Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery
Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The hermits in the 12th century in northern Israel near the Fountain of Elijah had a devotion to Mary and became known as the Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. They were former crusaders and pilgrims who had originally come to the Holy Lands to protect the Christians from the raiding Saracens. This brotherhood grew and lead to sisterhoods and these Carmelite orders still flourish today throughout the world. Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila were Carmelites as was St. John of the Cross.
I live about four miles from a Carmelite monastery in eastern Pennsylvania. The foundress of this monastery was Mother Therese of Jesus (1877-1939). She came to America from Germany and founded the Cloistered Carmelite Nuns of the Ancient Observance right here outside of Allentown.
Recently in 2002, when her body was exhumed to move her crypt, she was found "incorruptible" and her cause for canonization is currently being put forth. This morning we went to Mass at 7:00 AM at the Carmelite Shrine and had an opportunity to greet the cloistered sisters after Mass. They spoke to us from behind a grilled- in area but their love and joy flowed out completely unrestricted! We spent a few moments drinking in the fragrance from these beautiful souls that are totally devoted to serving Christ. Here is a quote from one of them, Sister Elisabeth:
"Here at Carmel of the Little Flower in the Valley of Saint Therese, I found and continue to find my utter fulfillment in God. It is indeed a life of dedicated prayer, of sacrificial penance, of good works for the Church and souls. The Holy Spirit of the Lord is never absent to one who strives to yield herself to prayer and communion with Him. Thus, spiritual growth in a lifelong dedication and commitment to God, by Sacred Vow, is my interest, hope and leit-motif. Saint Paul's ardent exclamation comes to mind here"...what things God has prepared for those who love Him." Even in this life Christ promised the "hundredfold" of grace, and then, in His own time, Eternal Life with Himself...""
We are so blessed to have those in the Church whose love for Jesus moves them to dedicate themselves to pray for the salvation of the souls of this world! Check out their website: