OF PROVINCIALS AND COUNCILS
THE CHARISM OF THE TERESIAN CARMEL
(Fr General, Luis Arostegui Gamboa, was asked to give a
brief address on the Charism of the Teresian Carmel. He
wrote the following synthesis on the theme. We are
publishing it in the hope that
that it will be of help to someone)
In the history of what is called Carmel (taken from the
mount of this name in former Palestine) there
has flowed over the years
personalities whom, we can say, had an influence beyond
Carmel. There is in Carmel a theological and biblical path
to the depths of theology, represented by St.Teresa of Jesus
and St. John of the Cross, and other Carmelite figures, such
as Therese of Lisieux or Edith Stein (and, of course,
Jerome Gracian, and others, including those who have not
been canonized). Their authentic spirituality in and for the
Church shows us that our charism has not been fixed for
ever, set in concrete, so to speak, for all time, only to be
reproduced in the same way. But these
Carmelite men and women have forged a path to the
centre and origin of Christianity,
the deepest centre@,
enter more into the inner depths@.
Without ever intending to be, they became the criteria of a
charism and a source of inspiration.
This Carmel always keeps safe in its heart the jewel of
solitude and silence, but above all contemplation, that
loving gaze into the depths of the human condition, into the
light of God (in which consists the depths). But this
Carmel is also itinerant, it
lives in the midst of people, in towns and cities. It is in
sharing the knowledge of the theological desert that is the
world, that the desert has become, above all, something
spiritual, and the pain of
this knowledge is converted into prayer. This
spiritual desert is also called
in the experience of Carmel which has gone to the centre of
this night, which was what it wanted and for which it
searched. Our Holy Parents discovered, in this solitude with
nature, the transparency of the divine beauty, footprints
and reminders of He who,
out a thousand graces, he passed
these groves in haste@.
Teresa of Jesus underlined how we are descended
these our holy Fathers, who in the profoundest solitude
treasure, this pearl beyond price@.
Having praised these men she, in fact, founded her Carmels
in such a way that there was great togetherness and
recreation, in simplicity, with common sense, joy and
naturalness. She asked the Friars to be well educated and
work fervently in serving the Church, according to its
needs. But in their togetherness and community life
and joy etc., they were to transport in their hearts the
desert or the
for more than the dawn@,
searching for the
of contemplation (that finally, for Teresa of Jesus, found
its truth in the love of God and ones=
neighbour; a love manifested by deeds).
The Carmel of Teresa of Jesus was the basis of her
spirituality, (as it was for other true witnesses who
followed her), in other words, it was a living intimate
friendship, trusting in Jesus. Her Carmel existed only
for the Church and for humanity. All the striving,
hopes and sufferings of this humanity were embraced
(contemplation) as hers, in an active and committed way,
It is true to say that this Carmel can be reborn again
today, because it does not depend so much on its past as on
of what is human and evangelical.
Luis Arostegui Gamboa, ocd, Superior General
CONGRESS ON LITURGY
The General Definitory, in its May 2005 session, decided to
hold a Congress on a Regional level, to be held in 2007on
the theme: Liturgy-prayer and Carmel. The aim
of this Congress will be to revitalize and animate our
prayer life in Carmel, having the liturgy as the source and
inspiration for this animation of our prayer.
2005 MEETING OF C.I.C.L.A.
(Carmel in Latin America)
The annual reunion of the CICLA took place from 4th
- 6th May in Tandil, Argentina. Attending
the meeting were: Marcos Juchem (Provincial of South
Brazil), Gerald Afonso (Provincial of South East Brazil),
Chritian Ogueda (Delegate of the Vicar of Chile), Emilio
Sanchez (Delegate of Argentina - Andalucia), Carmelo
Hernandez (Delegate of Uruguay - Paraguay) and Jozef Wajda
(Delegate of Argentina - Warsaw).
The general goal of C.I.C.L.A is to communicate and
collaborate with those who make up its membership, in the
various fields of life and apostolate of the Order.
The agenda at the meeting included the following principle
- The restructuring of C.I.C.L.A., and its Circumscriptions
- A joint novitiate for the South C.I.C.L.A. region
- O.Carm - OCD
Congress in 2006
- A programme of events for C.I.C.L.A.
There were practical suggestions regarding the Novitiate and
other points on the agenda. There will be a follow-up
on the theme of restructuring due to various changes in some
of the Circumscriptions.
CARMELITE BOOKS IN AFRICAN
Following the OCD Congress on Formation in French-speaking
Africa, held in Nkolbisson (Yaoundy), in September 2004, it
was decided to begin a publication of Collected Works of
Carmelite Writings, with the Daughters of St. Paul in
Abidjan. This was supported by the centre of the Order
and is now in the hands of a Commission made up of confreres
from the various Regions of the Francophone zone. The
object is to propose to our communities and to anyone else
who may be interested, books on Carmelite spirituality
printed in Africa and at a price affordable to the African.
The first work, Introduction au livre des Demeures,
is already available. The second, on the Eucharist, is
with the printers.