Present Day Life
Prayer, the lifting of the heart and mind to God, is the essence of our Carmelite way of life. All the elements of our daily life are structured to support and foster a life of deep prayer and communion with God. Through this union with God, we grow in faith, hope and love. In this way, we are enabled to draw all people closer to God. St. John of the Cross has said: “The least action done out of pure love is worth more than all of the good works of the Church put together.”
We begin our day with an hour of prayer. All the sisters gather in the choir to pray intimately with our Eucharistic Lord. Taking up the Word of God, we come to understand what God wishes to teach us today. After this hour of silent prayer, together as a community, we recite the Prayer of the Church, i.e. the Liturgy of the Hours. At various times throughout the day, this Prayer of the Church continues. It is the beating heart of the spouse, calling out to her Lord, presenting to Him the needs and aspirations of all people.
The jewel of our day is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Uniting with the offering of Christ to His Father, we receive manna for our day’s journey. Each Friday is a day of Eucharistic Adoration.
SOLITUDE, SILENCE AND COMMUNITY LIFE
According to St. Teresa, getting used to being alone is a great help to prayer. Outside of necessary communication regarding our work and the times for recreation, we try to maintain an atmosphere of silence throughout the monastery. Times of solitude and community activities alternate during the day. When possible, each sister works alone and thus is better able to be attentive to the Presence of God. Each sister also makes a monthly day of recollection and an annual private retreat which allows her to spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Meals are taken in common while listening to reading on the lives of the saints or current Church concerns. Two hours each day are dedicated to recreation. At the beginning of the hour the entire community gathers to share news and urgent requests for prayer. Then, as the season requires, we divide into groups to undertake common tasks, talking while we work. Community meetings provide another opportunity to share on current problems and concerns.
The Carmelite Rule enjoins the members of the community, after the example of St. Paul, to engage in manual work both in order to contribute to the support of all, and to keep the devil at bay. Our activities include providing for the basic needs of the sisters: cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening and secretarial work. To contribute to our support we make jams and jellies, crafts and other forms of artwork. All these are carried on in an atmosphere of love and prayer.