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Joy in Contemplative Community - I FIND JOY IN LIVING IN COMMUNION WITH JESUS

by General Commission for Evangelization and Mission

My living in allegiance to Jesus Christ means, for me, living in communion with him.

Listening to the Scriptures

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, (Phil. 3, 8-9)

Listening to the Carmelite Tradition.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favours, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort. (Saint Teresa, Life 22, 14)

We, as Carmelites, intend to “live in allegiance to Jesus Christ, and serve Him zealously with a pure heart and a good conscience”. Christ is present to all of us in the liturgy of the hours, and His presence reaches its peak in the daily celebration in community of the Eucharist. He is present throughout the day, above all, in the continuous contact and actualization of the word of God; in the community life of the brethren which reaches culminating points in the communion of goods and community dialogue; in the mystery of being one with the will of the heavenly Father and in the whole direction of our life, because we live for Him, work for Him and await, full of hope, His coming. (Fifth Council of Provinces 1979, in Towards a Prophetic Brotherhood).

Listening to the Church Tradition.

Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction (Deus Caritas Est, 1; Evangelii Gaudium, 7).

Sometimes we lose our enthusiasm for mission because we forget that the Gospel responds to our deepest needs, since we were created for what the Gospel offers us: friendship with Jesus and love of our brothers and sisters… It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to…. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody. (Evangelii Gaudium, 265-266).

For pondering:

How do I experience the joy of knowing and following Jesus? How do I communicate this joy to others?

Psalmody (from psalm 1)

Happy are those

    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

    or sit in the seat of scoffers;

but their delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and on his law they meditate day and night.

A prayer.

O living flame of love, awaken in me an intense desire to know Jesus and to dedicate myself to Him.  Without him, I can do nothing and without Him, I am nothing. Enkindle within me the desire to live not for myself but for Him so that I might pour out my life in generous service for those whom He loves. Amen.

Doxology:

Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 6:23-24).

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."