Carmelite Spirituality

Commitment to a way of Life

The following of Christ and of Mary, as understood and lived in the charism of the Order, becomes the reality after which the faithful in the Carmelite family strive. They can rely on the help and support of all the brothers and sisters who share in the same ideal.  The members of the Carmelite family live their commitment in various ways: in the “desert,” in fraternal life, in the apostolic life, on the streets of the world, working with Mary for the Kingdom of Christ.

The institutional forms, erected and acknowledge by the Order, help to emphasize the communal character of the family of those who, led by the Spirit, want to dedicate their whole life in this world – in union with Mary- to the glory of God.

Thus, becoming part of the fraternity of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and receiving the scapular as a sign of such membership, is for the faithful an instrument of Christian life with special characteristics:

  • To live as “brothers” or “sisters” of Mary in communion with Carmel, to enter more deeply into its spirit, to live its ideals and its history, praying and cooperating with it in order that, faithful to its charism and their vocation, they may reflect, in the world, Mary who brings Jesus to all.
  • To give to Mary ever more space in their life, seeking to live in their circumstances their fidelity to Christ in the spirit of Mary:

  1. in the faith that gazes at and prays to God, welcomes and dialogues with him;
  2. in the hope that transforms itself into being at the service of All, which is God; and
  3. in the charity that abandons itself to the will of the Lord in order to be a true gift to the brothers and sisters, especially the smallest and most humble.

  • To imitate the “praying Virgin” who “kept the word of God in her heart” (cf. Lk 2:19,51), setting aside some time to meet God in prayer, meditating on the mysteries of salvation, taking part in faith in the liturgy of the Church, especially the Eucharist, reciting every day some liturgical hour or some psalms or the holy rosary.  To see to it that living in the presence of the living God, every aspect of life becomes prayer and that prayer becomes life, at the same time remembering the obligations and work of their state of life.
  • To share in the Paschal Mystery of Christ by means of voluntary penances, lived in the spirit of Carmel, looking at Mary, whose soul was pierced by a sword (cf. Lk 2:35), who “sustained her union with her Son faithfully even to the cross, where she stood (cf. Jn 19:25) suffering deeply with her Firstborn and uniting herself to his sacrifice.”
  • To show the love of God. The “Most Pure Virgin” allows the love of God to shine through all her being without any resistance or opacity, a love which clothes her personally ad opens her to the whole of humanity.  Thus, she charms and attracts the devout, who keep their heart and senses, their body and soul, open to the love of God, whom they seek and desire in all things and above all things.  The faithful open themselves to receive all the gifts of holiness that God himself places in human relationships and in the love of neighbor.  This love involves the human body as the “dwelling place” of God (ef. 1 Co 3:16-17), and through which they communicate with others.  It is the vehicle for the expression of love.
  • To engage in the works of evangelization. Those who wear the scapular identify themselves with the mission of Carmel to be in the world a prophetic sign of union with God, to work for the coming of the Kingdom of God through visible signs of sharing, reconciliation, justice, looking after the sick, and listening to the cries of the poor.
  • As much as possible, to foster fraternal communion among the members of the fraternity by means of assemblies and reunions, which nourish and support these aims.

The scapular is the sign of the love of Mary, icon of the goodness and mercy of the Most Blessed Trinity. This love is the fruit of the grace of God poured into the hearts of the faithful who, in turn, commit themselves to it.