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Virtual Community

Last night was the night for the monthly meeting of our Carmelite Virtual Community. A small group of us meets on zoom for an hour and a half. The group is mainly intended for individuals who find it difficult to attend a local Secular group. We look at a Carmelite text - currently The Way of Perfection by St Teresa, spend a while in silent reflection on it, then have a discussion of it, and conclude by saying Evening Prayer together. It's quite extraordinary to think that we are taking the possibility of such physically remote groups meeting visually on screen more or less for granted, when the supporting technology has been in place for only a few years. I love Teresa's gentle humour, so easy to miss. At the start of Chapter 24 she says that some people are 'seemingly terrified by the mere term "mental prayer" of "contemplation"' - and I could not help smiling at the idea of someone cowering in terror at the idea that he might consider the practice. Later in the chapter she writes about the Lord as a teacher who 'is never far from his pupil that he has to shout' - and again I smiled, this time at the idea of the shouting teacher. Surely Teresa's humour is an important part of her immense charm - a charm that continues to win souls in our day.

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