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Our Life

Common Life

Our life in Carmel is a life in common. It is marked by an external regularity, conformity, and simplicity. We rise together, pray together, eat together, share a common apostolate together, and find joy in recreation together. From the moment we rise in the early morning to the grand silence which descends upon us at the close of the day, we share a common life. However, the goal of the external is, ultimately, to affect the internal, a communion of mind and heart with and in Christ.

Our Horarium

Our daily life holds a real rhythm of prayer and work, of community and apostolate. It is a back and forth between gazing upon Christ in the tabernacle and recognizing His face in the faces of the old and young.

5:00 a.m.

Rising. The bell calls us out of our beds, the first Resurrection of the day. Kneeling down, we offer God our whole day through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

5:30 a.m.

Lauds. The Salve Regina or the Cor Dulce (in honor of the Sacred Heart) is sung and Lauds is chanted, followed by one half hour of silent meditation.

7:00 a.m.

Holy Mass. This is the highlight of our day, our most privileged meeting with our Divine Spouse, the “source and summit of our life.

7:45 a.m.

Breakfast. Our breakfast meal is eaten in the silence so characteristic of Carmel that we might continue to commune with our Eucharistic Lord who lingers within us.

8:00 a.m.

Spiritual reading. One Sister reads a book aloud for the community. As we are all fed from the same intellectual food, we are formed intellectually as a community.

8:30 a.m.

Apostolate. We “come down from the heights of Carmel” and head off to our apostolic assignment with the children or seniors..

12:00 p.m.

Daytime Prayer and Office of Readings. The Sisters pull away from their assignments and we gather again to chant the Divine Office. The noon meal in common follows, during which we may speak and enjoy the company of our Sisters.

1:00 p.m.

Apostolate. Having received both the spiritual and human strength needed for the afternoon’s prayer and work through time together at midday, we return refreshed to our apostolic assignments or convent duties.

5:00 p.m.

Vespers. We come together again for the chanting of Vespers and another half hour of silent meditation. Further prayers include the rosary and stations of the cross, prayed privately by each Sister sometime during the course of the day.

6:00 p.m.

Evening meal. We have supper in silence as one Sister reads aloud from a spiritual book.

7:00 p.m.

Recreation. The community joins together for an hour of talking and sharing and, on feast days, something festive, such as playing games.

8:00 p.m.

Compline. Night has descended. The Sisters head to the chapel to chant Compline. Then begins the time of grand silence in order that our day may end in the profound silence and solitude wherein the Beloved is found.