As the hebdomadary for this new week, it is my joy and privilege to intone the hymn while the whole choir then joins in! Midmorning Prayer. The Carmelite Nuns, aware of having received from God a special gift to collaborate in the salvific mission of Christ and the Church, offer their lives of prayer and penance for the good of the Church of her pastors, and for the salvation of souls. Several times a day, the sisters congregate in the chapel. How, then, do we pay this debt? Our Chapel is a public one and anyone is welcome to join us for our daily Mass. Dear Friends of Carmel, It will not be possible for us to host the Shower of Roses this year at our Monastery due to the health concerns and restrictions presently in place. One of the signs maps out the nuns' daily horarium. In summer we often eat in the garden which makes even the dullest meal festive. They stand, bow, and pray in rhythmic spoken chant. Recreation is an important part of our daily schedule because it is meant not simply to be a diversion from our prayer and work, but a real and necessary time of renewal for all, a “re-creation” enabling us to begin again afterwards with fresh fervor and energy. In 1790, the first Carmelite monastery in the United States was founded in Maryland. Please pray for a speedy return to a normal schedule The 80-year-old contemplative nun discusses her daily routine, becoming a nun and her Christmas plans. After this, a few minutes are spent in an examination of conscience. We are the St. Therese community of Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) in Hudson, New Hampshire, under the guidance of the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars. With thanks to one of the Carmelite Nuns in Iron Mountain, Michigan, for sharing her personal reflections. A typical day in our life: 6:00 AM - Angelus, Office of Readings. Our ordinary day begins with a knock and the call: “Praised be Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother. The documentary, “Unleashing the Gospel in Detroit,” offers a glimpse of what life is like behind the walls and grilles of a cloistered community. From this hour of prayer, one steps naturally into what is certainly the greatest act of praise and worship of God in our entire day: the Mass. In 1997, a Carmelite monastery was founded in Siberia, Russia, by Mother Teresa Mary, a former member of the Erie community. That Carmel is “all Mary’s” rings true in every Carmelite’s heart. Extending the praise and worship of the Lord throughout the day, the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, gathers all the various times of the day so that they may be truly sanctified. This is recited while by twos we are processing to the choir until each is at her place. Immediately following is the beautiful Litany of Our Lady, prayed alternately by two psalmisters and the other Sisters. AM. Daily Thoughts From the Little Flower This gem is now in print again. The daily liturgical life of the Carmelite Family finds its inspiration in Scripture and especially in the Psalms. 12.00 Midday Prayer, sung in English. Almost a year later, Garcia was well-accustomed to the Carmelite daily routine of prayer and work. “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts,” it reads. 9:30 – 11:15 Manual Labor. Soon she is lighting the candles that are used in our celebration of the Divine Office throughout the day. For the second time during the day, we pray the Angelus at the beginning of our community recreation. In front of the fence is a clay bank and a pathway leading down to the nuns… Sponsored by the Institute on Religious Life, Perpetual Adoration Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She is not only our loving Mother, but also our guide and model in our life of prayer and sacrifice for the Church, for priests, for all souls. After Terce, the community takes a light breakfast before each Sister goes to her assigned duties. The head of a convent was an abbess or mother superior. Words by St. John Paul II to the Carmelite Nuns in 1982. 5:30 Rise (If taking a shower, 5:15). Here Our Lord satisfies the very real hunger for holiness by giving Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in Holy Communion. This means that they live inside the monastery precincts, rarely venturing into the outside world, so that they can dedicate … It is a special blessing for the Church”. In Sacramento, the Vine of Carmel was planted on December 25, 1935. The lifestyle of the nuns Often a monastery of Carmelite nuns is referred to as a 'Carmel'. Rising then, I offer my heart anew to Jesus through Mary as I clothe myself once again with her holy habit, both a privilege and a joy to wear, and start down to the choir. Self-sufficiency has always been a Carmelite virtue, rooted in the reforms which St. Teresa of Avila brought to the community in the 16th Century. Beginning with a brief examination of conscience and concluding with the chanting of the simple Salve Regina, it ushers in the few remaining hours of our day. 7:30 Mass (time may vary). Like dancers, the sisters circle each other, take turns standing in the center to read, rise, and kneel as one. 7:30 * Holy Mass/ Thanksgiving. No, Carmel is a desert that is brimming with life and beauty. Very easily does this time of liturgical prayer flow into the hour of mental prayer. In Carmelite liturgy one focuses on the Word as this was received by Mary and has become flesh in Jesus. Scripture, the writings of Sts. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, and other spiritual books are meant to fill this need; and so it is important not only to use this time well, but to choose what is most helpful for one’s needs at the present moment. For those in the novitiate, part of this morning work period is usually spent in classes given by the Novice Mistress, who is in charge of their formation. The Wheeling, West Virginia, monastery was founded in 1913, and in 1957, the six founding nuns left Wheeling and came to Erie. 6:00 Angelus in the chior followed by 1 hour of mental prayer. St. Teresa once remarked “prayer consists not in thinking much but in loving much.” There are many ways this love can be expressed; but for me it is enough simply to be aware of and to abide in His presence, listening to Him as He speaks to my heart through the Scriptures or the reflections His grace inspires. 12:30 PM - Mid-Day Prayer, Examination of Conscience. Being a postulant is an opportunity to get used to the daily routine of the nuns' life, learn the different work of the house and get to know the community. – the Constitutions of the Nuns The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the center of our monastic life. The sisters organize the afternoon between Mid-Afternoon Prayer, Spiritual Reading and work time. The solemn celebration of the liturgy is the heart of our whole life and the chief source of its unity. After lunch there is some free time for writing, hobbies or one of those little jobs that is always waiting to be done. Now the time of Great Silence begins once again; in the peaceful quiet of this free time before Matins, I like to pray the Stations of the Cross in the choir before going to my cell. St. Teresa’s special insight and wisdom in creating a healthy balance among prayer, work, recreation and rest is evident throughout the daily schedule she decided on for her nuns. After our meals, there are always plenty of dishes to be washed. However, Saturdays during the summer months are considered “garden days” in which all who can do so spend time working outdoors, in the garden itself or taking care of the yard and the various shrines around the grounds. Normally when we meet one another in the corridor or wherever, the salutation “Praised be Jesus Christ!” is given by one Sister, the other responding, “Now and forever!” However, as it is still the time of the Great Silence, we greet one another simply with a smile and a nod of the head. She has already prepared the Offertory gifts that will be given to our chaplain at this same window during the Mass. Carmelite nuns are 'cloistered', living a life of 'enclosure'. At the close of recreation both at noon and in the evening, we have the beautiful custom of saying a short prayer for the dying. (Terce, Sext, and None are the Latin titles given to these “Little Hours” of the Divine Office; they refer to the third, sixth, and ninth hours of the day, mentioned in Scripture as times of prayer. At the end of supper or collation, a Sister reads a list of alms received that day along with the names of the benefactors. Design by Inscape. After our meals, there are always plenty of dishes to be washed. Come to prayer, Sisters, come to praise the Lord!”. Although we are cloistered nuns and do not have any active apostolate, since our one apostolate is prayer, that does not mean this vocation is dull and devoid of life. All rights reserved. 6:00 Matins & Lauds (Morning Prayer) 6:30 Mental Prayer. In keeping with the tradition of the Church, we sing the major ho… (Supplied: Carmelite Monastery)All in a day's prayer. After Mass we end our period of personal thanksgiving with our daily renewal of vows. It is literally impossible to give an accurate impression of a day in the life of a Carmelite nun. 6:00 A.M. Angelus. Breakfast. He is the source and summit of every moment of our day from our early mornings filled with prayer to the daily overflowing of that prayer into our loving service of God’s people. Down, so to speak, this work varies from monastery to monastery guests and visitors sharing continues. 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