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Praised be Jesus Christ !   Hello Gracian Long time no see. This is sister emmanuel. How this conversation of our Holy Order of Carmel Lifts my Spirits! It reminds me of the Practices we did in the

THE CARMELITE’S DAY   This came from the Montreal Carmel, probably around 1948-49.  It seems some young lady from Canada entered a Carmel in France, and her mother had asked what she did all day l

Laughing, how i would love to throw a monkey wrench into all of this just for fun!   In truth though whether one wears a cross outside the scapular or underneath it ,or still  practices penances tha

I used to live in Buffalo.  At that time, the Carmelites' Mass at 7am was open to the public.  Perhaps it still is.  They also have several novenas during the year.  Next one should be the end of September.

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Brandylynmarie, I went to Villa Maria academy for high school which is also on Doat St. and I used to walk past the Dominican monastery every day. I always wondered how the cloister looked beyond the stone-walled fence!

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I used to live in Buffalo.  At that time, the Carmelites' Mass at 7am was open to the public.  Perhaps it still is.  They also have several novenas during the year.  Next one should be the end of September.

 

There is one going on right now to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It started at 7 pm. Today is the second day. Swami Mommy maybe you can go to one of the nights! :like:

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Brandylynmarie, I went to Villa Maria academy for high school which is also on Doat St. and I used to walk past the Dominican monastery every day. I always wondered how the cloister looked beyond the stone-walled fence!



I discerned with them in 2006 & hung out on the visitors' side of the cloister. Beautiful group of Dominicans. :nun: :nun: :nun:

It just took me forever to figure out I'm a Carmelite at heart :hehe2:
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Praised be Jesus Christ !

 

Hello Gracian Long time no see. This is sister emmanuel. How this conversation of our Holy Order of Carmel Lifts my Spirits! It reminds me of the Practices we did in the old Brooklyn Carmel.  These practices done with love and understanding are life giving not only for ourselves but most especially when offered for souls living and dead. If they become only routine I think we are losing extra chances to love God and souls by our spiritual works of Mercy.

 

We must remember though that all of these things though beautiful, are only a means to an end. The end is perfect love of God and neighbor. one can keep perfect custody of the eyes for example, but if you do not see enough to realize your sister or brother in distress you have put a practice before the two greatest commandments our Lord has taught us. I have seen this happen in Carmel.

 

Only in a small number of Carmels in the United States will you find such austerity. But even in a lax Carmel's one can become a saint for that is between the soul and God.

 

After Being with Mother Teresa and then transferring to the Brooklyn Carmel I was so deeply imprinted with what a Carmelite and religious life was meant to be that I found it a Martyrdom to live a mitigated life. Finally, I felt i could not live a double standard it was hurting my heart and my soul.and so I left and became a Carmelite hermit.

 

Carmelites come from a race of Prophets, For me a Carmelite fulfills her prophetic mission by interiorly hanging on the other side of the cross with Jesus, silently pointing the way to the Kingdom to a world that has all but forgotten God.

 

Although my Carmelite Community, The Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel is afiliated with the O.C.D's we have gone back to the ancient rule of Carmel living in our hermitages coming together only for recreation on Saturdays and holy Mass We try to live as our early Fathers did taking the holy rule literally without any complicated ceremonials as in the pre-VaticanII ceremonials. Yet even living as a hermit does not guarantee endless hour in the hermitage. Sick sisters need care, another must answer the door to those who come for prayers or whose life is filled with pain and suffering Life in the hermitage is a constant spiritual warfare so too the Carmelite who lives in community fervently. It is all in Our holy Rule.

 

I am no longer living at the hermitage but retain my vows as an associate member. I am in hospice now  whether it was my MS or my exposure at 9/11 I have hemmorrhaged into the spinal cord at the level that controls breathing, swallowing and movementof my upper body as my spinal cord slowly dies.. There is so much i wish to share with all of you of all the beauty I see as before the disease takes my mind and ability to function. I have a helper who lives with me. He is My St. Joseph on earth twice he has saved my life when choking on my medicines. All is pure and chaste He truly loves the Lord and respects my calling.

 

I realize i am making my ascent to the mount yet  I am too weak to do it alone. The good news is  finally I am learning the true meaning of spiritual childhood. Therese finally got to me...LOL Maybe she sticks to me like glue because i was a missionary or vee-8 is finally getting even...LOL

 

Although I can no longer wear Our holy Habit,( it gets caught in the motorized wheekchair LOL) it does not matter now for a Carmelite is known from within. I know my vocation was stamped on my soul while still in my Mother's womb when she offered me to God and i chose to respond. I have known since i was a Missionary of Charity, that God wanted me to offer my life for priests and sisters.I told Jesus yes but he must help me to be faithful. Have I always been faithful? No. But I have never stopped trying, dusting myself off even when at the point of near despair and ask Jesus to help me find my way in the Darkness. I trust in his merciful love.

 

These days my life is becoming more and more one continual prayer even as i reach out to others who come to me with their joys and sorrows seeking one who will listen. The world outside is running at such a frenetic pace that people have forgotten how to listn to one another. I don't know how long this illness will go on. At times it can be terrifying But To each of you who share the spirit of Carmel, there is no reason to wait until you find the right Carmel. Start living it today and surely God in his mercy and Our Mother of Carmel will lead you slowly to the mountain of Carmel where Christ dwells.

 

I love you all so much I cannot begin to tell you,but know I hold each of you gently before God in Prayer.

 

Please in your charity say a prayer for me that i may remain faithful to the end no matter how long or short a time i have. If i have ever hurt any of you with my words I humbly beg your forgiveness especially DS

 

If i stop by from time to time and my mind is not clear i ask your patience for I too so desperately need mercy.

 

God Bless,

 

Indwelling Trinity :paperbag: :crusader:

 

My dear Sr. Emmanuel,

 

I have been trying to reach you via email but my messages were unanswered.  I figure that since you were in the hermitage, you do not have access to emails.  Thank you for this message though, I am very sorry to hear about your situation.  I remain hopeful that your condition will improve and please be assured of my prayers.

 

Please send me private message and please indicate your email address so I can write to you.

 

I discerned joing the OCDS but I think and feel God is not calling me there.  Though, I remain very much Carmelite at heart.

 

There are so much documents available in internet now about Discalced Carmelites and even the Pre-Vatican II documents are made available by the Lisieux Archives!  Well, a few of them are in English but they are in the process of translating the documents from French to English.  Soon, we can finally read the text that the Spanish Mothers brought with them from France and was translated from Spanish to French by their French Superiors.   

 

Carmel has always been and will always be eremitical since the Primititve Rule is designed for hermits.  I have learned a great deal when the O. Carms. sent me the 5 volume work of Fr. Joachim Smet. O. Carm. entitled "The Carmelites: A History of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.  Its an excellent work and it has portion on Discalced Carmelite reform and their own way of explaining the incarceration of St. John of the Cross.

 

I have recently finished the book written by a former Missionaries of Charity Sister entitled "An Unquenchable Thirst."  I hope you will find some time to read it.

 

Thank you so much for posting this message.  Its really nice to hear from you again, though your situation is very challenging.

 

Be assured of my prayers.

 

 

Gracian

 

 

 

 

 

 

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graciandelamadrededios

CARMEL OF ST. TERESA OF JESUS

Mati, Davao Carmel (second Davao Carmel)

 

Foundress: Mother Marie Susan of Jesus, O.C.D. (was born in Gaspe, Quebec, Canada; professed n Montreal Carmel)

Foundation: November 21, 1987

 

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Q: What is the significance of the Carmelite coat of arms? 
 
A: The first thing about the coat of arms to catch your eye is a mountain and three stars. The 
brown mountain, of course, denotes Mount Carmel in Palestine, where the Order came into 
being, but it also symbolizes the sublime charism of the Order: aspiring to union with God 
through prayer and contemplation. The lowest star, in silver, represents the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, the Star of the Sea. Two upper stars, in gold, represent the prophets Elijah and 
Eliseus, the Fathers of the Carmelite Order. These three stars point to the Marian character 
of the Order and to its Elijan origins even before the birth of Christ. 
 
The three stars also represent the three epochs in the history of Carmel: the first, the 
prophetic era, from the time of the Prophet Elijah to the time of John the Baptist; the 
second, or Greek epoch, when the Order spread throughout the East and the West, from 
the time of John the Baptist to that of Berthold, the first Latin General of the Order; and the 
third, from Berthold to the present. 
 
Above the shield with the mountain and three stars is a five-flowered crown, 
surrounded by twelve stars, symbolizing Mary, since Carmel is her Order. Over the crown is 
an arm brandishing a flaming sword, signifying the fiery spirit of Elijah, burning with zeal for 
the Lord his God. A scroll contains the motto of the Order, taken from the words of Elijah: 
ZELO, ZELATUS SUM, PRO DOMINO DEO EXERCITUUM (“With zeal have I been zealous for 
the Lord God of hosts”). 
 
 
 
 
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Indwelling Trinity

My dear Sr. Emmanuel,

 

I have been trying to reach you via email but my messages were unanswered.  I figure that since you were in the hermitage, you do not have access to emails.  Thank you for this message though, I am very sorry to hear about your situation.  I remain hopeful that your condition will improve and please be assured of my prayers.

 

Please send me private message and please indicate your email address so I can write to you.

 

I discerned joing the OCDS but I think and feel God is not calling me there.  Though, I remain very much Carmelite at heart.

 

There are so much documents available in internet now about Discalced Carmelites and even the Pre-Vatican II documents are made available by the Lisieux Archives!  Well, a few of them are in English but they are in the process of translating the documents from French to English.  Soon, we can finally read the text that the Spanish Mothers brought with them from France and was translated from Spanish to French by their French Superiors.   

 

Carmel has always been and will always be eremitical since the Primititve Rule is designed for hermits.  I have learned a great deal when the O. Carms. sent me the 5 volume work of Fr. Joachim Smet. O. Carm. entitled "The Carmelites: A History of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.  Its an excellent work and it has portion on Discalced Carmelite reform and their own way of explaining the incarceration of St. John of the Cross.

 

I have recently finished the book written by a former Missionaries of Charity Sister entitled "An Unquenchable Thirst."  I hope you will find some time to read it.

 

Thank you so much for posting this message.  Its really nice to hear from you again, though your situation is very challenging.

 

Be assured of my prayers.

 

 

Gracian

 

 

My Dear Gracian:

 

Thank you so much for your response. The doctors tell me i am terminally ill and there is no treatment for me except for experimental stem cell surgery harvesting my own stem cells.  I have to pray about it and consult a priest. my fear is that they may harvest some of my own stem cells but substitute those of an unborn child  which i want no part of.

 

As for the book unquenchable thirst, I can tell you that yes there were some sisters in The MC's who were unbalanced but they were given help.  For the sake of the Order and any young vocations who might be considering the Missionaries of Chairity and NOT to be uncharitable. I Know this Sister who wrote we were in the novitiate in Rome at the same time. She was Professed 6 months ahead of me. She was very good at scolding everyone else with only  two years of religious life under her belt but always had a superior reason for her own actions and harsh words. This was especially hard on the little Indian sisters with an entirely different culture.

 

She was very difficult to live with in community. You could hear her taking the discipline a mile away she so over did it yet she had very little charity with her tongue towards her sisters and often belittled them. One day I went out to the dentist with her and she actually unhooked her waist chains  and let them drop to the ground at a bus stop with other people present. This is not the act of a prudent person. I was so embarrassed i could have died right there. she left for a while but she also did a stint in the contemplative branch and even was allowed to live for some time as a hermit. she did no work as she felt her prayer was more important and would not even come out of her room to pick up her meals

 

Yes, Mother had her blind spots but she cannot directly oversee thousands of sisters even as she knew most of us by name. Mother never told us not to touch. She told us when we must touch let it be the touch of Jesus. we went out two by two for our safety from harm and sin as we went into dark holes where no one in their right minds would go to seek out the poor.   Not touching also had to do in some degree with the work we did. It was dirty work and the people had everything from leprosy to aids. but God protected us somehow.til one reached final vows. When i was in the Brooklyn Carmel we did the discipline also it really isn't that big a deal but just another penance to unite ourselves with Christs passion for the forgiveness of sins of mankind. Probably a good number of Saints did the same. I know for a fact that St. JP II  did it because we made one for him at his request.. i suppose he was stuck in the middle ages too! Evil is real and we must fight it on every level.

 

As for the discipline, Yes we did it but i remember mother telling us that if it gives you any temptation then stop also there was a set number of strokes done less for the postulants which gradually increased until final vow no penances on Sundays.

 

Like any religious community we had our problems. The life is Hard and very austere in many ways but the joy was contagious. i had many close friends in the Missionaries of charity and i was never afraid to be close to them or hug them if need be.

 

I also Had a Superior who was very cruel. Mother had sent me back home to the US because my Parents were going through a bloody divorce and my brothers and sisters begged me to come home. I talked to Mother and she gave me permission to go home for two weeks. no sooner I arrrived back in the South Bronx The superior cut my leave down to 2 days.  My parents weren't even asked to sit in the parlor.  this same superior regional superior who was also my local superior.. Never stopped persecuting me without details because i don't know the details as i finally had to take a leave of absence from the constant harrassment to the point of be forcefully pushed against a wall when apologizing for some small infraction. I Never complained to Mother because i knew she had so very much on her hands. Finally I was still in vows but went to work with runaways at covenant house i took in volunteers who wanted to work for the poor.  I took in7 poor people and4 volunteers. I would work nights come home in the morning spend some time helping the people the go to bed until it was time to get ready for work. I told the volunteers that i was planning to stay only until mother would receive me back. they all said fine. Mother wrote me back and said Sister before you come i want you to have a long talk with Sister Nirmala.(who became the next Mother General) Sister said I definitely had a vocation but it was to contemplative life. I was shocked as if she read my heart.. She said she would write to Mother and ask her to send me to her. As for the Superior, sister told me her mind was not right .Mother agreed to my having a contemplative vocation and she would give me back the habit but i had to do one year of novitiate for the contemplative branch.

 

Two of the volunteers husband and wife who did virtually no work. For whatever they Went to That difficult superior in the active branch and she took them in. whatever happened  I was accused of many things that th Bishop and my Pastor got involved.   It was like the gates of hell wanted me out. Not ;ong after i came back the doorbell rang and I was shocked to see my Pastor and Confessor at the door. I was so happy to see him and ask how come you are here? He said Mother Called me and want to talk to me about something. Mother and sister Nirmala were in the parlor for almost 2 hours i was in the chapel when i heard the door close. Mother came in the door way bowed to the Blessed Sacrament said a prayer then called me out.  she and Sister Nirmala took me to  a quiet spot and told me in these exact words. "Sister no matter what happens Sister Nirmala and I will stand behind you to the end." I asked what happened? She said We know and Jesus knows and that is enough. With That she gave me her blessing. To this day I don't know what happened

 

I am sorry this sister had troubles. They happen in the best communities. and the devil is always busy with those who try hardest to seek God. If sister was having temptations with that priest it happens. and it will happen to you. I was attracted very much to one of our Brothers in the MC's  and he was to me but a little red flag went off in my head tell your superior.

 Very humbly I told sister. the next day we were both changed to different apostolates. being humble enough to tell the truth saved my vocation and his also He is now a priest and hold a high position in the order. Yes it stung a bit not seeing him again but i came to religious life for Jesus not to look for a husband. You will feel attraction sooner or later if you are human, you just have to learn how to deal with it once the temptation is out in the open, satan disappears for he hates truth and humility.

 

As for homosexual sisters i have only met one in the MC's. she was a good soul but did not belong in community. .I told my superior she had made an advance but she did not believe me. . I guess because it was so rare a thing we slept in common dormitories  of no less than four and as many as twenty.

 

Anyway I do not mean to Hijack this conversation about Carmel. But fearing other might pick up this book and discount Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. It is a wonderful order going through a rough time because Mother was the only Superior until her Death. The sisters went to the Pope when she tried to resign. In God's Providence Sister Nirmala her Godchild who knew her as well as the very first sister perhaps even more suceeded her.

 

As for this Sister who wrote the book, I am sorry she has suffered so much. But her story is very slanted and subjective in many ways.of the year and a half of the time in novitiate with her she never seemed to be just a novice but was always treating all her peers as if she were a mistress herself.Please pray with me for her that she may be happy in her new found life.

 

I know this is off topic of Carmelite customs and i apologize. but since it was mentioned here i thought to address it her. In a way it is good though because you will run into such problems in any community that has human beings as its members. We are all broken to some degree although some of us would deny that to our last breath or at least have a ready excuse.

 

One Carmelite Custom as well as MC custom is never to excuse oneself when corrected. So many souls can be won for God by that one little act of humility.

 

I hope i have not offended anyone here by relating this i wish to defame no one nor do i wish to see true vocations lost to biased information about a community that has done such great good for the poor and the church even with it's blind spots. I cherish my years as a Missionary of Charity They were Joyful Years, but in God's providence when I asked Mother about Carmel she told me to" go Where Jesus was calling me". I received a solid and compassionate formation as a Missionary of Charity. I love them still. If any one has more questions please PM me or start a new thread as i do not wish to hijack this one any further.

 

hugs

 

IT

 

 

 

 

My dear Sr. Emmanuel,

 

I have been trying to reach you via email but my messages were unanswered.  I figure that since you were in the hermitage, you do not have access to emails.  Thank you for this message though, I am very sorry to hear about your situation.  I remain hopeful that your condition will improve and please be assured of my prayers.

 

Please send me private message and please indicate your email address so I can write to you.

 

I discerned joing the OCDS but I think and feel God is not calling me there.  Though, I remain very much Carmelite at heart.

 

There are so much documents available in internet now about Discalced Carmelites and even the Pre-Vatican II documents are made available by the Lisieux Archives!  Well, a few of them are in English but they are in the process of translating the documents from French to English.  Soon, we can finally read the text that the Spanish Mothers brought with them from France and was translated from Spanish to French by their French Superiors.   

 

Carmel has always been and will always be eremitical since the Primititve Rule is designed for hermits.  I have learned a great deal when the O. Carms. sent me the 5 volume work of Fr. Joachim Smet. O. Carm. entitled "The Carmelites: A History of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.  Its an excellent work and it has portion on Discalced Carmelite reform and their own way of explaining the incarceration of St. John of the Cross.

 

I have recently finished the book written by a former Missionaries of Charity Sister entitled "An Unquenchable Thirst."  I hope you will find some time to read it.

 

Thank you so much for posting this message.  Its really nice to hear from you again, though your situation is very challenging.

 

Be assured of my prayers.

 

 

Gracian

 

 

My Dear Gracian:

 

Thank you so much for your response. The doctors tell me i am terminally ill and there is no treatment for me except for experimental stem cell surgery harvesting my own stem cells.  I have to pray about it and consult a priest. my fear is that they may harvest some of my own stem cells but substitute those of an unborn child  which i want no part of.

 

As for the book unquenchable thirst, I can tell you that yes there were some sisters in The MC's who were unbalanced but they were given help.  For the sake of the Order and any young vocations who might be considering the Missionaries of Chairity and NOT to be uncharitable. I Know this Sister who wrote we were in the novitiate in Rome at the same time. She was Professed 6 months ahead of me. She was very good at scolding everyone else with only  two years of religious life under her belt but always had a superior reason for her own actions and harsh words. This was especially hard on the little Indian sisters with an entirely different culture.

 

She was very difficult to live with in community. You could hear her taking the discipline a mile away she so over did it yet she had very little charity with her tongue towards her sisters and often belittled them. One day I went out to the dentist with her and she actually unhooked her waist chains  and let them drop to the ground at a bus stop with other people present. This is not the act of a prudent person. I was so embarrassed i could have died right there. she left for a while but she also did a stint in the contemplative branch and even was allowed to live for some time as a hermit. she did no work as she felt her prayer was more important and would not even come out of her room to pick up her meals

 

Yes, Mother had her blind spots but she cannot directly oversee thousands of sisters even as she knew most of us by name. Mother never told us not to touch. She told us when we must touch let it be the touch of Jesus. we went out two by two for our safety from harm and sin as we went into dark holes where no one in their right minds would go to seek out the poor.   Not touching also had to do in some degree with the work we did. It was dirty work and the people had everything from leprosy to aids. but God protected us somehow.til one reached final vows. When i was in the Brooklyn Carmel we did the discipline also it really isn't that big a deal but just another penance to unite ourselves with Christs passion for the forgiveness of sins of mankind. Probably a good number of Saints did the same. I know for a fact that St. JP II  did it because we made one for him at his request.. i suppose he was stuck in the middle ages too! Evil is real and we must fight it on every level.

 

As for the discipline, Yes we did it but i remember mother telling us that if it gives you any temptation then stop also there was a set number of strokes done less for the postulants which gradually increased until final vow no penances on Sundays.

 

Like any religious community we had our problems. The life is Hard and very austere in many ways but the joy was contagious. i had many close friends in the Missionaries of charity and i was never afraid to be close to them or hug them if need be.

 

I also Had a Superior who was very cruel. Mother had sent me back home to the US because my Parents were going through a bloody divorce and my brothers and sisters begged me to come home. I talked to Mother and she gave me permission to go home for two weeks. no sooner I arrrived back in the South Bronx The superior cut my leave down to 2 days.  My parents weren't even asked to sit in the parlor.  this same superior regional superior who was also my local superior.. Never stopped persecuting me without details because i don't know the details as i finally had to take a leave of absence from the constant harrassment to the point of be forcefully pushed against a wall when apologizing for some small infraction. I Never complained to Mother because i knew she had so very much on her hands. Finally I was still in vows but went to work with runaways at covenant house i took in volunteers who wanted to work for the poor.  I took in7 poor people and4 volunteers. I would work nights come home in the morning spend some time helping the people the go to bed until it was time to get ready for work. I told the volunteers that i was planning to stay only until mother would receive me back. they all said fine. Mother wrote me back and said Sister before you come i want you to have a long talk with Sister Nirmala.(who became the next Mother General) Sister said I definitely had a vocation but it was to contemplative life. I was shocked as if she read my heart.. She said she would write to Mother and ask her to send me to her. As for the Superior, sister told me her mind was not right .Mother agreed to my having a contemplative vocation and she would give me back the habit but i had to do one year of novitiate for the contemplative branch.

 

Two of the volunteers husband and wife who did virtually no work. For whatever they Went to That difficult superior in the active branch and she took them in. whatever happened  I was accused of many things that th Bishop and my Pastor got involved.   It was like the gates of hell wanted me out. Not ;ong after i came back the doorbell rang and I was shocked to see my Pastor and Confessor at the door. I was so happy to see him and ask how come you are here? He said Mother Called me and want to talk to me about something. Mother and sister Nirmala were in the parlor for almost 2 hours i was in the chapel when i heard the door close. Mother came in the door way bowed to the Blessed Sacrament said a prayer then called me out.  she and Sister Nirmala took me to  a quiet spot and told me in these exact words. "Sister no matter what happens Sister Nirmala and I will stand behind you to the end." I asked what happened? She said We know and Jesus knows and that is enough. With That she gave me her blessing. To this day I don't know what happened

 

I am sorry this sister had troubles. They happen in the best communities. and the devil is always busy with those who try hardest to seek God. If sister was having temptations with that priest it happens. and it will happen to you. I was attracted very much to one of our Brothers in the MC's  and he was to me but a little red flag went off in my head tell your superior.

 Very humbly I told sister. the next day we were both changed to different apostolates. being humble enough to tell the truth saved my vocation and his also He is now a priest and hold a high position in the order. Yes it stung a bit not seeing him again but i came to religious life for Jesus not to look for a husband. You will feel attraction sooner or later if you are human, you just have to learn how to deal with it once the temptation is out in the open, satan disappears for he hates truth and humility.

 

As for homosexual sisters i have only met one in the MC's. she was a good soul but did not belong in community. .I told my superior she had made an advance but she did not believe me. . I guess because it was so rare a thing we slept in common dormitories  of no less than four and as many as twenty.

 

Anyway I do not mean to Hijack this conversation about Carmel. But fearing other might pick up this book and discount Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. It is a wonderful order going through a rough time because Mother was the only Superior until her Death. The sisters went to the Pope when she tried to resign. In God's Providence Sister Nirmala her Godchild who knew her as well as the very first sister perhaps even more suceeded her.

 

As for this Sister who wrote the book, I am sorry she has suffered so much. But her story is very slanted and subjective in many ways.of the year and a half of the time in novitiate with her she never seemed to be just a novice but was always treating all her peers as if she were a mistress herself.Please pray with me for her that she may be happy in her new found life.

 

I know this is off topic of Carmelite customs and i apologize. but since it was mentioned here i thought to address it her. In a way it is good though because you will run into such problems in any community that has human beings as its members. We are all broken to some degree although some of us would deny that to our last breath or at least have a ready excuse.

 

One Carmelite Custom as well as MC custom is never to excuse oneself when corrected. So many souls can be won for God by that one little act of humility.

 

I hope i have not offended anyone here by relating this i wish to defame no one nor do i wish to see true vocations lost to biased information about a community that has done such great good for the poor and the church even with it's blind spots. I cherish my years as a Missionary of Charity They were Joyful Years, but in God's providence when I asked Mother about Carmel she told me to" go Where Jesus was calling me". I received a solid and compassionate formation as a Missionary of Charity. I love them still. If any one has more questions please PM me or start a new thread as i do not wish to hijack this one any further.

 

hugs I Love You ALL

 

IT :eek: :paperbag:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Indwelling Trinity
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IT - you haven't offended me but I do think that your post got a little personal above about the writer of the book and might have been better not posted. I was never a nun in the MCs but I was a volunteer and lived and prayed with them (although not in their dormitory). I was also very close friends with the RN who worked for them every day - and she had been in the convent in India with them before she had to leave because her health broke down, and I asked her many questions and heard many stories from her that were similar to what was written in the book so I was not at all surprised at some of the things I read in the book. I have also read Hope Endures by Livermore, and that one was even more unflattering about the MCs, so I think Johnson's book was actually quite reasonable given her understanding of what was happening at the time. Her experiences or perceptions might not have been the same as yours but she was also writing a memoir which is a very difficult thing to do since one always sees things from one's own point of view - that can't be helped.  You write above about all the suffering you endured with the MCs so it would be inappropriate to seem to be denigrating her own suffering as she perceived it. 

 

The MCs are a wonderful community - no doubt about it, but they do have their own problems - impossible not to with so many members of the community and the cultural differences and the incredible austerities. Johnson's story is just her own way of trying to make sense of some of the things that happened to her. Just as when you or I write about the suffering we have been through in convents, we are simply trying to express what we perceive (or perceived at the time) to be true. She deserves the same respect that you or I do when we try to make sense of some of the things that happened to us. I know you don't mean anything ill by what you write though, and of course, my prayers are with you through all your physical suffering now. I just felt that it wasn't necessary to write some of the personal things you did about her (unless you are writing your memoirs now too? :) ) I hope I am not offending you by this.

 

 

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Getting back to the Carmelites, there is one thing that I thought I would bring up. Gracian, you say that Carmelites will always be eremetical. While this is true to a degree, they are also cenobitical in that they are 'hermits in community'. They do not live as true hermits do, but within a community environment. At heart, a Carmelite is a hermit, but in practice, she lives with her sisters and must adapt to community life. One of the things I found hardest in my first Carmel was the fact that we had little time alone with God. Even our prayer time was done in choir with all the other sisters. When I was there, they had no 'hermit days' so I felt as if I were always surrounded by sisters. As a postulant and Novice, one is often working with another sister, who supervises her work, so although the professed nuns worked alone, when one first enters, this is not so. In addition to this, we prayed together, cleaned the kitchen together, did laundry together, had Recreation together- it was non-stop interaction with others. Silence was the rule, but solitude was not and even silence was broken for necessary conversation while working. I loved Sundays because there was no 'work' and I could spend a little time alone. It was only after living as a hermit that I realized the difference between being a hermit and being a hermit in community. 

 

Many Carmels now have 'hermit days' where a sister is excused from all duties (except certain Offices) and they can spend time alone with God, and a lot more communities now allow sisters to spend their prayer time alone, away from the choir, so they can go to a hermitage in the grounds or for a walk etc. And of course, the Carmelites are much less cenobitical than the Poor Clares where they share a common workroom, but they are certainly not 'hermits' in the truest sense of the word. I like to think of them as 'hermits at heart'.

 

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