The basis for all the elements of the Christian life is "to live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience". The Carmelites, motivated by their Christian and religious vocation, seek to live their life of allegiance to Christ through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through fraternity, and through service (diakonia) in the midst of the people. The spiritual tradition of the Carmelite Order has stressed that these three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.
Down the ages the Carmelites have emphasised the dynamic of the desert experience as a crucial factor in unifying these values. The desert experience is a Carmelite commitment to make the crucified Christ - stripped and emptied - the very foundation of their lives; to channel their energies entirely towards him in faith, tearing down any obstacles which may stand in the way of perfect dependence on him or impede perfect charity towards God and towards others. Through this process, when we come to see reality with God's eyes, our attitude towards the world is transformed according to his love, and the contemplation of the loving presence of God will be seen in our lives of fraternity and of service.
From its earliest days, the community of Carmelites adopted a contemplative style, both in its structures and in its basic values. This is clearly reflected in the Rule, which describes a community of brothers, totally dedicated to a prayerful attention to the Word, celebrating and praising the Lord with zeal. The Rule speaks of a community whose members are open to the indwelling of the Spirit and formed by the Spirit's values: chastity, holy thoughts, justice, love, faith, the expectation of salvation, work accomplished in peace, silence which, as the Prophet tells us, is the cult of justice and brings wisdom to word and action; and discernment, "the guide and moderator of all virtues."
The tradition of the Order has always interpreted the Rule and the founding charism as expressions of the contemplative dimension of life, and the great spiritual teachers of the Carmelite Family have always returned to this contemplative vocation. Contemplation begins when we entrust ourselves to God, in whatever way he chooses to approach us; it is an attitude of openness to God, whose presence we discover in all things. Thus, contemplation is the inner journey of the individual, arising out of the free initiative of God, who touches and transforms us, leading us towards unity of love with him, raising us up so that we may enjoy this gratuitous love and live in his loving presence. It is a transforming experience of the overpowering love of God. This love empties the individual of his limited and imperfect human ways of thinking, loving, and behaving, transforming them into divine ways.
Guided by the Magisterium, by the official documents of the Order, and by the signs of the times, we Carmelites willingly invite and introduce the faithful to our rich tradition and to the experience of contemplation. We encourage lay people to develop their own particular gifts and charisms so that they may be involved in the mission of the Church.
- Some Centres Run by Carmelites ustralia
Sancta Sophia Meditation Community - Warburton, Victoria
Email: samsomed @ carmelnet.org
Tel: +61-3-5966.2120 - Fax: +61-3-5966.2120
Exerzitienhaus Carmel Springiersbach - Bengel
Email: Karmel.Springiersbach @ t-online.de
Tel: +49-6532-93950 - Fax: +49-6532-939580
Karmel Marienthal - Hamminkeln
Email: ocarm.marienthal @ cityweb.de
Tel: +49-2856-91830 - Fax: +49-2856-918310
Institut Karmel Indonesia (IKI) - Malang
Email: ikimal @ yahoo.com
Tel: +62-0341-571515 - Fax: +62-0341-571515
Basilica del Carmine - Firenze
Convento S. Lucia alla Castellina - Castello (FI)
Tel: +39-055-452244; 4255938 - Fax: +39-055-452244; 4255938
Centro di Spiritualità - Convento S. Paolo, Nocera Umbra (PG)
Tel: +39-0742-812053 - Fax: +39-0742-812053
----------------------Centro di Spiritualità "Il Carmelo"
- Pozzo di Gotto (ME)
Email: horeb @ eikonos.it
Tel: +39-090-9762800 - Fax: +39-090-9762800
Casa di accoglienza - San Felice del Benaco (BS)
Email: carmine.accoglienza @ tin.it
Tel: +39-0365-62365 - Fax: +39-0365-62364
Istituto "Il Carmelo" - Sassone-Ciampino (RM)
Tel: +39-06-7960247 - Fax: +39-06-7961515
Carmelite Institute - Mdina
Dar tat-Talb - Lunzjata - Lunzjata, Rabat
Tel: +356-459021 - Fax: +356-451344
Casa de Espiritualidad - Onda (Castellón)
Mount Carmel Retreat Center - Williamstown, Massachusetts
Email: retreats @ carmelretreat.org
Tel: +1-518-458.3164 - Fax: +1-518-458.9420
Carmelite House - Phoenix, AZ
Casa de Espiritualidad Carmelita - Merida
Email: carmelo @ fundem.gov.ve
Tel: +58-074-446417 - Fax: +58-074-446417