Friday, September 9, 2011

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule

From the Constitutions:


The beatitudes are a plan of action for life and a way to enter into relationship with the world, neighbors and co-workers, families and friends. By promising to live the beatitudes in daily life, Secular Carmelites seek to give evangelical witness as members of the Church and the Order, and by this witness invite the world to follow Christ: "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Jn. 14:6).

As Secular Carmelites I think sometimes we can overlook the beatitudes in our life.  Of course, we know we must participate in  an apostolate wether as a part of a community or individually. So, we think of some things we can "do" such as make rosaries, make scapulars, etc.  While these are holy and good active apostolates, we should ask ourselves how we are living out this active apostolate in terms of our behavior. 

The quote above from our Constitution tells us that we are witnesses in the world who invite the world to follow Christ!  Wow! did you ever think you could have the whole world follow your holy example?  Yet, that is the ideal we are called to.  So let us examine ourselves and discern wether we are that type of person who is a light in the world. 

Are we living the beatitudes by being merciful to others? Especially those we live and work with? Do we hold grudges, refusing to forgive?  This type of person does not draw others to follow him.

Do we mourn over our sins and failings?  Or do we respond to our weaknesses and sins with the attitude of, "oh, well, I'm human."

Are we pure of heart?  We may not know this, but the fruits would be apparent.  People would be spiritually attracted to us.  We can look at the lives of the Saints to see this reality.  St. Bernard had over 30 men follow him to found a monastery.  Look at the lives of our holy Carmelite parents, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa, and of course, the "Little Flower." WE are following, running after these saints because we are spiritually attracted to them.  Of course, we know we are attracted to Christ living and working in them.

Let us continue this holy circle of following the saints of Carmel and have others follow us, we know that Christ is leading the way. Let us live a life of beatitude in imitation of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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