The Carmelite Way
We belong to what is called the “Third Order.” The Carmelite way has inspired many lay people throughout the world to live the Gospel in a profound, and at times, heroic way. Lay Carmelites have a true vocation and are bearers of the Carmelite charism. The main elements of this Carmelite charism are prayer, fraternity and service. These three elements are bound together by contemplation. Lay Carmelites are called to grow in their relationship with Christ until they become his intimate friends and as such will be a powerful transformative influence in the world. The traditional helps for the development of contemplation are often absent from our world, which is marked by frenetic activity. Therefore lay Carmelites must seek out times when they can lay aside the cares of daily life for a while and allow God to speak to their hearts in silence. Strengthened by this food, they can continue their journey and look at the world with new eyes.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Lady is the Patroness, Sister, and Mother of Carmelites and as such takes care of us. All Carmelites have a particular relationship to Mary, imitating her virtues, listening to the Word of God in and through daily life. Being a Lay Carmelite is not just a devotion added to life. It is a way of life, a vocation.
The Five Essentials for the Lay Carmelites:
1. Personal prayer and Lectio Divina
2. Imitate Elijah and Mary
3. Celebration of the Eucharist
4. Service of those in need and ministries that flow from talents and gifts.
5. On-going formation
Carmelite (Contemplative) Behavior
1. They enjoy freedom from disordered earthly pursuits.
2. They are not attached to material possessions.
3. They are compassionate, merciful, truthful, forgiving, kind, and caring. Virtues overflowing.
4. It has nothing to do with spending hours in Chapel or praying on knees.
5. It has everything to do with intimate conversation with God, opening the doors to God and being able to share the fullness of His love. If faithful, God will reveal somehow the fullness of His love to you.
6. Always remembering that it’s God’s work not my work.
Joining a Family
Like any religious community, the Lay Carmelites strive to develop a beautiful, loving community spirit. This is nurtured by prayer, sharing, and fellowship with fellow sojourners seeking to follow God’s Holy Will in their lives and to come closer to Him in prayer and service.
Benefits and Blessings
You become a Carmelite in life and death. Through our Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints, as a member of the blessed Carmelite Order, you share in the great treasury of blessings of the Order, spanning time and eternity.
How is Lay Carmelite living meaningful in the church today?
What is this relationship that Carmelites have with our Lady of Mt Carmel and the prophet Elijah?
What are the requirements for admission to formation?
What does the Lay Carmelite formation process entail?