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3. Contemplation – the active and passive process of transformation

As soon as we realize the fatal mistake of our human perception and begin to experience some­thing of the liberating power of contemplation we enter into a process in which we more and more have to give up our own judgments and perceptions in order to learn God’s way of seeing reality.

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2. Contemplation – discovering the presence of the kingdom of God - Contemplation - the heart of the Carmelite charism

In my own spiritual journey I learn more and more to see contemplation as a means God has opened up to us so that we may become able to discover the presence of his kingdom, which Je­sus proclaimed to be already among and even within us, the salvation already carried out and made available for us (cf. Lk 17:20-21).

Contemplation - the heart of the Carmelite charism - 1. Contemplation – the transforming process of accepting the boundless love of God

In line with our Rule and Constitutions the new RIVC develops contemplation as the heart of our Carmelite charism, as the dynamic core of our specific mission, which unifies and shapes the other essential elements of our way of life: prayer, fraternity and service.

The Carmelite Tradition and Centering Prayer Christian Meditation 2

The Carmelite Tradition

We are now ready to look at the Carmelite tradition for its evaluation of these two new methods of prayer. The sources we shall examine are The Rule of St. Albert, The Institution of the First Monks, the writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, and the Touraine reform. I shall identify each of these sources as we address them.

The Carmelite Tradition and Centering Prayer Christian Meditation 1

Introduction:

In this paper I propose to interface the Carmelite tradition on contemplative prayer and two popular forms of contemplative practice called centering prayer and “Christian Meditation.” We are asking how these widely used, current practices fit into that tradition. Do the new forms agree or disagree with past thinking? What does the Carmelite tradition have to say pro and con about them?

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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."