The Carmelite Monks are men who are consecrated to God through the Vows of Obedience, Chastity, and Poverty. They live a life of prayer, solitude, penance, and strict separation from the world. Their lives are completely dedicated to interceding for the Church and the world. St. Thérèse proclaimed the Carmelite vocation as being “love in the heart of the Church.” As the heart circulates blood throughout the whole body, so the Carmelite is called to circulate grace throughout the Church. This is the essential meaning of the vocation of these cloistered monks.
The Power of Monastic Enclosure
Many of the greatest male monastic orders within the Church have lived strict monastic enclosure, such as the Carthusians, the Camaldolese, the Brigetines and certain reforms within the Benedictine Order. The Church has always upheld these expressions of male monasticism as a higher means to sanctification and as supremely beneficial to her mission in the world.
The monk’s chant cd Mystical Chants of Carmel comprises 14 chants in honor of the Mother of God. It is one of the best recordings of chant on CD.
“We wish to share with you the fruit of our contemplative life. The Gregorian Chants included on our new CD, The Mystical Chants of Carmel, are our favorites in honor of the Mother of God which we have chosen from our daily chant repertoire. All the proceeds from the purchase of this CD will help us build a new monastery for all the young men who are joining us. We will also build a Gothic Church for God where our chanting will echo to heaven! Each CD has been digitally mastered in surround sound to help enhance the contemplative experience.”
– Fr. Daniel Mary, M. Carm.
The Carmelite Monks have a profound love and respect for their monastic enclosure. Indeed, their form of monastic life is challenging and austere. With the exception of extern monks who are allowed to work outside the enclosure wall, the cloistered monks only pass through the gates of the monastery when there is an explicit permission from the Bishop, for medical needs or other serious reasons.
Many people see the cloistered religious life as formidable; however, the monks experience it as an entrance into a spiritual paradise. Many see it as a separation and an imprisonment; the monks see it as a means to union with God and the truest form of freedom. Ultimately, they have a profound conviction that they are the hidden leaven within the Church, empowering her through a life of prayer and sacrifice.
Loyalty to the Magisterium
Deep in the hearts of these monks there is a profound loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church. Like their holy parents, St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, they wish to always remain “loyal sons of the Church.” They firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church. They will forever remain firmly united to the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff and Shepherd of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the Bishops united to him. They are also determined to always remain in loyal obedience to their immediate shepherd, the Bishop of Cheyenne.
The Carmelite Monks adhere to all those principles set forth by the Church that determine and regulate an authentic religious life. As a sign of their consecration to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, they will at all times wear the religious habit.
Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that, through the operations of the Holy Spirit, the blazing fire of His love be cast into souls and through them to set the entire world ablaze. He declared, “I have come to cast fire on the earth and oh how I long that it already be ablaze” (Luke 12:49). It is our Lord’s vehement longing to set souls ablaze with the transforming love of His Holy Spirit.
Union with God
Throughout the centuries multitudes of Carmelites have envisioned their vocation as a specific call to Mystical Union with God. This is the ultimate goal and single-minded focus of every Carmelite. When this state of union is attained, the soul is transformed by the Holy Spirit into a blazing ember of charity (c.f. The Living Flame of Love, Sz 1, no. 3-4). Imbued with all the divine qualities of this Living Flame, it takes on His dynamic activity of sanctification (c.f. Ibid., Sz 1, no. 9).
Many saints have taught that in this state of union the soul enters into the highest Apostolate imaginable. Entirely transformed in love, the soul itself becomes a living flame of charity, giving forth its own aspirations of love (c.f. Ibid., Sz 1, no. 3). Hence, it has the power to communicate this love to whomever it wills (c.f., Ibid, Sz 3, no. 78). Indeed, this is the most powerful apostolate one can engage in, since it affects people on the deepest level of their souls.