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Carmelites and the Future - Vocations

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Fr. Joseph Chalmer, O.Carm.

Despite the best efforts of vocation promoters, it seems that new vocations will be very few, at least for the foreseeable future, especially in the West. This will have major implications for the Church, the Order and each Province. To face up to closing houses or withdrawing from certain apostolic commitments can be very painful. However it is absolutely essential to prune the branches so that others may grow. If we do not close communities when necessary, it will mean that the men will suffer because they will have to do more and more work to cover what was done by more people in the past. Community life will also suffer. So, am I willing to let go of my apostolate and my house if the discernment of the brothers goes in that direction?

If our prayer is authentic, if it is a personal encounter with the One whom we know loves us, it will transform us from those who work for God into those who do God's work. We will begin to see people and situations no longer merely with our limited human sight but through the eyes of God. Our judgements will no longer be so conditioned by selfish considerations but our minds and hearts will be informed by the will of God. This will transform our way of being in the world. We will realise that we must plant or water the garden but only God can grant the growth.

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.

 



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