06 CARMELITE SPIRITUALITY and its Relevance for Today - Sr M. Vincent AC

posted Jul 11, 2018, 11:06 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 11:06 AM ]
Catholic Spirituality is rooted in Scripture, Catholic Doctrine, in the teachings of the spiritual masters of the Church and in the makeup of graced human nature. Spirituality is both personal and communitarian. Spirituality is found to be at the person’s inner core. The core is influenced by one’s genetic heritage, environment and knowledge, and largely by the deep experiences and options in life. It is at this core of our being that the Spirit moves us, acts in us, transforms us and energises us through His grace.

Spirituality has a distinctly mystical, human, ecological and social significance. Holding together the diverse energies of life, it integrates them, discovers their inter-relatedness and enables one to connect meaningfully with God, people and the universe.

Each school of spirituality proposes a particular style of living the Gospel in a concrete situation. It emphasises a particular aspect of the mystery, personality and mission of Christ and the Church. It offers the history of lived experience, knowledge, means and models to live the values and render concrete services which characterise the Religious family. Those belonging to the Carmelite Order and the numerous groups of religious congregations and secular institutes affiliated to the Order have their roots in the same spirituality with varied expressions and emphasis.

The earliest Carmelites were pilgrims and hermits who settled on Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel, at the end of the twelfth century. They lived near the fountain of Elijah. They looked for a way of life that flowed from the gospel. Following Christ was the focus of their attention. They were close to the people, sharing the Word of God with the people from their hearts.

Albert, the patriarch of Jerusalem, gave the hermits on Carmel “a Way of Life” in the thirteenth century, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV, and later confirmed by Pope Gregory IX. The fifteenth century saw the emergence of the first convents of Carmelite cloistered nuns in France.