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Promises on a day of prayer

November 18, 2008


REFLECTION DAY 2nd November, 2008

The Community of St Elijah [Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites] held their Annual Reflection Day on 2nd November, 2008.

The Theme of the Day was the Renewal of the Secular Carmel within the New Evangelization and the day was directed by Fr. Johny Arattukulan OCD.

In Fr. Johny’s first presentation he reminded us of the presentation given at our first International OCDS Congress in Rome – 1996 by Rev. Fr. Camillo Maccise OCD.
In that talk Fr. Camillo stated “to attain authentic renewal within the New Evangelization we must become aware of whom we are; aware also of the fundamental elements of the charism and spirituality of the Teresian Carmel, as well as the lifestyle proper to the lay state in which you live it out.

1. The Teresian Charism
To sum up briefly the fundamental outline of the Teresian Carmel’s charism we have:
a. Witnessing to the Presence of God in the World
The means:
- to cultivate and witness to the experience of God
- to live prayer as a life attitude
- to maintain living and committed attentiveness to the Word of God
- to focus our life on a spirituality of the following of Jesus
- to help others in their prayer life and their meditation on the Word of God

b. Living and Witnessing to Christian brother/sisterhood
For this it is necessary for you as members of the Secular Order to work at
- being Christian communities
- being simple and caring communities connected to others around you: “small schools of Christ”

c. Living the Prophetic Dimension of the Christian Life
This implies:
- living in the presence of God
- defending God’s plan
- adopting in our human weakness a prophetic stance as we remain open to the inscrutable ways of the Spirit

d. Imitating Mary
In the spiritual tradition of Carmel Mary is seen as our model:
- of openness to God
- of attentive concern for our neighbours’ needs
- of contemplative prayer which finds God in all things
- of faith, love and hope.”

Fr. Johny then went on to take us with “A Walk with Jesus” along four main roads.
These roads were:
The Road of Damascus (Acts 9:1-31, 22:6-16, 26:12-18)
From the Conversion of St. Paul, we get the metaphorical reference to the “Road to Damascus” that has come to refer to a sudden conversion of thought or a change of heart or mind. Therefore the Road of Damascus is a Road of – Conversion, Change of Heart, Journey of Faith, Total Surrender, Detachment, Self Awareness, Transformation.
The Road of Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35, Mk 16:12-13)
The Road to Emmaus reminds that Christ walks with us throughout our journey. The double disciples had two wonderful experiences in their life. Burning of the Heart – by Breaking of the Word and Opening of the Inner Eyes – by Breaking of the Bread.
Therefore the Road of Emmaus is a Road of – the breaking of the word and bread, prayer, contemplation, sacraments, Holy Mountain, Burning Bush, Friendship with God.
The Road to Jericho (Lk 10:30-37)
Jesus tells us that on the road to Jericho a Samaritan stopped – without regard to ethnicity, religion, gender, or ability to pay - to nurse a victim of assault.
Therefore the road to Jericho is a road of – Good Samaritan, love, service, action,
A preferential option for the poor, justice, availability, compassion, the way of the beatitudes, of ecumenism and liberation.
The Road to Jerusalem (Mk 10:33, Mt 20:17-19, Lk 18:31-34, Ps 122, Rom 15:25)
“The parents of Jesus brought him up to Jerusalem” (Lk 2:22). Now it was Jesus’ turn to bring along with him his disciples to Jerusalem for his passion, death, resurrection and ascension. Therefore the road to Jerusalem is a road of – suffering, agony, silence, victimization, obedience, humility, drinking of the chalice.

Keeping these reflections in mind it was a fitting climax to the day to see five of our Community of St Elijah make their commitment to the Secular Order of Carmel in the Spirit of the Beatitudes. Karen, Christine, Trish and Sennie made their Definitive Promise and Peter his Temporary Promise.
It is the hope of our Community that as we grow in numbers and formation we may contribute in a more collaborative way to the Mission of Carmel.

“The future of the Secular Carmel depends precisely on this active, mature and responsible collaboration in the apostolate of the Order on all levels:
- in the missions: temporary commitments
- in Houses of Prayer and Retreat Centres
- in Spirituality Institutes
- in creating prayer groups
- in the full range of apostolic initiatives” Fr. Camillo Maccise OCD

Lorraine Murphy ocds [ Director of Formation – Secular Community of St Elijah]