Carmelite monasteries are independent; each community develops its own family spirit.
The Flemington Carmel chooses to maintain strict enclosure, wear the full habit as a sign of poverty and consecration to God, and preserves many of the traditional monastic observances. The lifestyle is simple and austere, but not excessively so. Two daily hours of recreation enrich and enliven community living. In the words of Saint Teresa herself… “Lord, deliver us from gloomy saints!”
“Through your cloistered lives the sick are comforted, the needy assisted, hearts are reconciled, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” John Paul II
Discalced Carmelite nuns are called to a vocation of prayer. Through their charism of contemplation, they fill an important role in the Universal Church – to bring souls to God.
In the documents of Vatican II, the modern-day mission of contemplative religious life is outlined. This mission has remained the same for centuries: “For they offer to God a sacrifice of praise which is outstanding. Moreover, the manifold results of their holiness lend luster to the People of God which is inspired by their example and which gains new members by their apostolate which is as effective as it is hidden… thus they are revealed to be a glory of the Church and a wellspring of heavenly graces”.
Carmel is the Order of Our Lady. She is the Mother and model for our life of joyful obedience and service. The ancient traditions of the Order begin with the Prophet Elijah. His ardent cry, “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts,” is Carmel’s inspiration.
Saint Teresa of Avila inherited Elijah’s burning zeal for the glory of God and of His Church. Her unique charism was to instill this spirit of totality in her Carmelite daughters.
As we enter a new millennium, Discalced Carmelite nuns throughout the world continue to pray for the salvation of souls, the ministry of priests and other petitions brought to them. They participate in the work of Jesus Christ and His Church.
“Love your separation from the world which is perfectly comparable to the biblical wilderness. It is there that the Lord speaks to your heart and closely associates you in His work of salvation.” John Paul II
A vocation to Carmel is a personal calling from God.
Saint Teresa of Jesus, the first woman Doctor of the Church and our Foundress, wrote Constitutions that have led many to great holiness. Discerning a vocation begins with an attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, followed by a journey of prayerful discovery. Seeking guidance from someone who knows authentic Carmelite life, reading the lives of Carmelite Saints and deepening your commitment to prayer, are good ways to begin.
The formation program includes postulancy, two years of Novitiate, and at least three years in temporary vows before Solemn Profession.
“Once you are joined to the Lord, you become as omnipresent as He is. Instead of offering assistance in one particular place, like a doctor, nurse or priest – in the power of the Cross you can be everywhere, at every scene of misery” St. Edith Stein (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD)
Let nothing trouble thee
Let nothing frighten thee
All things pass away
God never changes
Patience obtains all things
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God
God alone suffices
– Saint. Teresa’s Bookmark
Mental prayer is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us” – Saint Teresa of Jesus