“The spirit of Carmel is the spirit of prayer. A life of prayer and of constant union of heart with God is therefore an essential element of a Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus.” (Constitutions, 88-89)
This life of prayer in Carmel DCJ is centered on the Liturgy. Holy Mass and five “hours” from the Divine Office prayed in community give a structure to the day and form a basis for the constant prayer to which Jesus invites us. Two half hours of meditation and spiritual reading in common, daily Rosary and Stations of the Cross, frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and weekly Adoration and Benediction further help to root us strongly in prayer. We also strive to keep an atmosphere of quiet and to maintain a constant interior posture of prayer. “The spirit of Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus is the spirit of recollection and silence which lead to union with God” (Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph).
St. Teresa of Avila reminded her spiritual daughters that God chose to work with us through the Incarnation and that we should remain close to the humanity of Christ, who comes to us in very tangible ways through the sacraments. For the Carmelite Sister DCJ, this finds a particular focus in His Heart. Our Foundress, Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph, desired that we make reparation to His Heart for all the offenses committed against it, especially for all He suffers through heresy, indifference and unbelief, and particularly for the denial of His divinity.
Blessed Maria Teresa had a special affection for the Mother of God. Like Mary, we are called to a life of faith and service, completely devoted to Jesus, interceding for His Mystical Body. Our Foundress’ “love for St. Joseph led her to place her Homes under his special protection. For our various apostolic works she has given us St. Francis Xavier as our model and patron.” (Constitutions, 6) Our other special patrons include St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila), St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. These saints are models for us in our way of life, as well as powerful intercessors and close friends. “As in my own case, we have to fall in love with St. Mother Teresa, with St. Francis Xavier and with the holy Rule. Then our love will grow strong and unconquerable; it will sanctify our souls and lead us to Heaven.” (Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph)