St Teresa of Avila founded our way of life at a time of crisis in the Church and in the world. She was carefully attentive both to the call of God in her heart and to the signs of the times, which she responded to in the light of God’s word. Every community she founded was unique and St Teresa herself understood that the vocation to Carmel is also a vocation to a particular community.
The first Carmelites were hermits who lived in caves on Mount Carmel in Palestine. St Teresa was inspired by their example of living as ‘hermits in community’ and wanted to recapture this spirit in her communities. With practical wisdom, she ensured that our daily life would be a healthy balance of solitude and community, work, prayer and recreation. Most of our time is spent alone and in silence, while we come together in community for prayer, meals (in silence) and recreation twice a day.
As we strive to live “alone with God alone”, we place limits on the amount of contact we have with our family and friends, including digital forms of communication. This does not mean pushing away those we love but bringing them with us into the all-embracing love of God, who calls us into the ‘desert’ of silence and solitude. Living within this deeper silence helps us to read the signs of the times in the light of the Gospel and to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as a strongly united community.
At Thicket, we find ourselves called to witness to the love of Christ by offering a place of welcome and hospitality at the heart of our local community, where all can discover peace and come to find a spiritual home. If this speaks to your heart, we invite you to “come and see” and find out more.
We invite you to take some quiet time to look slowly and prayerfully through these images.
Do these images speak to you? Do they call to you?
If you think God might be calling you to Carmel, you might find this discernment programme helpful
You can also contact us by any of the means at the end of this page.