Right

.

People visiting our monastery touch our lives. Some aspects of our life and work are not readily understood. The following are some of the questions that they ask.

Qustion : Is the contemplative life relevant today ?
Answer: Yes, I am convinced of its power and irreplaceable contribution to today’s society. Many people are disillusioned, unhappy and finding life meaningless. I believe this is so because by and large, society is living “outside of itself”. It is not in touch with its deepest centre and finds itself cut off from God, neighbour and nature. The life of the contemplativebeckons one to “come home” (back) to ones deepest centre. To “live from within”. This will give one a new sense of purpose and outlook on life.

“Let us see life as it really is … It is a moment between two eternities”.
– St. Therese of Lisieux. 

Qustion: If you live apart from the world, how do you know what is happening ?
Answer: People are suffering all over the world and we want to be in solidarity with their pain and support them with our prayers. We remain informed – newspapers are avaiable, we watch TV news and the internet is available at times. 

Question: Are not the vows very restricting?
Answer: Quite the contrary because religious life is a call into freedom. It is the meeting of God’s freedom in calling and our freedom in responding. We become free from so that we can be free for. The vows are not about restrictions but rather that we can live in a single-minded way, with an undivided heart. They give a clear focus to life and invite one to direct one’s energies to the Lord. Our vows invite us and remind us that the goal of life is God.

Question: Do you ever get on each other’s nerves?
Answer: When we come to Carmel we do not leave our humanity behind us. Living in a Carmelite community is just the same as living a family life. Each day can pose its “pinpricks” which we all have to face. When we do this with God’s help (always available to us) we see the episode(s) as a challenge to grow in love of God and neighbour, and so we come closer to each other.

Question: What do you do all day?
Answer: The day begins at 6 a.m. and ends shortly before 10 p.m. In the morning and again in the evening there is an hour’s personal (silent) prayer in chapel or oratory. The community meets at different times of the day to recite the Divine Office (Prayer of the Church), to have meals and to enjoy recreation – a time of relaxing together, enjoying each other’s company. We share the ordinary household duties and the making of altar breads by which we earn our living.

Question: What are the requirements needed to become a Carmelite?
Answer: A determination to follow Christ in a life of prayer, the ability to live happily in solitude and in community, to have good health, common sense and psychological and emotional maturity.

 

– Sunrise at Roebuck –