Carmelite Prayer


from "Carmel: A School of Prayer" by Fr. Keith J. Egan
in Carmelite Prayer: A Tradition for the 21st Century ed. Fr. Keith J. Egan

Carmel has widely been perceived as a school of contemplative prayer, especially as the Carmelite tradition became well known through the writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Carmelite prayer, it must be said, is not an esoteric or elitist tradition, despite the popular but not always accurate reputation of these two Spanish Carmelites. Contemplative prayer in the hands of Teresa and John moves toward simplicity. As Iain Matthew has written, prayer in the Carmelite mode ". . . contains an impulse toward simplicity." It is a movement that invites the Spirit of God to take over the dynamics of the heart. Graced human effort is mere preparation for prayer that truly becomes prayer when God prays within us (Rom 8:26). Contemplative prayer is not a matter of human achievement but is God's gracious gift to a heart that struggles to be free so that it may be open to and filled with divine love.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 2, 2005 3:53 PM.

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