Last 3-7 November, a group of around 20 Carmelite experts in the areas of history, spirituality, biblical studies, and liturgy, gathered at Centro Internazionale S. Alberto (CISA) to examine the contemplative dimension of Carmel according to the first authors of the Order. Beginning with the medieval context, the first part of this seminar, which will continue in the coming years, studied the Carmelite Rule, the Flaming Arrow, the Ten Books of the Institution of the First Monks and various Carmelite authors of the 13th to 15th centuries.
The seminar highlighted the richness that appears in the texts of the well-known and lesser-known authors: all offer themes and elements authentically Carmelite. The particular way of using Scripture and the attention to the dynamic process of transformation towards a mystical union with God, of which diverse authors indicated its fruits rather than give a definition, were noted. The eschatological and glorious perspective was highlighted in various texts, the reciprocal call of the liturgy and prayerful meditation on the Word underline the centrality of Christ. The language used and the mystagogical dimension were also examined, and called for a focused rereading.
*photo courtesy of Carmelite Bristish Province.