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Liturgy and Prayer Task Force 2013-2019

Francisco de Sales Alencar Batista

Prayer is the center of our lives and cannot be eliminat­ed from a community and an authentic ministry flow. The prayer of the Carmelite community is a sign to the world that the Church prays [..]. Liturgical prayer is the highest form of encounter with God in the community and actualizes what is celebrated. Personal prayer is closely connected with the liturgical prayer: one flows from the other (Con. 64, 69).

In the last General Chapter, in the words of Pope Bene­dict XVI addressed to the Carmelites in 2007, Pope Francis challenged us to put prayer at the center of our lives as the source that nourishes, witnesses and expresses the noblest values of the contemplative dimension of the our charism. Prayer, according to the Holy Father, must characterize the dynamism of our presence and mission in the Church and in the world: "You are called to live on the heights of Mount Carmel, it is also true that you are called to give testimony in the midst of God's pilgrim people in the world toward the Promised Land [...]. Now more than ever is the time to rediscover the inner path of love through prayer and offer today people, in witness of contemplation, as well as in preaching and mission, not useless shortcuts but the wis­dom that emerges from meditating 'day and night in the law of the Lord,' the Word that always leads to the glorious Cross of Christ."

Starting from the awareness of the urgent need to treat with special attention to the liturgy and prayer life in the Order, the General Chapter has sought to respond posi­tively to this challenge, urging us to take seriously the re­sponsibility with the development of a culture of prayer in all levels of our lives and of our mission: "We feel called to build communities of prayer whose main service is to teach people how to pray in the places where they are and serve, shaping it to a culture of prayer with our speeches, with our celebration of the liturgy participatory and con­templative, with the practice of Lectio Divina and with our attention to other forms of prayer" (Final Message, 2013).

The Commission for Liturgy and Prayer, created by the General Chapter in 2013, has as its overall objective to "foster in the Order prayer life in all its aspects." The Commission will work from the guidelines approved by the General Chapter and will try to address the concrete needs emerged in the field of liturgy and prayer, fulfilling concrete tasks entrusted to it for the next six years.

Members

  • Francisco de Sales Alencar Batista (praeses)
  • Edmondo Caruana (Mel)
  • Mario Esposito (SEL)
  • Michael Farrugia  (Mel)
  • Giovanni Grosso (Ita)
  • Robert Manik (Indo)
  • Giuseppe Midili (Ita)
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."