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Hidden life

Carmelites

St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus was the Saint who perfected the way of 'hidden life'. She wanted to reserve for God alone the gift of her whole being, and she tried to hide from the eyes of others the riches of her interior life, her heroic virtues. She once said: "Work for the sole end of pleasing God, never looking for any human praise".

St Therese prays: "Yes, all must be kept for You with jealous care, because it is so sweet to work for You alone! Then the heart is filled with gladness!...Yes I want to be forgotten, not only by creatures, but even by myself...and to have no other desire than Your glory, my Jesus - that is all! My own I abandon to You". It sounds hard, but not so if we realize it was Jesus Himself has thought us how to practice the hidden life, insisting that we do our good works in secret, only to please God, and without ostentation. He tells us also to guard the secret of our interior life and our relations with Him: "When thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber and shut the door"; to conceal our self-denials: "When thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face"; not to display our good works: "When thou dost give alms, let not thy left hand know what the right hand doth," for those who do their good works before man, to be seen by them, "have received their reward" and will receive no further one from their heavenly Father (Matt 6: 1-18). When "we observe in ourselves a desire for something brilliant", said St Therese, "Let us humbly take our place with the imperfect and know that we are weak souls who must be sustained every instant by God" (Ven Gabriel of St Mary Magdalene)

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."