By Carmelite spirituality we understand a way of sensing and living the Gospel from certain premises that were born from the experience of the “great prophets” of the Discalced Carmelite family: Teresa of Jesus, John of the Cross, Therese of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein. It is an experience of God which leads to discovering God within oneself and to giving to life a meaning based on the theological virtues; it is a Christological experience leading to the historical Christ of the Gospel; the experience of Church, such as belonging to it and preoccupation for its good.
The General Chapter of 1985 endorsed the call of Pope John Paul II, that the Gospel, (and by extension the great spiritual masters), might become the source of culture, insofar as they encourage in the person sensitivity for the authentic values of liberty, justice and peace; that our horizons would also be expanded in the perception and taste for religious values, leading us to the experience of the divine, which is where we can satisfy the desire of our hearts.
Accepting this invitation, the Chapter members courageously emphasized a series of values proper to our patrimony, which should inform the life and the activity of the Order, ‘the specific ministry’ of the Discalced Carmelite:
Experiencing God and the desire for communion with him, as a witness and a response to the religious dimension of man; the saving experience in Jesus of a humanity deeply needing purification and liberation; the fraternity of a Teresian community as a characteristic sign of the social and relational aspirations of the person of today, always in search of communication and friendship; the theological and Christological view of man; contemplation of the world from Christ crucified and risen, present and operating in history, as an attitude of creative hope for people committed to a better world; the life of prayer as an experience of God’s transcendence revealed in Christ Jesus; asceticism as detachment from what is superfluous and availability for human beings; encouraging in each person the ability to reflect – Teresa’s critical spirit, fostering social coexistence, Teresa’s style of fraternity.