Living in God’s presence
The most important characteristic of Carmelite spirituality is living in God’s presence. The contemplative attitude to life of the Carmelite is aimed at this. God’s presence must not be imagined as tangible and tangible. It is a depth that is suspected in the whole reality. God is present in all of reality as a secret and at the same time, He surpasses reality. The Carmelites try to live in contact with this secret.
Elijah and Mary
Mary and Elijah have always been important model figures in the order.
The prophet Elijah lived in the ninth century BC. A cycle of stories about him is included in the Bible books 1 and 2 Kings. His name means My God is Yahweh. He defended the faith in Yahweh before King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, who imposed the worship of their god Baal on their subjects.
For the Carmelites, Mary is an important example because of her unconditional surrender to the will of God. This surrender is expressed in her yes-word “I am the servant of the Lord. Let me deal with what you have said. “(Lk 1,38).
The relationship with God takes shape in prayer, in sisterhood and brotherhood and in involvement with society.
Prayer is central in Carmelite life. Several times a day our communities come together to pray. Individual prayer takes shape in different ways: meditation, reading of biblical texts, reading of mystical texts. There are also joint meditations around these texts. Prayer is a constant awareness of God’s presence.
Sister and brotherhood
Community life is the constant exercise of charity. Carmelites want to interact with each other in such a way that everyone can respond to the call with which God has called him or her. They want to be in the mutual relationship as a Christian community. Model for this community life are the descriptions of the first Christian community in Jerusalem from the Acts of the Apostles. The disciples were one of heart and soul. Every day they went faithfully and unanimously to the temple, broke bread in someone’s house and used their meals together. They lived in communion of property and shared their property so that no one among them suffered.
Involvement in society
In the involvement with society, it is mainly about practicing justice. Righteousness means that people deal with each other in such a way that everyone can become the way God intended him or her. The order has always known a tradition of caring for the poor and the weak in society. This attention is rooted in a prophetic tradition that goes back to the prophet Elijah. In his time he fought against the idols that oppressed and made people dependent.