What is Prayer?
According to St. Teresa of Jesus, prayer “is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends”. Prayer: that one word says what Carmelite nuns are about throughout their lives. The intimate sharing St. Teresa speaks of can easily be understood when we think of someone we are close to, someone with whom no conversation is necessary in order for us to be happy and comfortable with them. That’s what prayer is: a ‘being with’ the one Friend who will be there no matter what. However there is one extraordinary difference. When we cultivate friendship with Jesus Christ, there opens up within a whole new dimension of life, one of infinite depth and meaning. We truly find Him within us where He patiently waits to be discovered. The intimacy we have with Jesus is closer than any other intimacy ever could be. He is always the place where we receive life. In prayer we find the meaning of our life, and it is a meaning continually discovered.
Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.St. Teresa of Jesus
A Life of Prayer
In Carmel prayer permeates everything we do and are. We praise and thank God through Scripture in the recitation of the Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church. At these times we come before God in the chapel on behalf of the Church and the whole world and intercede especially for the needs of the Church and for the salvation of souls. We honor the Saints he has given to our Order and ask them to help us live the Gospel as they did. Unique to Carmel, there are two separate hours of the day that are given wholly to quiet contemplative prayer alone with God.
Four times during the year we invite our friends to participate with us in novenas we offer in honor of special Saints: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Joseph, Sts. Teresa and Therese, and St. John of the Cross. We also offer a Christmas novena in the same way.