Discernment


Fr. Aloysius Deeney, OCD identifies six characteristics that must be present, to some degree, in someone who feels called to the Secular Order:

 

1) “A practicing member of the Church” ~ at least 18 yrs. of age, in good standing and in a valid marriage~you cannot be a member of another group that requires promises or vows


2) “Under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel” ~ this person will have a special devotion to Mary marked by a desire to imitate her “meditation in her heart”
 

3) “Inspired by St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross” ~ there will be an attraction to Carmelite spirituality and the writings of the Carmelite Saints
 

4) “Moved to commit themselves to the Order and to the Church” ~ when the candidate makes the promises of chastity and obedience, these promises are made to the Church, the Order, and the Community to which they belong…there is a commitment to a community and to give support as well as receive it
 

5) “To seek the face of God” ~ the secular is drawn to contemplation and to an intimate conversation with God in prayer…this requires discipline and the secular realizes they are forever students, learning continually through prayer and study
 

6) “For the sake of the Church and the World” ~ our mission is to know God so that we can share Him with others…we are to sacrifice to bring the witness of Carmel to the world
 

The candidate is not afraid to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to bring the distinctive witness of Carmel to the world.


 

Further reading ~ Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites by Father Aloysius Deeney, OCD