"Lay People are, put simply, the vast majority of the people of God" (Evangelii Gaudium 102)
In the Carmelite Family the laity represents a great number of faithful who live the Carmelite spirituality and are inspired by the charism of the Order in their daily lives. These men and women, adult and young, have been called by the Lord to share a mission within our Order, in the Church, and ultimately in our modern societies.
I am very happy to be here and to meet again so many good friends of the Carmelite Family. More than 450 people reflecting together on the spiritual journey of Carmel is quite impressive, especially for our times.
The call from God to take on a particular way of life or important task can come in many different forms. I have come to integrate listening for the Presence of God into my own life experience after many years of spiritual and Carmelite formation. Like Abraham and Moses, I should pay attention and be ready to respond when I have a sense that God is offering me a personal challenge.
|As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.
All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."