Preview of Phase II

Excerpts from Climbing the Mountain, The Carmelite Journey
edited by Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.

Chapter 1 What is Formation

From page 29:
“These three elements of prayer, community and service are at the heart of the Carmelite ‘charism’, that is, the unique gift that God has given to the Carmelite Family so as to be of service to the Church and to the World.”  

From page 31:
“…formation is holistic: it deals with the whole person, and every aspect of life. It bridges the false distinction between the ‘spiritual’ and ‘non-spiritual’, revealing that there is a spiritual dimension to every part of life.”  

Chapter 2 The Call to Holiness

From page 42:
“God’s presence is holiness, and only through God’s free gift is God’s love eternally revealed and experienced completely.”

From page 45:
“Our relationship with God can be nourished if we immerse ourselves in the silence of a solitary and secret place where we can better hear the voice of the Beloved.”

From page 52:
“The liturgical life of the church can also help us to become more aware of God’s presence and his call. The silent presence of God in the sacraments, particularly Reconciliation and Eucharist keeps us grounded, nourished, and in right relationship.”

Chapter 3 In Allegiance to Jesus Christ

From page 68:
“Christ is the perfect model of the ‘contemplative’; his life of prayer, service, and community-building shows that the distinction between a life of service and a life of prayer is a false one.”

From page 69:
“Teresa of Jesus – whose reform of Carmel was inspired by her reading of the Rule – urged her sisters: ‘Read the Rule every day and never let it slip from your heart’. Why did she do this? Because the Rule is centred on Christ, and full of references that point us always back to him.”

Chapter 4  Carmelite Spirituality and Charism

From page 87:
“No ministry has been judged incompatible with Carmel’s charism. But any ministry is suspect if not anchored in a contemplative openness to that which God is bringing about.”

Chapter 5 Mary

From page 101:
“A valuable aid to pondering on the life of Jesus throughout the day, within the inner cell of our hearts, is the rosary.”

Chapter 6 Elijah

From page 118:
“As Carmelites our mission, inherited from Elijah, is to declare first the truth that ‘God lives’, and secondly, that we stand in God’s presence, that is, we are in relationship with God.”

From page 115:

“We are the only religious order in the Roman Catholic Church to claim such a strong relationship with a biblical figure who predates Christ himself, and the only group in the Western Church to keep his feast.”

Chapter 7 The Rule of St. Albert

From page 136:
“The vision of Carmel – now as then – comes from the community, not from one individual.”

Chapter 8 History of the Carmelite Family

From page 167:
“Carmelites in the medieval universities strongly promoted the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and regarded her as the pure-hearted Virgin totally obedient to God’s will in her life.”

Chapter 9 Living in God’s Presence

From page 204:
“Mary is the model of how silent prayer leads us into the presence of God. ‘Mary kept all these things and pondered on them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19).”

From page 208:
“The thirst for God’s presence is the root of our Order’s spirituality…our desire is nothing compared to God’s desire for us.”

From page 214:
“The Dark Night ‘declutters’ our faith. It is ‘dark’ because God is in fact so near to us in the process that if we could perceive his presence we would be ‘blinded’ and overwhelmed by his brilliance.”

From page 215:
“Lawrence appreciated that prayer is, quite simply, a process of turning our hearts to God in acknowledgment of his presence.”

Chapter 10 God Speaks

From page 234:
“Whatever form our prayer takes – Lectio Divina, the Liturgy, mental prayer, the rosary, spiritual reading, or silent meditation – the key is to allow God to speak to us, as well as speaking to Him.”

Chapter 11 Lectio Divina & Carmel’s Attentiveness to the Bible 

From page 260:
“In the vision of life approved by Albert, rooted in scriptures, Carmelite life is to become a constant Lectio Divina, since he says everything we do ‘should have the Lord’s word for accompaniment’ (Chapter 19).”

Chapter 12 Clothed with Carmel’s Attitudes

From page 294:
“The Carmelite Order in line with what the Church asks no longer preaches what used to be called the Sabbatine Privilege, but we still advocate the scapular as a sign of trust in the love and mercy Jesus has for us, expressed through Mary’s maternal care.”

Chapter 13 Carmel and the Eucharist

From page 318:
“The Eucharist and service are inseparable.”

Chapter 14 Community

From page 351:
“Probably the most important way in which lay Carmelites share community is by attending regular community meetings…Such meetings may only last a few hours, but in that short time the Holy Spirit can be powerfully at work building communion.”

From page 353:
“…it is crucial to remember that Carmelites belong primarily not to any one community but to the Order as a whole.”

From page 361:
“My Carmelite community, then, should be a place where I can grow as a person, which helps me on my spiritual journey to God and where I can help others. It is a place where we should be able to journey together, supporting and helping one another, building an oasis in the desert.”

Chapter 15 The Carmelite Family and the Communion of Saints

From page 393:
“John (of the Cross) understood that asceticism, in the Carmelite Tradition, is not simply about saying ‘no’ for the sake of it, but is geared towards being able to say ‘yes’ to God with full freedom.”

Chapter 16 Carmel’s Call To Service

From page 410:
“Carmel stands for the intimate encounter which God brings about between the person and God in the midst of all that is most ordinary in life” –Tony Lester, O. Carm.

From page 411:
“We do good deeds of service not because we want to be saved or feel obligated but because the giving of ourselves in the natural response to the love God has give us as gift.”

Chapter 17 Carmel and the Kingdom:  Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation

From page 460:
“We must also learn to analyse print and electronic news with a critical mind and loving heart, seeing where objective facts are distorted by private interests and prejudice, and pondering God’s will in our response.”

Chapter 18 Holy Men and Women of Carmel:  Part I – Early Saints

From page 489:
“Within the Carmelite Family, John the Baptist also has a special role as a desert prophet. In the New Testament several people likened John to Elijah, the prophet of Carmel…”

From page 520:
“Sometimes it is easy to forget that holiness is not what an individual does but it is the result of what God does in, through, and with that person.”

Chapter 19 Holy Men and Women of Carmel:  Part II- Later Saints

From page 545:
“Some might question the value of these women living an enclosed life. Carmelite monasteries of nuns can be compared to the rainforests. It wasn’t until the rainforest were cleared for ‘useful’ purpose that we came to realize how vital they are for maintaining a healthy planet climate”

Chapter 20 Commitment to Carmel

From page 574:
“Contemplation means seeking union with God in the depths of our heart and sharing the fruits of that experience with others; we seek to know and love God, and to make God known and loved.”

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