Monthly News December 2017 – Damien Peile
This month I am reflecting on my role so far, this year. I have learnt much about the Carmelite Family. Like any family, we share so many experiences. Along the way, there are joys and moments of celebration (anniversaries & birthday) as well as times of sadness (the death of a loved one) and disappointments. This is all very healthy and normal. And along the way, roles and responsibilities need to emerge and be defined to maintain responsibilities in a changing world as well as the need to take time out to renew our vision, hopes and dreams.
One of the joys of this role for me has been meeting a broad range of Friars, Sisters, and Lay members of the Carmelite Family. Each in different ways is living out the Carmelite charisms – some in a very conscious way and others being influenced by a Carmelite culture through their connection. It has been enriching to listen to people talk about their prayer life and their love of the Carmelite saints and mystics. Other people expressed gratitude for new friendships made and a sense of welcome and belonging to their Carmelite communities. And other people spoke about their work in providing social outreach to the broader community.
One person said they would not be connected to any Church if it wasn’t for the Carmelites. Many people tell me they appreciate how different Carmelite communities show acceptance for where they are at in their life journey. They feel they are given a warm welcome.
|Through these Charisms of community, service and prayer, the Carmelite Family offers richness and depth to an often-superficial world and life and connection for local communities. Together we will soon celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. For our Family, this feast is one of joy and promise, of being invited again to allow the Word to give birth in people’s hearts.|
Gratitude is a word that comes to mind when I think about all in the Carmelite family leading and encouraging one another to live out our care and respect for one another in love.
|Carmelite Librarian Suggested Reading – Philip Harvey
Rowan Williams, at the age of 40, wrote ‘Teresa of Avila’ (ISBN: 0-225-66579-4), a book regarded by many as the best in-depth introduction of contemporary times. The book was the result of his own re-reading of Teresa.
He writes: “The things that came home to me included, above all, Teresa’s passionate focus on the Incarnate Jesus, and her near-obsessive concern to eradicate considerations of social and racial distinction from her communities. I began to see her as a genuinely incarnational theologian.”
That memory comes from Rowan Williams in his 60s, appearing in his latest book ‘Holy Living: the Christian Tradition for Today’ (ISBN: 978-1-4729-4608-9), a book which dedicates an entire section to ‘The Genius of Teresa of Avila’. This is one of his more personal and accessible works, ranging over many subjects, so it is both inspiring and instructional to find that Teresa’s example continues to be so central in his own life. Not only that, it shows how we can return and learn new things from those we ourselves have identified as life sources for our own living.
Thank you for your support during the year – the phone calls, emails and responses as we learn more together about our family. I pray that the spirit of Peace and Love will fill your hearts this Christmas and look forward to working with you all again in 2018