Above is a picture of the Enclosure door/entrance into the Carmel of the Holy Spirit in Kirk Edge, Sheffield, England. Help me to knock on this door and start my life as a Carmelite!
Great news on my debt relief to enter to enter Carmel! I am down from $7,500 to about $2,200 or so thanks to donations from this blog and other sources. Please, if any feel called to help me with this small remaining debt please do! I have a PayPal donate button on this blog, top right. I am so close, yet so far! This remaining $2,200 or so is for some small remaining debt and then the airfare to the UK from Texas and once in England, I need to take an hour’s train ride and then a taxi to the monastery and I also need to have extra money on hand for the trip for incidentals and unexpected expenses. As a true Carmelite, I will be arriving to Carmel in quite a state of poverty!
A GLIMPSE OF THE LIFE AT THE CARMEL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN KIRK EDGE, SHEFFIELD, UK:
THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS OF
THE CARMELITE MONASTERY
OF THE ORDER OF THE BLESSED
VIRGIN MARY OF MOUNT CARMEL
We follow the Constitutions of 1581 accomodated to Vatican Council II and to current canonical laws according to to the norms given by His Holiness John Paul II on 15th. October 1984. Promulgated by him on 8th. December 1990, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The Monastery of The Holy Spirit, Sheffield, was founded in 1911 from the Carmel of Notting Hill, London, by the Prioress, Mother Mary of Jesus – Madeleine Dupont.
(Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress – 1851 t0 1952)
This Carmel brought the Constitutions of Alcala (1581) from the Carmel of the Rue d’ Enfer, Paris, France, which had been founded from the Carmel of San Jose of Avila, Spain in 1604. We united with the Carmel of Avila in petitioning the Holy See for the updated Constitutions of Avila 1581. These were promulgated in 1990 by Pope John Paul II.
Bishop Gordon of the Diocese of Leeds requested this foundation, and Henry Fitzalan Howard, the 15th Duke of Norfolk, gave to Mother Mary of Jesus the buildings and eighteen acres of moorland in the Peak National Park, five miles from Sheffield. Kirk Edge is twelve hundred feet above sea level, and the building is a solitary landmark for miles around, with wide views of the surrounding fields, moors and valleys, and encircled by the Yorkshire and Derbyshire hills. It is a perfect location for a life of contemplative prayer and silence.
The buildings on the site had already served as a Convent of the Sisters of Charity. Built in 1871 as an orphanage and industrial school, it was abandoned in 1887 when the Sisters of Charity located elsewhere. Many years of hard work, trials and tribulations have seen a transformation of the original site with the notable addition of a new Chapel and offices on the west side, as well as the 12 foot high surrounding wall. The Monastery was officially opened by His Eminence Cardinal Bourne on 16th. July, 1911.
Vocations have come to our Carmel throughout the years, seeking a life of union with God through prayer and sacrifice. In 1996 Doctor Sustar, Archbishop of Ljubljana in Slovenia, asked us to take the responsibility of a new Carmelite foundation following the Constitutions of 1990. The Monastery of Mary Queen of Angels, Mirna Pec, was canonically erected in 1998 by His Eminence Cardinal Franc Rode, Prefect of the Congregation of Religious, who was the Archbishop of Ljubljana at that time.
(Mother Mary of Jesus with her mother on her clothing day)
“Carmel is an imitation of Our Lady’s life on earth, hidden and intercessory. She who had the greatest power over the heart of Jesus, obtained by her request His first public miracle. He could refuse her nothing, and her legacy to us her
children : “Do whatever He tells you”, is re-enacted in the daily life of Carmel.
What He tells us to do, comes moment by moment in the following of our Rule, in the ordinary everyday routine work, and in the trivial events of life. The whole motivation in our response to this life of austerity, abnegation and regularity must be love.”
What He tells us to do,comes moment by moment in the following of our Rule. In the ordinary everyday routine work and the trivial events of life. Our work is all hidden and intercessory. “…”each one should try to labour for the support of the others.” – 1990 Constitutions 57
“Let an oratory be erected
as conveniently as possible
in the midst of the cells,
where you are to assemble
every morning to hear Mass,
when this can be
conveniently done.” –
|In the Prophet Elijah in profound prayer on the summit of Mount Carmel, burning with zeal for the glory of God, the Order recognises the inspiration of the Carmelite dedication to contemplation in solitude.
For centuries the eremitical life flourished on Mount Carmel. About the year 1210 the superior of a group of hermits, Brother Brocard, obtained from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Saint Albert, a Rule of life; a Rule which we still keep today. This Rule emphasises the following of Christ, by means of the evangelical counsels: chastity offered to God, poverty and obedience; counsels which are a divine gift “which the Church has received from Our Lord and with His grace preserve perpetually,” Lumen Gentium. In order to preserve this divine gift the Rule prescribes solitude in the cells; “meditating day and night on the Law of the Lord and watching in prayer.”
The First Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land
The centre of this life is Sacred Scripture, which nourishes contemplative prayer and ecclesial prayer. To the evangelical counsels the Rule adds work and penance so that the soul can more freely practice perfect charity. The Rule of the Order of Carmel promotes the heroic exercise of the virtues and encourages one to advance more and more on this road; placing no limits to the following of Christ nevertheless exercising a supernatural prudence.The Rule was mitigated by His Holiness Eugene IV in 1431. In 1562 Saint Teresa of Jesus founded the Carmel of Saint Joseph in Avila, Spain, and penetrating the original spirit of the founders of the Order and its sound traditions, placed before her daughters as an ideal, the holy hermits of Mount Carmel. With balance and prudence Saint Teresa adapted this Rule of Life for the circumstances of a convent of nuns. She preserved the eremitical spirit, solitude, silence, absolute poverty, austerity and penance. In conformity with the Rule, she presents the Prioress as the centre and soul of community life; a life founded on charity and joyfully enclosed by voluntary cloister. She recommends humility as the foundation of all the other virtues, especially of charity, and a free and generous obedience. Finally, she gives to it all an apostolic and ecclesial meaning, with its characteristic stamp of simplicity and radiant joy.Saint Teresa wrote her Constitutions in 1581. Her Constitutions together with the Rule have been the Law governing the Discalced Carmelite Nuns from their beginning and which Saint Teresa, on her death bed, left as a heritage to them. She declared that the observance of the Rule and Constitutions was enough to canonize them. Saint Teresa renewed the spirit of Carmel by her own ardent desires, enriched it with her holy life and mystical experiences, and clarified it by her writing in a way which cannot be surpassed.With Saint John of the Cross, the Church has honoured Saint Teresa with the title of Doctor of the Church. To preserve and transmit this type of consecrated life and its doctrine is our privilege and duty.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTIONS – 1990
God has touched the soul of a Carmelite and she is aware that He is calling her to give herself wholly to Him as a complete gift. With faith and trust she responds, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do Your Will”. God has put into her heart a longing for a closer union with Himself than is possible for her in the “world” It drives her to leave family, possessions, the possibility of marriage and children or career, for the one thing necessary, to possess God in the closest union that is possible here on earth. In truth a Carmelite is no longer her own, she did not choose God but God chose her, and only by a complete gift of herself, her will, her mind and her heart, can she find true fulfilment and a peace and joy that the world will never give her.
The Carmelite vocation is a special vocation to seek and find God in Contemplative Prayer. Thus, everything in our life is orientated to that end. Our complete separation from the world, our high walls, the grilles in our Church and in our parlours, our silence, our simple manual work, the absence of radio and television, all these have one object, to provide the atmosphere where God can more easily give the gift of Contemplative Prayer.
As she is aware that God alone can satisfy her soul she is drawn to the eremitical life just as the hermits of old sought God in the desert. In our time this is not possible, but in Carmel she finds a desert where life is monotonous, hidden and laborious. She brings into this life her good will, but also her deep seated tendences to evil too. Selfishness, pride, love of comfort, etc. Keeping close to God each day, and sharing the life with companions whom God has also called to Carmel, these imperfections gradually lose their grip. Charity, joy, and peace, take their place in the soul. This is the work of a life time, and in the end we recognise that it is God’s own work in the soul.
We are not called to Carmel for ourselves only. Our lives are given for others,especially the leaders of the Church, Priests, and all God’s children. Only when Moses, in the desert, lifted up his arms in prayer did the Israelites defeat their enemies, so a Carmelite must keep her eyes on Jesus, our Saviour, for He wishes to make her a channel of grace for others. This is our apostolate, our work in Carmel and our place in the Church.