DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS
Goonellabah ~ New South Wales ~ Australia
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns are, by calling, part of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. They belong to a family consecrated in a special way to loving and venerating the Holy Mother of God; and they seek to attain evangelical perfection in union with her. Mary's presence among her daughters and sisters pervades the entire Carmelite vocation. It imparts a special Marian tone to their contemplation, sisterhood, evangelical self-denial and apostolic spirit. The history of the Order overflows with the presence of the Virgin Mary. It began on Mount Carmel where the first hermits dedicated to her a little chapel. Later, with the approval of the Church, they undertook the obligation of living the Evangelical Counsels in allegiance to Christ and His Virgin Mother ~ Constitutions Nos. 53, 54
Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross confirmed and renewed Carmel's devotion to Mary. In fact, they acknowledged Mary as Mother and Patron of the Order. They present her as a model of prayer and self-denial in faith's pilgrimage. She humbly and wisely welcomed the Lord's Word and pondered it in her heart. She was wholly responsive to the impulses of the Holy Spirit. She is the valiant woman who follows Christ faithfully and shares in the joys and sorrows of His Paschal Mystery. In Our Lady we contemplate the ideal of the Order lived to perfection. Her example inspires us to follow in her footsteps. She takes the lead among the Lord's poor and little ones. She best exemplifies contemplative life in the Church. Every sister will find in Mary a mother and teacher in the ways of the Spirit, who will conform her to Christ and lead her to the heights of holiness. Because of their profession, the sisters belong to the Virgin Mary in a special way ~ Constitutions Nos. 54, 55
"May the most holy Virgin Mary confirm you in your Carmelite vocation. May she safeguard your love for the things of the spirit. May she obtain for you the graces you need in your holy, laborious ascent towards the knowledge of the divine realm and the ineffable experiences of its dark nights and light-filled days... And may she one day lead you into that possession of Christ and His glory which, even now, is the goal towards which your whole life is directed"
~ Excerpt from an address by Pope Saint Paul VI ~