Carmel - A Way of Life

The Carmelite life is a call to prayer, tempered with hard work and shared community. As there is a great need in the Church for both Marys and Marthas, the Carmelite is called to be that Mary--serving the Church by prayerfully sitting at the feet of our Lord. She is the intercessor in an age that cries out for intercession.
What does a typical day in Carmel consist of?
5:30 - Rising
5:50 - Morning Prayer followed by Mental 

7:15 - Holy Mass
          Mid-Morning Prayer
          Spiritual Reading (about an hour)
11:45 - Mid-Day Prayer
          Examination of Conscience
          Mid-Afternoon Prayer
          Work (resumed)
3:00 - Novitiate (Instruction for Novices)
4:15 - Vespers followed by Mental Prayer
        Scripture Reading 

6:30 - Supper
        Free time
7:30 - Recreation
about 9:00 - Office of Readings and 
        Night Prayer

Saint Paul describes the Church as a body with many members and each member having a different but vital function.  Saint Therese resonated to this description. After reading it, she identified herself:  "In the Heart of Holy Mother Church, I will be love." This is an eloquent description of contemplative life. 

As the heart is enclosed in the body and hidden from public view, so are contemplatives within the Church.  The heart performs a vital function--pumping blood to the other parts, even though it is not seen.  The hand or foot are readily seen carrying out their works; but the heart works best when left alone, enclosed and hidden from view to do its work.  The life of prayer and sacrifice is indeed the life-blood of the Church.

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