Although our Chapel remains closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, our community prays every day at Mass, and during the Divine Office for all our friends and benefactors, and those who usually worship with us.
We pray for healing for all who are affected by the virus, for those experiencing anxiety and insecurity due to losing employment, or businesses. For those who are destitute and in distress. We pray for all who grieve the
loss of their loved ones. May God’s mercy be poured out upon our world to bring us healing and peace.
1st September – 4th October THE SEASON OF CREATION
During this month, and until the feast of St Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis invites us to celebrate creation, caring for our environment and enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. “The entire material universe speaks of
God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” Pope Francis
To speak of spirituality is to speak of inspiration, that is, of ways of seeing, of profound conviction, of attitudes and ways of being, of the dynamism of life. It is to speak of what makes us live at the very depth of
our being. The spiritual life is putting into practice the life of the Holy Spirit who is within us.
Carmelite Spirituality is all about longing and desire
The Carmelite tradition recognizes this longing in the human heart. We are made to seek and search, to yearn and ache, until finally our hearts find something or someone to match the depth of its desire and longing
- for us that goal is God. It is God who puts this longing within us - it is he who has touched us. This deep current of desire within our lives is the result of God having first desired us. St. John of the Cross
says: “If anyone is seeking God, the Beloved is seeking that person much more”. If God has given us such longings, God will ultimately fulfil them. Silence and solitude remind us of that space in the heart where
every person is called to find God’s presence. St. Teresa wrote in her famous bookmark: “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you, all things pass away. The one who possesses God, lacks nothing. God
alone suffices”. This is the basis of Carmelite spirituality.
"Contemplatives are part of the great tree of life, we hold it, for we are the roots. The tree may be axed, burnt, stripped off for medicine, but if the roots are intact, the tree will be able to give life again to all.
Everyone can come to it for shelter and solace."
Transformation of Consciousness
We are called to a transformation of consciousness which frees us from violence, greed and hatred, opening to love, compassion and prophetic hope. The deepest dimension of Carmelite spirituality promises, therefore, a freedom
of the heart that does not seek or expect its own consolation and fulfillment but rather is totally given for the flourishing of the contemplative dimension within every human heart and the continuing transformation
of God's people in love.
Teresa of Avila described prayer as nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us (Teresa of Avila, Life 8.5).
A day by day faithfulness to this relationship opens one to the educating power and presence of Jesus' Spirit and calls forth a determination to commit oneself in fidelity to a lifelong process of self-gift and transformation.
In a purifying movement entailing not only light, consolation and affirmation, but also dryness, darkness and suffering, intimacy with Christ matures expanding consciousness and affectivity with a new kind of contemplative
understanding, wisdom and selfless love. Now a deepening identification with the suffering, crucified Christ brings about solidarity with the poor that is not only theologically grounded but actually experienced.
In the darkness of this hidden presence of God, the self is broken open to embrace the victimized, the hopeless, the dispossessed, the suffering ones of the world.
8 February 2020 - World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking – time to end slavery
A young student once asked Bakhita: "What would you do, if you were to meet your captors?" Without hesitation she responded: "If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss
their hands. For, if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian and a religious today" “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me, I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.” St
Pope Francis has declared the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, which is celebrated each year on 8th February to be the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking. St Josephine Bakhita is the patron
saint of victims of slavery and of Sudan.
Carmel in ‘lockdown’
For us as Carmelites, this time of ‘lockdown’ is an invitation to enter more deeply into the prayer and intercession of Jesus for the needs of his body, the Church, and for the whole world. He is always living to intercede
for us with his Father. In the words of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), it is our vocation to stand before God for all.
In Carmel we ‘take on the prayer life of Jesus, permanently present to the Father, his whole being filled with the Spirit’ (Fr Camilo Maccise ocd).
As contemplatives we are appointed to pray daily the Prayer of the Church (Divine Office); to ‘share in that prayer which the Son put into words in his earthly life, and which still continues unceasingly in the name of the whole human race and for its
salvation, throughout the universal Church and in all its members.’ (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours)
At this time when our movement is severely restricted we can remember that ‘the one journey that unltimately matters is the journey into the place of stillness deep within one’s self. To reach that place is to be at home; to fail to reach it is to be
This is an opportunity to enter into that stillness within and to find peace.
St Albert of Jerusalem – Patriarch of Jerusalem – Law-giver of Carmel
Albert Avogadro was born in Italy in the 12th Century. He was appointed Bishop of Bobbio and later made Bishop of Vercelli. Pope Innocent III appointed him Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1204 or 1205. As Patriarch he was approached by the hermits living on
Mount Carmel for a Rule of Life, The Carmelite Rule of St Albert is the shortest of all the major religious rules, fitting onto a single A4 sheet of paper, It is full of Spiritual wisdom, practical, flexible and deeply
rooted in Sacred Scripture.
He was stabbed to death on 14th September 1214 by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had deposed for immorality. His feast is celebrated by the Carmelites on 17th September.
Feast of the month: 14th September – Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross
“If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the
cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.” – St. Thomas Aquinas