One of the more unique features of the Novitiate year for the Carmelite Order is the Desert experience of Lent. While silence and prayer are the intention of the Carmelite Life, the season of Lent, like the days that Our Lord himself spent in the desert, is marked as a particularly intense time. The entire house goes into a deeper silence. There is the physical silence: brothers speak with one another only during supper; the television and radios are turned off; cell phones are also limited to necessary use, such as for a family emergency or if needed for a brother's regular ministry. Today, we also have to consider an electronic silence: computers, tablets and social networks are shutdown. Many of the brothers also refrain from reading magazines and newspapers. They are also to stay home. There are no daily trips to the coffee shop, or going out to the movies or a ballgame. This is the Novitiate Desert, a time that is meant to be as close as we can come to the desert hives of the hermits who began our Order on Mt. Carmel.
is a series of reflections on the Carmelite Rule, the quintessential letter of St. Albert of Jerusalem which has lead Christians to a life in allegiance with Christ and the Perfection of Love for more than 800 years. The blog brings the tenants of this ancient Way of Life into a contemporary context.
At the heart is a Way of Life, in the tradition of Elijah, that leads us to stand in the presence of the One who Loved us first and in a most perfect way; and to be transformed into one who loves more perfectly.