“Oh God, you are my God, for you I long.”
“Oh God, you are my God, for you I long.” (Ps 63) These words echo the desire of every Carmelite. This desire is enkindled and enlivened as she gazes with the eyes of her heart in love upon our Lord.
In contemplation, we find that not only do we long for God, but He longs for us. We become aware of God’s infinite love for us, of His profound closeness, in the silent whispers of the Holy Spirit, just as the prophet Elijah hid his face at the slight breeze on Mt. Horeb, knowing that the Lord was passing by.
Life in Carmel is first and foremost a life lived in imitation of the praying Christ, of Christ who went up the mountain to enter into prayer with His Father in silence and solitude. Carmel is prayer. Carmel is contemplation.
The Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us contemplative prayer par excellence, receiving the Word Incarnate within her, pondering Him throughout their lives. She was the first to gaze on the face of the God-man, and she remained profoundly united to Him even in His death and burial. Now she gazes upon His glorified face for all eternity.
St. Teresa of Avila defined prayer as “an intimate sharing between friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with One who we know loves us.”
“A Carmelite,” says Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, “is a soul who has gazed on the Crucified, who has seen Him offering Himself to His Father as a Victim for souls, and recollecting herself in this great vision of the charity of Christ, has understood the passionate love of His soul, and has wanted to give herself as He did!”
For a Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus, this contemplative gaze finds a particular focus in the Heart of Christ. Meditating upon and contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded and bleeding, yet burning with love for mankind, a desire is born in her to love the Sacred Heart with her whole being and to make Him loved in every heart He has created. In the words of our Dear Mother Foundress, “Every Carmelite should be a victim of love.”