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Different emphases

Reflecting on our Secular Carmelite retreat at the Benedictine Douai Abbey last week, I am struck by the different charisms of our two Orders. The charism of the Benedictines is very much expressed in their celebration of the liturgy; the Hours are changed daily and formally in their chapel. The liturgy of the Hours does not have anything like so much prominence in Carmel, where contemplative prayer is much more central. This is an illustration of the huge variety of charisms to be found in Mother Church. The same faith lies at the root of each Order, but the ethos and the vocation of each is distinctive. This can be seen in the lives of the founders - when we contrast for example St Francis and the Orders that have sprung from his teaching with St Teresa and St John of the Cross and their spiritual children.


Im, who will now take a long time to recover from a huge operation with very serious side effects.

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