“All the religious will approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently—at least every two weeks. In that way, they will grow as they strive to attain to that continuous conversion and purity of heart which prepare them to meet God in prayer.”
We approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation every two weeks.
Our Friars from Holy Hill are our ordinary Confessors.
“The life of Christ Who contemplates on the mountain was always nourished by filial conversation with His Father. Imitating Him the Discalced Carmelite Nuns should give witness in the Church to a life of unceasing prayer.
Since prayer is an intimate sharing between friends, a frequent lingering in solitude, with Him Who we know loves us, it involves every aspect of the nuns’ being. It informs their life with faith hope and love that marks out the path leading to evangelical sanctity.
In compliance with Teresian tradition, every community will spend two hours daily meditating in common. One of these hours will be in the morning and the other in the evening, as shall be laid down by the Horarium. The choir is to be the place for this prayer.”
…the Rule lays down that the nuns must continuously keep the word of the Lord in their minds and hearts…they will study all of the Scriptures with special care—especially the Gospel—and meditate on them so that they may come to the pre-eminent knowledge of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3,8)
Besides using the Scriptures for their spiritual reading, the religious must nourish themselves with the works of the Church fathers, with the documents of the Magisterium, with the writings of the saints and other authors of our Order, especially Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross, and with other theological and spiritual books… They will dedicate about an hour each day to spiritual reading.
Silence and Solitude
“In order to foster the prayerful and solitary atmosphere that is the hallmark of Carmel, the sisters shall carefully keep silence except when they are required to talk by necessity or by reason of their duties… For all the time in which the sisters are not with the community or are occupied with house duties, they will keep each to her own cell, as the Rule prescribes; they will remain in God’s presence in solitude and give themselves to prayer, study or work.”