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ECUMENICAL CARMELITE FRATERNITY

BEING CARMELITES

                                  Why join us?  Why should you experience the great Carmelite spirituality?

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  • To live the contents of faith with intensity and awareness in the perspective of a "mystical" union with God in the daily routine.

  • To experience the quiet and abandonment of the desert even in the city, through the pursuit of a lifestyle focused on Jesus, our Peace and our stillness in the storms of the world.

  • To live in communion with brothers and sisters, today in the Celestial Jerusalem, who  enligheted the lives of many christians with a very intense light (St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Edith Stein, martyr, St. John of the Cross ....).

  • To experience the joy of being One in Christ, living and sharing our spirituality with brothers and sisters belonging to different Christian Chueches (so, you do not need to change Christian confession,  rather we encouraged every carmelite to strenghten  communion with his\her Church).

  • To rediscover and interpret, with the eyes of those who have known Christ, the Story of Salvation as an uninterrupted and eternal love story between God and his/her creatures, inspired by the great experience of the devotees and lovers of the Old Testament: particularly, to our Father, forerunner and model, the holy prophet Elijah, venerated in the three monotheistic religions.

  • To undertake a  fascinating and exciting journey inside your soul: to know yourself and learn to appreciate your deepest and  true identity.

Join us... together with the (re) discovery of yourself!

Info and interviews: anglicanicatania@libero.it;

Mobile: 328/9596744 - www.madonnadelcarmelo.eu

UNIVERSAL CHARISM

 

As Carmelites, we live in deference to Jesus Christ and serve him faithfully with a pure heart and upright conscience, engaging in the search for the face of the living God (contemplative dimension of life), in prayer, in fraternity and in service (diakonia) among the people. , under the protection and guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom we honor as Mother and Sister. These three fundamental elements of the charism are not separate or unconnected values, but closely linked to each other.

 

The charisma of the Carmelite Order is the gift of God given to the first hermits gathered next to the source of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, at the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th. The Carmelite Order does not know a founder but was born from the desire of those first hermits to live in deference to Jesus Christ with a pure heart and an upright conscience. They asked St. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to write for them a formula of life (c. 1206-1214) in conformity with their ideal.

The Rule of St. Albert and the experience lived by the Carmelites, while trying to be consistent with it on various occasions, gave a definitive form to the charism. We can say that the Carmelite charism is made up of many elements. The first, and the most important, is the following of Jesus Christ with total dedication. Carmelites reach this ideal by forming contemplative communities at the service of the people of God among whom they live. Therefore, for all Carmelites, fraternity, service and contemplation are the essential values ​​of their life.

The Fraternity

Carmelites try to form communities where everyone feels accepted and valued not for what they could be but simply for what they are. This type of community is in itself a testimony that the love of Christ can break down the barriers built by men and allow people of various nationalities and cultures to live together in peace and harmony. The Carmelites are also aware of forming an international fraternity, present in various countries of the world.

Service


The hermits were forced to leave their home on Mount Carmel and settle in Europe. In this environment they changed their lifestyle from hermits to friars. The main difference is that the friars are called to serve the people of God in the apostolate. Some religious congregations have been founded for a specific ministry, but the Carmelite Order tries to respond to the needs of the Church and the world according to time and place. For this reason, many Carmelites are involved in parishes, schools, universities, retreat centers, prisons, hospitals, etc. The service rendered by each friar depends on the needs of the people among whom he lives and works.

Contemplation

The heart of the Carmelite charism is prayer and contemplation. The quality of prayer determines the quality of community life and of the service offered to others. The final goal of Carmelite life is union with Christ. We try to live in the presence of God and to accept his will. This commits us to listen to God who speaks to us in various ways but in particular with Sacred Scripture. Prayer is the way we approach God, and as we grow in friendship with Christ, our prayer becomes simpler and simpler. Our relationship with Christ transforms us, pushes us to leave the prison of our selfishness and to walk towards pure love for God and neighbor. We are called to pursue a journey of faith, during which we are gradually purified from all that is not God, so that we can put on Christ. We do our best to respond to God's call but we are aware that in the end only God can change our hearts. This teaches us to wait patiently for him to come. As we follow Christ confidently, we are inspired by the examples and virtues of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and of the Prophet Elijah.

Since the charism is given for the whole world, for Carmelites prayer and contemplation are not private matters between man and God but gifts to be shared with the world.

For this reason there is a certain propensity in the Order for the ministry of prayer and spiritual direction. The Carmelite is aware that the transformation of the human heart by God can be hidden from the eyes of men but the final result is very important for our world. The path of prayer is mysterious and goes beyond human reason. Prayer introduces us to the Ultimate Mystery.

(Form catholic Carmelites website ocarm.org)

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