Every Monday morning I walk to the small convent that sits in the back of our parochial school to celebrate Mass. There in the middle of the city live 11 cloistered Discalced Carmelite Nuns who dedicate their life to work and prayer and never leave their convent. Their pace is different. Their prayers are slow and deliberate. The desert that we discussed yesterday is what they live every day. When I celebrate Mass for them on Monday mornings, I notice that I have to slow myself down. I have to fight off the temptation of thinking of what lies in the day or the week ahead to concentrate on these 11 remarkable women who pray for me every day. They pray for our parish. They pray for our school. They pray for all of our priests in the Archdiocese. Often times I have breakfast with them and I tell them about parish life and all eleven of them sit across from me, with metal bars separating us, and they just watch me eat and tell stories. I like to talk. They like to listen. They also like to laugh. They live joy-filled lives. They sit outside in their yard which is adjacent to our preschool playground and they delight in the laughs, the cries, and the loud voices of our little children. And even in this small desert literally in my backyard, they too have desert days as they seek to deepen their relationship with the Lord.
They also are great teachers of how to pray: slowly, deliberately, taking in every word. We are, after all, talking to God. So the lesson for today, take the time to pray the Our Father or a psalm perhaps very slowly. Let every divine word wash over you like waters of new life. And pray for these sisters who pray for you and who are working diligently to build their new convent in South Dade. They truly live heroic lives of prayer, and in turn teach us how to pray.
For more information about our sisters, click here: Monastery of the Holy Spirit
This is Mother Maria del Carmen de Jesus Sacramentado who has been a Carmelite for 70 years!