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Discernment – Does God Call you?

I am happy to write this little piece for the Chariots of Fire, the newsletter of the Vocation Department of the Carmelite Friars, Province of St. Elias. Despite what people say, my experience tells me that there are plenty of young people, and not-so-young people,

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My First Year as Carmelite Pre-Novice

In the famous hymn “Here I am Lord”, it asks one important question, “Whom shall I send?” Personally, this echoes the same call to live out a “radical” way of life. A life of brotherhood, prayer, and service to the Church and to one another. This is the framework and foundation of the Carmelite life. This is the life in which I had the experience of living the past year.

The Carmelite Life

Much has developed and changed in the 800-year life of our Carmelite brotherhood, but the common thread that has always distinguished the Carmelite way is that our lives are defined by prayer, community and apostolic works. It’s a balanced way of life that leads you closer to Christ while in service to His Church.

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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."