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Joy in Contemplative Community - I FIND JOY IN DISCOVERING THE LOVE OF GOD IN MY LIFE

by General Commission for Evangelization and Mission

When I live in authenticity, I can see many signs of God in my life

Listening to the Scriptures

On the way Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water,

Jesus said to her, 'Give me something to drink. The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?' -- Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied to her: If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me something to drink,' you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water. ‘You have no bucket, sir,' she answered, 'and the well is deep: how do you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle? Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life. 'Sir,' said the woman, 'give me some of that water …' (Jn 4: 5-7, 9-15a)

Listening to the Carmelite Tradition.

"A new awareness of Thy love

Encompasses my heart:

Sweet Jesus, I in Thee and thou

In me shall never part.

No grief shall fall my way but I

Shall see thy grief filled eyes:

the lonely way that thou once walked

Has made me sorrow-wise.

All trouble is a white-lit joy

That light my darkest day;

Thy love has turned to brightest light

This night-like way.

If I have Thee alone,

the hours will bless

With still, cold hands of love

My utter loneliness.

Stay with me Jesus, only stay;

I shall not fear,

If reaching out my hand,

I feel Thee near." 

("Before a Picture of Jesus in My Cell" by Titus Brandsma February 12-13, 1942)

Listening to the Church Tradition.

 (...) When we live out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide to the Lord’s greatest and most beautiful gifts. Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God. Whenever our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other, we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of God. If we want to advance in the spiritual life, then, we must constantly be missionaries. The work of evangelization enriches the mind and the heart; it opens up spiritual horizons; it makes us more and more sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and it takes us beyond our limited spiritual constructs. A committed missionary knows the joy of being a spring which spills over and refreshes others. (Evangelii Gaudium,  272).

For Pondering:

Am I able to see the signs of God’s love in my own life? Do I in any way help others to discover God’s love in their lives?

Psalmody (from the psalm 139)

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, o Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high; I cannot attain to it.

Prayer

God of mercy and love. Wake me from sleep and let me discover each day the wonders of your love. Open my eyes and my heart to your presence in those with whom I share this earth and in the events that mark each day.

Doxology:

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Th. 5:23-24)

Drink water from your own storage-well, fresh water from your own spring. (Prov. 5: 15)

shieldOCarm

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."