Our Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus wanted a particular style of life to characterize the renewed Carmel where asceticism and mortification would be at the service of the Church in her great need, where a cordial, sisterly lifestyle of friendship and joyful recreations would balance with the eremitical way of life of the ancient hermits of the desert-a life of hidden union with God in silence and solitude.
“For souls aspiring to contemplation, both silence and solitude are a necessity. So, for the Carmelite Nun, the pattern of the day is so arranged as to retain as much of the hermit heritage of the early Fathers as possible.”
As St. Teresa stated, ours is a family, a “little College of Christ”, which is centered on love for the Lord and ruled by sisterly charity, humility, generous evangelical self-denial and strict poverty.
“If there is a single point that is characteristic of the spirit of Carmel it is the spirit of ceaseless prayer. For St. Teresa, the life of perfection is one of progress in prayer, a growing intimacy with the One Who we know loves us. Prayer is the first duty of a Carmelite, but, to be genuine, prayer must be supported by faith and hope, made radiant by Charity, nourished by recollection and mortification, and lived in an atmosphere of loving self-discipline.”
“Faith is the road of the ascent of Mount Carmel and in faith and trust, the solitary watchers behind the cloistered walls are united in a prayer of adoration and love that rises up to the Heart of God from each Carmel.” (from Strong Friends of God)