Could I be a Carmelite?
What is a Carmelite Vocation?
Prayer is at the very heart of the Carmelite vocation. Through praying alone and together as a community, Carmelites seek to deepen their understanding of God, and to develop their relationship with Christ.
Our community life is a witness to the importance of solidarity. By living, working and praying together, Carmelites find the support they need in their own faith journey, but also provide a practical witness to the teaching of St. Paul, that ‘we are all one body, made up of many parts, united in Christ.’
It is often believed that all Carmelite friars are priests, but this is not always the case. Throughout the world, many Carmelites do not become priests but commit themselves to other forms of service, including teaching, chaplaincy, social work or academic studies.
Although Carmelite ministries vary, what unites us as brothers is our commitment to a life of community, prayer and service. These three aspects make up the essence of the Carmelite vocation.
How do I know if I am being called by God to be a Carmelite?What should I do if I think I am being called?
God works in lots of different ways. The call by God to become a Carmelite can come to some people as a feeling or a thought that begins small and slowly grows. For others it can begin as a stronger feeling. Everyone’s story is unique.
Sometimes people know Carmelites and feel that they want to become part of the Community. Sometimes people feel they want to serve others and maybe being a Carmelite is the way to do it. Sometimes people learn about saints of the Carmelite Order and are inspired by them. And sometimes it is just a feeling that this is what God wants me to do.
If you feel or think that God might be calling you to be a Carmelite listen to that feeling. Don’t be afraid of it. If God is calling you to be a Carmelite, then being a Carmelite is the way that you will be happiest in life and the way you will be most fully alive.
If you feel that God might be calling you to be a Carmelite there are 3 things you might do: think about it; talk about it; pray about it.
Think about it:
Spend time thinking about the Carmelites and about the idea of you being a Carmelite. Try to find out more about us: about how we live, what work we do, where we have Communities etc. Look up our websites to get information. Read about the Carmelite Order and Carmelite Saints. If you know any Carmelites talk to them and ask them questions or contact us through social media.
Talk about it:
Pick one or two people whose opinion you trust and who might be worth talking to and ask if you can talk to them. Then tell them what you are feeling, what you are thinking. You don’t have to have any answers and neither do they. But just talk about it. If you are in college or school maybe talk to a Chaplain, or maybe someone in your parish or a church that you know.
Pray about it:
St. Teresa of Avila states that “prayer is nothing more than a friendly conversation with the God by whom we know we are loved.” Talk to God. Tell Him what you feel. Ask God to help you to understand what He wants you to do. Ask God to make it clearer to you if He is calling you to be a Carmelite. Ask God to help you respond to Him.
Making a decision...
When you think about it, talk about it, and pray about it, if the feeling gets stronger then maybe you are being called to be a Carmelite. But when you think about it, talk about it, and pray about it, and if the feeling gets weaker then maybe you are not being called to be a Carmelite. Maybe God has another plan, another dream for you.