April 1, 2024

April: Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament

OCDS Shield

By Mary O'Boyle OCDS,
Christchurch President

Dear Seculars,

As this is written, Easter is coming, please God we will feel renewed in our love and service of Him who died that we might live.

Each year at our first Community meeting following Easter, those of us who have made our Promise to our Secular Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Teresa of Jesus come together to renew that Promise.

The journey is long, St Teresa describes it as an Interior Castle, striving to enter each room, seeking the Centre where He, who knows and loves us, abides.

Father Aloysius Deeney, OCD tells us “The Secular Carmelite is moved to commit themselves to the Order. This commitment in the form of the Promises is an ecclesial event and an event of the Order in addition to being an event in the life of the person who makes the Promises”.

Megan has kindly prepared the following to assist us and to ponder on, in preparation for Sunday 7 April:

As we prepare to renew our Promise at our April meeting, please have your Promise card with you as we meet in the Chapel. If you don’t have the card, the Promise is on page 4 of this newsletter.

I'm sharing some quotes from Fr Deeney, OCD for our reflection...

"It is not any devotion to Our Lady that identifies a personal call to the Secular Order. Mary is our model of prayer and meditation. This interest in learning to meditate or inclination to meditate is a fundamental characteristic of any Secular Carmelite. It is perhaps the most basic."

"Being a Carmelite is not a privilege. Being a Carmelite is a responsibility! Responsibility does not mean burden – it means the ability to respond to God who calls us and to respond to the world that needs to know God."

"There are a lot of other people who are part of the Carmelite family who are not part of the Order. There are a lot of people who know a lot of things about Carmelite spirituality and really are experts but are not members of the Order. WHAT MAKES YOU A MEMBER OF THE SECULAR ORDER IS THAT YOU HAVE MADE THE PROMISE."

Blessings in Carmel,

Mary O'Boyle, OCDS

Christchurch's Peace of Christ Community President