Sunday, June 21, 2009

Carmelite Spirituality

As is apparent from the pictures on my blog, I have discovered my spiritual niche in the Carmelite family. I have been enrolled in the brown scapular for about a year now (although not always keeping up with my rosaries), but I never understood that by being invested and wearing the scapular, I had become a part of the Carmelite family and share in their spiritual benefits.

Now to the story of what got me interested in the Carmelite spirituality. The other day, as I was flipping through the channels on the TV, I stopped on EWTN. There was a large church building that looked rather like St. Peter's basilica, so I was expecting a papal mass, or something of the sort. But instead, I came to find out that this was the basilica of St. Therese of Lisieux. I then continued to watch the documentary on this wonderful saint's life. While watching, I was reminded of a series on the life of St. Teresa of Avila that I had watched just a year before. As soon as the documentary was over, I said a quick prayer of thanksgiving for the finding of this new saint in my life, and then proceded to my computer where I pulled up all kinds of information on the Carmelite order and it's history. Then I was reminded of the parish I grew up in, St. Teresa of Avila. This great Carmelite mystic had been in my life since it's very begining on that day in 1994 when I was baptised into the Holy Church. So that night, my grandmother and I decided to go out to the theater and see a movie. When the movie was finished, I asked that we stop at the bookstore on the way home, which we did. I was originally planning to purchase "Story of a Soul", the autobiography of St. Terese of Lisieux, but the good lord had other plans for my reading material. It seemed that they only had one copy left at the store and it was nowhere to be found. So, God sent his spirit and showed me two books, both by St. Teresa of Avila, "Interior Castle" and "The Way of Perfection." I have just begun "The Way of Perfection" and am currently on chapter four.
During my research I came across a group of Discaled Carmelite Friars in Wyoming. I don't know if you have ever heard of "Mystic Monk Coffee" but these guys make it! They live a contemplative life in a strict cloister. The bonds of family and friendship is prevalent in the community along with a sense of constant prayer and peace. Although I have not been to their lowly and humble monastery, their joy and peace radiates from their website alone! If you are curious yet as to what I am rambling about, you can visit their website here:
In Love,
Jude Graham

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