Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

Holy Orders

From the moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary until his Resurrection, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In biblical language, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus established by God the Father as our high priest. As Risen Lord, he remains our high priest. . . . While all the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special way.

“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8)

Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.  Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8).  This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.

~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

Carmelite Vocation

The Discalced Carmelite Friars are committed to a consecrated life of allegiance to Jesus Christ. In this, we are sustained by the companionship, the example, and protection of our Lady. Her life of union with Christ we regard as the prototype of ours.

Our vocation is a grace by which we are called to a hidden union with God, in a form of life and fraternal sharing in which contemplation and action are blended to become a vital apostolic service of the Church. This call to prayer embraces our whole life. Sustained by the word of God and the sacred liturgy, we are led to live in intimate friendship with God. By growing in faith, hope and above all charity, we deepen our prayer life.

With our heart thus purified we are enabled to share more closely in the life of Christ himself, and prepare the way for a more abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In this way, the Teresian charism and the original spirit of Carmel become a reality in our lives as we walk in the presence of the living God.

The very nature of our charism demands that our prayer and our whole religious life be ardently apostolic and that we put ourselves at the service of the Church and of all God’s people. We strive to do this in such a way that our apostolic activity stems from our close union with Christ. Indeed, we aim at that most fruitful of all apostolates, which derives from the state of union with God.

It is for this twofold service, contemplative and active, that we share life as brothers in the community. United by the bond of love in fraternal life, we also bear witness to the unity of the Church, faithful in this to St. Teresa of Jesus, who wanted her communities to resemble “the college of Christ.”

This way of life, based on the primitive Rule of St. Albert and of the teachings of St. Teresa of Jesus and of St. John of the Cross, must be sustained by constant evangelical self-denial.

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