10 Would you like to Try?

posted Jul 11, 2018, 10:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 10:56 AM ]
Chanting psalms at 5:30 in the morning in the silence of a chapel surrounded by greenery…
Cooking lunch for a family of 40, or sometimes even more than 50 ….
Setting aside everything to rush for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration…
Spending a lot of time to gently coax a child to finish her meal…
Snapshots of daily life, but which and whose life? And what is the connection with Carmelite spirituality?

We may start from the very beginning that was on Mount Carmel on the coasts of Palestine, in the 12th century. There, small groups of men, inflamed by the desire to give their all to God, spent long hours in silence and prayer. Their aim was to unceasingly seek the Lord, to unendingly contemplate Him, the only One for whom it is worthy to give up with joy and without regret all that the world may offer.

These first hermits planted the seed of a tree that in the course of time has grown to spread its branches, in places farther away, bearing abundant fruits of holiness and service to the Church. This tree of ‘Carmelite spirituality’ has its hallmark in an unceasing search of God, in the desire to contemplate Him and in the aspiration to live continuously in His presence.

It is now an imposing secular tree, made strong by a long and tested tradition, that continues to flourish with green and fresh new branches. Among these branches, there is also a small shoot, quite hidden and humble, yet striving to draw the vital sap of this luxuriant tree.

This small shoot has a story, too, that started much recently, in 1941, in a village on a hilly region in North Italy. There, a parish priest and his community desired to live a true Christian life, searching for the Lord and serving Him above everything else. In their journey towards God, they found in their midst reliable helpers, allies and guides. But the ones to truly lead them in their search for God were the poor and the needy of the parish, and those marked by sickness and handicaps. Didn't Jesus Himself say: I was hungry and you gave me to eat… I was sick and you came to visit me. When you did this to one of my little ones, you did it to me. (Mt 25:31-46) They also realised that Mount Carmel, where their predecessors sought the Lord, was close to them. It was right there in their parish. They could see Jesus in the faces of their suffering brothers and sisters. This awareness encouraged the parishioners to gather the persons in need, and welcome them in a house near the parish church, where they would be treasured and cared for by the entire community. >>>>

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