DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS
Goonellabah ~ New South Wales ~ Australia
Our Holy Mother, Saint Teresa, from the beginning of her reform, chose the enclosed life as both an expression and a means of following Christ, according to the evangelical counsels, in the original contemplative vocation. According to Saint Teresa, the freely chosen life of enclosure brings about a radical detachment from exterior things that lead to interior detachment, and it involves a life of silence and solitude ordered toward finding in the Spouse the living water of contemplation. It is also a great aid for reaching liberty of spirit, in a joyful experience of sisterly union in Christ, of those who are alone with Him alone ~ Constitutions No. 107
"It is our holy duty to be as conscientious as possible in observing the precept of enclosure, to lead without hindrance a life hidden with Christ in God"
~ Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross ~
The ceaseless quest for God in solitude is like an exodus into the desert. God draws and guides us there in order to speak to our heart. Under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, many have responded to Christ’s invitation to His disciples (cf. Mark 6:31) and have retired to solitude where they adore the Father and listen to His Word. They have chosen the one thing necessary, the better part, and it will not be taken from them. This kind of life imitates Christ in contemplation on the mountain. It shares in His paschal mystery, because it is a dying for the sake of rising again. Furthermore, in a special way, it fulfils the contemplative vocation of the Church as Bride which it reveals for all to see. For the Bride, hidden with Christ in God, always seeks the things of above, while she keeps watch for the final manifestation of the Lord ~ Constitutions No. 106
Separation from the world, necessary for all those who follow Christ in the religious life, is especially evident in your own case, as contemplative sisters, by the cloister, which is the inner sanctum of the Church as spouse: “a sign of the exclusive union of the Church as Bride with her Lord, whom she loves above all things ~ Vultum Dei Quaerere No. 31
"The enclosed community of nuns, placed as a city on the mountain top and a light on the lamp stand, even in the simplicity of its life, visibly depicts the goal towards which the whole ecclesial community walks, ardent in action and dedicated to contemplation, it advances along the paths of time with eyes fixed on the future recapitulation of everything in Christ"
~ Cor Orans No. 159 ~