16th August – 18th August 2013
This is an opportunity for single women who are interested in finding out more about the Carmelite monastic life to join the community in prayer, liturgy, and work for the weekend. Participants will experience the rhythm of the monastic day, focused on seeking God in worship, prayer, work, silence, and community life. There will be some input from the sisters on aspects of our life and spirituality; there will also be an opportunity to speak privately to a sister
If you would like to know more about our way of life, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to hear from you and we hope that you will feel free to take things at your own pace, and never feel under any obligation or pressure.
Christians are called to follow Jesus, who asks us to believe in love, hope and forgiveness. There are many ways of responding to this call and the life of a Carmelite nun is one such way. Our life is one of growing in and through prayer. Through our lifelong journey of faith, we come to know Jesus as our Saviour.
Our Carmelite order was born in the twelfth century, on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Israel, and the values which have been the markers of Carmelite spirituality since the twelfth century continue to inspire us and motivate us today. Like all monastics, we follow a Rule which guides our daily activities as well as our longer term faith journey. Our Rule is known as “The Rule of Albert” and, while it was written with male hermits in mind, it has been suitably adapted to the female members of the Carmelite family. The Rule encourages us to live “in allegiance with Jesus Christ and serve him zealously with a pure heart and a good conscience”, enabling our growth in love for God and for all the members of our monastic community. So, our life balances solitary prayer and meditation with communal prayer and Eucharistic celebration. The value of the community dimension to Carmelite monasticism is highlighted by an extract from a 2004 publication on the Carmelite Rule:
“Life in community helps us to be faithful to the eremitical [hermit] life. When I was considering religious life, I asked the Lord why I just couldn’t have a little hut on the mountains and serve him there. The answer came back that to be faithful over time I need the example and ‘push’ from the community”.
(Griffin, E. Ascending the Mountain: The Carmelite Rule Today. Dublin: Columba Press, p. 77)
The essence of a vocation to Carmelite monasticism is a compelling draw towards contemplative prayer, i.e. the desire to listen and respond to God’s word as it enfolds over a lifetime in the context of a quiet place apart. Even though we tend to refer to the early days in the monastery as “formation”, we know that we are being formed and transformed throughout our lives. As young, and not so young, monastics, we respond continually to the call to grow in God’s grace.
The effects of our vocation as Carmelites extend beyond the merely physical confines of our cloister. Here in Delgany, for instance, we offer prayerful support to those who are suffering in any way and we facilitate the search for faith and the growth of faith among our non-monastic friends.