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Chapter 6
Living Community


 

  1. The common life of love in Carmel is to peak whenever possible in the celebration of the Eucharist as a group. Daily Eucharist is a tradition that goes back to the Rule of St. Albert. The Lay Carmelite will also have a great esteem for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

  2. The prayer-life in Carmel shall also be strengthened whenever possible by the Liturgy of the Hours, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the praying of the Rosary, shared prayer and Gospel reflections.

  3. Community life is also strengthened through apostolic activities, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, special activities and other projects in which all the community members can participate so that the bonds of unity may grow strong. Promoting the spirit of Carmel in the members' parishes is a valuable ministry.

  4. Members shall strive to communicate and dialogue in a spirit of openness, especially in regard to community proposals. They shall be mutually supportive of one another as St. Paul states, "be kind to one another, compassionate and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ (Eph. 4:32)."

  5. Unless prevented by serious reasons, members should attend all the meetings of the community. If a member cannot attend a meeting, that member should inform the Director or one of the Councilors. If a member, though contacted, has shown no interest for two years, the said member shall be placed on an inactive list. This deprives the member of active and passive voice until four consecutive meetings have been attended.

  6. For over 700 years the gift of contemplative prayer has been one of the richest treasures of the Order, giving birth to some of the greatest saints and mystics of the Church. Members shall cultivate this spirit of prayer in their lives. In order to help the members in this area, the Council shall invite persons knowledgeable and personally experienced in prayer and spiritual guidance to share with the community, especially those versed in Carmelite spirituality.

  7. Retreats and days of recollection shall be fostered by the community for the purpose of spiritual growth.

  8. The community shall bring to mind the constant need for a conversion of life in the light of the Gospel.

  9. The community shall foster in its members a Gospel spirit of penitence, recommending practices of fast, abstinence and reparation in union with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

  10. Spiritual direction, where possible, is recommended for individual Lay Carmelites.

  11. A special concern shall be shown to the sick and homebound members of the community. Care shall be taken that they are visited according to their need. In serious illness or in danger of death, the Council shall notify the members so that the prayers of all may assist the person who is ill.

  12. Our spirit of community calls us to commend our deceased brothers and sisters to the Lord, especially on November 15th, the commemoration of all the deceased members of the Carmelite family. When a brother or sister dies, members are encouraged to attend the Liturgy of Christian burial or a Mass offered for the deceased. The community shall also propose certain prayers to be offered for a member who dies, if possible, the Office for the Dead.

  13. Each community is encouraged to publish a newsletter or bulletin to keep the members aware of the goals, programs, ministries and other activities of the community and of the Order. This communication is especially valuable for members unable to attend meetings.

  14. Each community is encouraged to collect funds for the following purposes:


    a) to help support the Provincial Lay Carmelite Office in its ministry of support to all the local communities;

    b) to provide stipends and expenses for speakers at meetings and days of renewal and retreats;

    c) to make available books, tapes and other materials on spirituality and the Carmelite heritage;

    d) to help the community carry out its apostolic endeavors;

    e) to make donations for charitable purposes;

    f) to help sponsor delegates to Regional or Provincial meetings;

    g) to help cover the expenses of the Regional Coordinator of their area. Fund-raising projects are advisable at times to help the community meet these financial needs.

  15. While recognizing that the most fruitful means for recruiting new members is one-to-one contact and personal example, the community shall initiate and carry on programs to foster new vocations to the Lay Carmelites. Some recommended means are:

    a) establishing a committee to foster new vocations;

    b) distributing prepared vocational materials to interested persons and churches;

    c) conducting get-acquainted meetings in the local areas at which the goals of Carmel are presented;

    d) submitting news of the community for publication in the local and diocesan newspapers;

    e) keeping the nearby parishes aware through the parish bulletins of the happenings of the community.

 

 

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