Thursday, July 15, 2010
Letter from the Prior General
We are once again approaching the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. July is the Carmelite month par excellence and many things will remind us of our identity, our saints, our history and our spirituality. Among all of these the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has pride of place in the lives of Carmelites. Thus, there is the ancient tradition of preparing for the feast by a Novena that serves as catechesis, as a joyful prelude to the feast and a liturgical and prayerful ascent to the heights of Carmel, accompanied by Mary, our first teacher and first disciple of the Lord.
Down through the eight-hundred year history of Carmel, Mary has been given many different titles. She is invoked as Mother and Sister, as Queen of Carmel, as Star of the Sea, as the Lady of the place…. Each of these is full of tradition, devotion and spirituality. Mary continues today to take us to the very heart of the Gospel and the Christian life.
At the entrance to the new cathedral in Los Angeles (U.S.A.) there is an image of Mary with a maternal gesture, inviting us to enter into the mystery, drawing one toward the main altar. Mary appears as mystagogue. In this her “lowliness” and humility help us to penetrate the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption.
Let us prepare ourselves to begin our Novena of Carmel so as to live it as a pathway, a pilgrimage, a journey of faith carrying us to the top of Mount Carmel. May you have a joyful Novena of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. May your gathering with others be a coming together of people, each coming from different starting points, moving towards a common destiny, to the mystery of life and love.
Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.