This morning we welcomed Fr. Miceal O’Neill, O.Carm, the Prior General of the Carmelites. He shared with us his experience on some challenges for Carmelite life today. The expectations of the world to us are three: the witness of our lives, formation and community life. These three are linked: witness is given by individuals who live in community. The privileged place for formation is the community. Fr. Miceal O’Neil underlined the importance of the community and its prophetic dimension for our times. The community, by its nature, is the place where the grace of God is manifested and unfolded. He went on to speak of three concepts: participation (in the sense that Vatican II asks of us), communication and discernment. Through our active participation in community life, to the life of the Church, through participating in the love of God who communicates Himself to us, through the gift/communication that we make to God and to the others, through the discernment/searching for the will of God, we enter into the depths of the mystery of salvation. It is a spirituality of communion that is put before us.
As an extension of his conference, Fr. Miceal O’Neill, presided at our Eucharist and then stayed to share lunch with us.
This afternoon we voted on the charismatic declaration. The final text will be sent to you later. We then experienced another time of grace: our non-clerical brothers came to the Chapter and shared with us the joy of their vocation as religious brothers. Here is a fragment: “Our vocation comes from the love of God who is a friend, Father, Brother, and who calls us to witness to Him and to the Kingdom through fraternity. We endeavour to respond with generosity and give ourselves totally to the gratuitous love of God, who has honoured us by calling us into his service as brothers in our religious family.” It is not a vocation of little worth, as we are fully Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. This time spent with our brothers was a good experience of communion and of grace in our unique vocation to Carmel.