Vows - Carmel in Burundi and Rwanda

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OCD Vocation


Why do we take vows of religious consecration?

We follow Christ in the Way of Religious Consecration by making vows of chastity, poverty & obedience.
In this way we surrender ourselves heart and soul to God whom we love above all else, and are completely dedicated to his service.
Consecrated by God through the ministry of the Church, we are sent by him for the salvation of the world, somewhat as Christ himself was consecrated and sent by the Father.
Such a commitment shows a fullness of the love of God and of our neighbour that calls for a total self-denial in all things as a means of growing in and giving expression to this same love.

How does consecrated chastity allow us to serve God and neighbour

We make a vow of perfect chastity in the celibate state for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven.
It facilitates the freedom of an undivided heart.
In this way our whole being, body and spirit is put at the service of God and our neighbour, following the example of Christ, totally dedicated to the service of his Father and his brothers.
Our chastity, like that of Mary our model, shows our consecration to God and our loving allegiance to Jesus Christ.
By deepening our friendship with Jesus and Mary and putting our trust in the power of God’s word, we strive with quiet confidence to be faithful to this vow. In this way our human capacity to love will grow to full maturity.
In all this, our joyful involvement in a loving community and in the service of others will prove to be a great support and safeguard.

How does the vow of poverty allow us inner freedom

By living the vow of poverty, materially and spiritually, we share in Christ’s poverty and in His total surrender to the will of the Father.
Through detachment from worldly things and by striving to attain spiritual things, we achieve and experience the freedom and dignity of the children of God.
As sons of St Teresa, our poverty must combine a humble, simple and fraternal way of life with an interior freedom that enables us to direct all our energies to the things of God, and strive after that total self-denial and spiritual poverty lived by St John of the Cross.


How does living the vow of obedience allow us to model our lives on Christ?
The Son of God came into the world to do the will of the Father, out of obedience to the Father, to minister to his brothers and give his life for the redemption of all.
This vow obliges us to submit our will to our superiors as God’s representatives.
In faith and love toward God’s will we carry out the commands of our superiors and discharge the duties given to us, using all our resources of mind and will, and all our gifts of nature and grace.
We realise that by doing this we help to build up the Body of Christ according to God’s plans.
The ideal of union with God held up to us by St Teresa and St John of the Cross, consists in our will conforming to God’s in such a way that the two are made one in the Divine Will.
This impels all Friars to persevere in a personal and community effort to grow in the knowledge of God’s will, so that they follow Christ’s model of obedience to the Father, even to death on the cross. Then like him, they always do what is pleasing to the Father.

Typical Day in a friar’s life

What is a typical day in a friar’s life?

While the schedules from one monastery to another may vary a little, according to the ministries and make-up of a particular community, they will all share a basic structure which is comprised of a few key elements:

- Daily Mass
- Liturgy of the Hours
- Two hours of mental prayer
- Scheduled recreation
- Community meeting

Weekends may also vary a bit as ordained members are called upon to serve the local church, celebrating the Holy Mass for the people of God, in parishes or for other religious communities.

In general, the atmosphere of the monastery is quiet and prayerful. The Friars arrange their work schedules around the community acts of prayer, recreation, and meals. In most monasteries we spend between three and four hours in formal prayer (including Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and mental prayer).
Since this is a principal part of our service to the Church as contemplatives, we seek to balance the demands of the community and ministry so to assure the primacy of this prayer in our life.

Brothers & Priests

Why are there brothers & priests within the Order?

People express their commitment to serving God within the Order in different ways, as a priest or a brother.

While a brother cannot celebrate the Holy Mass, there are a wide variety of possibilities are open for brothers, whether publications work, ministry within formation, chaplaincy work or one of the traditional and essential community services.

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