‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave me to drink;
I was a stranger and you welcomed me;
I was naked and you clothed me;
I was sick and you visited me;
I was in prison and you visited me’
Carmelites are called to live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ. This life is lived in a contemplative attitude exercised in a life of prayer, fraternity and service in the midst of the people. When authentically lived, our contemplative life allows Carmelites to enter into the lives of people and share their joys and hopes, their sorrows and distress.
Sadly, the world is full of injustice. Carmelites have a duty to help understanding the causes of these injustices, to be in solidarity with the sufferings of those who are marginalised and to share in their struggle for justice and peace. We cannot turn a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed who plead for justice. Carmelites see the Gospel as good news, and Jesus Christ as the liberator from all forms of oppression.
Our Elijan inspiration, which our prophetic charism is founded on, calls us to walk with the “little ones” along the paths the prophet travelled in his time; along the path of justice, opposing false ideologies and moving towards a concrete experience of the true living God;
along the path of solidarity, defending the victims of injustice and taking their part; along the path of mysticism, struggling to restore to the poor faith in themselves by renewing their awareness that God is on their side (cf. 1 Kings 21).
From Mary we learn to look again at the events of history and everyday life, confronting them with the Word of God (Lk 2:19, 51), and allowing ourselves to be guided by the Spirit to be placed at the service of those in need (Cf. Luke 1:39, 56; Jn 2:1-10).
Carmelites recognise that we all have a shared responsibility for others and the world. Creation is entrusted to us to care for it lovingly (Gen 2:15), and we are called to promote
the well-being of all of creation and the environment in which we live. The great questions of caring for the integrity of creation, by environmental disasters caused by neglect or the uncontrolled thirst for profit, and also the recurrent tragedies due to natural disasters demand our attention and urge us to seek and to put into effect adequate responses.
Carmelites seek to develop an awareness of our care for our common home leading to development of new convictions, attitudes and lifestyles and the building of an integral ecology.
Reflecting Carmel’s commitment to justice, peace and integrity of creation issues, Carmelites are recognised as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) within the United Nations. The Carmelite NGO is a project of the members of the Carmelite Family around the world. Its four areas of major interest are sustainable development and climate change; human rights; freedom of religion; and, education. It cooperates with many NGOs at the United Nations as part of the Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) since 2009.
For more information: http://carmelitengo.org
Apart from our presence at the United Nations, Carmelites have established other organisations working for justice, peace and integrity of creation issues throughout the world.
Indonesian Carmelite NGO