SILENCE & SOLITUDE
The Carmelite way of life embraces both silence and solitude in order to maintain and nurture an atmosphere conducive to prayer and recollection. The silence and solitude that our Rule and Constitutions require of us, facilitates the spiritual growth of each sister by eliminating distraction, disquiet and attachment, both interior and exterior, so that the she is free to dedicate her whole life and being to her Spouse, Jesus Christ. The Carmelite nun imitates the silence of Jesus, her Bridegroom, who lived a poor hidden life in Nazareth before His public ministry; she also strives to emulate the simple and humble silence of Our Lady as she pondered all things in her heart. By a transfigured life, and with simple words pondered in silence, the Carmelite nun is called to be a beacon of light, radiating the love of Christ to all humanity.
"The knowledge of God is received in divine silence"
~ Saint John of the Cross ~
"Therefore, behold I will allure her, and will lead her into the wilderness: and I will speak to her heart"
~ Hosea 2:14 ~
In order to foster the prayerful and solitary atmosphere that is the hallmark of Carmel, all the sisters shall carefully keep silence, except when they are required to talk by necessity or by reason of their duties. All the same, work and every other occupation must be reconciled with silence, so that the monastery truly becomes a house of prayer ~ Constitutions No. 82
For all the time in which the sisters are not with the community, or are occupied with house duties, they will keep each to her own cell, as the Rule prescribes; they will remain in God's presence in solitude and give themselves to prayer, study or work ~ Constitutions No. 83
"Rising very early, going out, Jesus went into a desert place: and there He prayed"
~ Mark 1:35 ~
The contemplative monastic life is rooted in the silence of the cloister; it produces a rich harvest of grace and mercy. Women’s contemplative life has always represented in the Church, and for the Church, her praying heart, a storehouse of grace and apostolic fruitfulness, and a visible witness to the mystery and rich variety of holiness ~ Vultume Dei Quaerere No. 5
The translation of a sign
above the entrance to our choir reads:
" O Blessed Solitude, O Only Happiness".
"I have within me a solitude where He dwells, and nothing can take that away from me"
~ Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity ~
As the Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei Quaerere mentions, the whole life and mission of the contemplative religious is to seek the face of God, whereby everything in the monastery is reduced to the essential, because the only thing that matters is what leads us to Him.
"Silence is precious. By keeping silent and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom, and God teaches it what it cannot learn from men."
~ Blessed Anne of St Bartholomew ~