Everyday Life - Karmel Karaganda Kazakhstan

Discalced Carmelite Nuns
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Saint Teresa of Jesus (Saint Teresa of Ávila) guides the way of the Monasteries cloistered life. Prayer is the sole apostolate. The goal of a Carmelite life is union with God achieved through a prayer impelling to move out of the prison of selfishness towards the bright daylight of pure love for God and our fellow men and women. The charism of the daily life is participation in the liturgical prayers, silence, recollection and mental prayer. The center of the monastic life is a Holy Mass followed by Liturgy of the Hours chanted in the Choir (the cloistered part of the chapel) eight times a day. In addition to the community prayer, each Sister devotes one morning and one evening hour to a personal mental prayer. This mental prayer is a time of silence focused on Eucharist. Each Sister shares with the Holy Spirit to the extent that it makes her share in his mystery. Saint Teresa of Avila stated: "Mental prayer [oración mental] is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us."Saint Teresa of Avila wished for her Daughters that all being of a Discalced Carmelite Sister, her prayers and work should evolve around Church, priesthood and a salvation of all human souls. Saint Theresa spoke powerful words to her Daughters: “If your prayers and desires and disciplines and fasts are not performed for the intentions of which I have spoken, reflect [and believe] that you are not carrying out the work or fulfilling the object for which the Lord has brought you here.” (The Way of Perfection, Teresa of Avila, St. (Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, 1515-1582)

The daily life of in the monastery is a balance of prayer, work, and rest, of community life and solitude. The "horarium," or schedule for the day, supports Monastery’s community life by bringing Sisters together for common prayer, meals, and recreation at noon and in the evening. Recreation is a time when all Sisters may speak freely to each other while doing their work. But “horarium” protects the times of solitude, personal prayer, and reading which sustain a spiritual life.
Each Sister has her personal cell which is not only a living space but a place for a living prayer. A nun’s cell is a place for a special conversation with God, prayer and a spiritual reading.

Discalced Carmelite Sisters work in silence, but whatever Sisters do whether cooking the meals, cleaning the monastery, or doing the laundry; everything is a service of love and prayer. In addition to the domestic duties, Discalced Carmelite Sisters work for the needs of Church by baking Altar Bread, sewing and painting Vestments, Altar Linen and Albs as well as mending and painting statues.
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