A Process of Transformation
Formation is a life-long process. It is a gradual transformation to become more fully the unique person whom God desires each of us to be. Therefore, one of the criteria to be eligible to become a Secular Carmelite is to be open to formation. (Statute 3g) This means to have an open attitude and disposition: open to being changed, to personal growth and ultimately to transformation in response to the working of the Holy Spirit. Through this continual process we are formed more truly into the image of God in which we are created.
Specifically, within the Secular Order the process of formation is to prepare the person to live the charism and spirituality of Carmel in its following of Christ. (Constitution 32) The local community assists applicants in this formation through a structured process. This process, through progressive commitments, moves toward a life promise to the Carmelite Order and to a Carmelite way of life.
After a minimum of 6 months contact with a community an applicant may be admitted to membership in the Order.
- Admission begins a more serious period of formation that usually last for two years leading up to the First Promise.
- After the commitment of the First Promise a further three years of formation follows leading up to the Definitive Promise. (Photo: A member signs her Definitive Promise.)
After the Definitive Promise ongoing formation continues as we meet the ever-changing demands of living a Carmelite way of life in a secular setting.
If you feel prompted to find out more about the life and commitment of a Secular Carmelite contact the National President who will put you in touch with the community nearest to you. They will be happy to answer your questions and help you discern the next step to take. Meanwhile ...
- Be prayerful: Set aside regular times for prayer and celebrate daily Eucharist if possible.
- Be reflective: Read and reflect on the teachings of the Carmelite saints.
- Be patient: The Carmelite charism is gradually understood as it is internalised and lived.
“ … we don’t know what we are asking for.
Let us leave it to the Lord.
For he knows us better than we do ourselves.
And true humility is content with what is received.”
St Teresa, Way of Perfection.