Discerning the Call
Do You Have a Vocation to Carmel?
- Do you long for a life hidden in union with Christ, and an apostolate of prayer?
- Have you desired to unite your life sacrificially to Jesus for love of His Church?
- Are you full of zeal for the salvation of souls and the sanctification of priests?
God calls faithful women to a life in Carmel. If you have pondered these questions, it may be that He is calling you to Carmel. As in the days of St. Teresa, the Church needs women who wish to spend their lives for the sanctification of souls. Free from all interior and exterior distractions, attachments or disquiet, Carmelites are totally united with Christ in a spirit of joy and adoration.
Today, women still feel this call of God in their hearts and follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Elias and the First Carmelite Hermits on Mt. Carmel. Under the protection of the mantle of the Virgin of Carmel, this vocation shines as a means of reform for Holy Mother Church and for the world.
Love does not depend upon emotional ups and downs. True love is a complete gift of oneself to the Beloved Christ. It is a free choice to love entirely. If you honestly want to know and do God’s will in your life, if you listen to Him in the Eucharist and in His Word, the Lord Jesus will make His will known to you personally. Then if you set your heart and hand to doing it, you really are loving God. You are uniting your will with His divine will - not only in words but in deeds. This is real love, the foundation stone of every vocation.
The “Tug of War”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose cause for canonization is underway, said, “A vocation necessarily creates a tension, a crisis, a tug of war in the soul. On the one hand, there is the call of God. On the other hand, a sense of personal unworthiness, or reluctance to give oneself completely to Him.”
When anyone begins to feel this inner battle, it’s good to do as St. Teresa did - think of Christ. Remember His words: “Remain united with Me and I will remain united with you...I have chosen you. Come follow me...find peace of soul in union with Me. Have courage; I have overcome the world.”
The first world to be conquered is the little but mighty world within YOU. Prayer and confidence in Christ are your strongest allies when discerning a vocation. Everyone who is called by God to a religious vocation is given the courage to accept His invitation, even when the sacrifice He asks seems tremendous! Saints are not born; they’re made with the combined action of God’s grace and personal cooperation. You must be honest enough to admit that you are helpless by yourself and wise enough to depend on God alone for strength to succeed. To all He calls, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you...I will be with you always.”
“If I were to advise anybody as to their vocation, I would never counsel anyone to resist good inspirations on account of fear of the difficulty of carrying them through. For I know now by experience that if I resolutely persevere in my purpose...His Majesty rewards it...” St. Teresa of Avila
Women interested in our way of life should :
- be prayerful, mature and not under 17 years of age
- have a longing desire to consecrate one's whole being to God and to serve Him alone
- have good physical and mental health and sound judgment
- have a good character and high moral principles
- have a spirit of optimism and cheerfulness
- have a great love and devotion for Our Blessed Lady
- have a persistent call to Religious Life over a number of years
- have a desire to live a humble and hidden life of prayer and penance in silence of solitude, and in community
- have a love for the holy traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
- have a willingness to work hard
- have a willingness to live under obedience