“The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do,
as at the love with which we do it.”
SAINT TERESA OF AVILA
Although I've lived in New York for over 40 years, I remain a Philly girl at heart. I often reflect that the lessons and virtues that I learned at home, in our neighborhood and at school in our small Philadelphia town of Bridesburg provided me with a sure foundation to embark on life's adventures.
Before entering Carmel, I was a member of an apostolic community and taught high school girls for two years. I loved my community and loved teaching, but something (Someone?) was tugging at my heart. I soon discovered God was nudging me into Carmel.
Some people think Carmelites do nothing but pray all day. Yes, we do that, although we are not in chapel or on our knees all the time. For me Carmelite life is a way of living that encompasses every hour of the day but not in a constricting fashion. It feels more natural, like fish in water or the birds in the air. My life as a Carmelite is supported by a particular lifestyle that focuses my time, energy, desires and activities on the One who has captivated my heart. All I do and am are my prayer. The simplest task done out of obedience and with love and generosity become my service to the Church and God’s people. As St. Teresa tells us: “The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do, as at the love with which we do it.”
Carmelites live a close community life, where all are friends and care for each other. My deepest fulfillment comes from community life, sharing with my sisters a love for the Carmelite way of life as envisioned by St. Teresa, with its unique blend of community and prayer in solitude. The monastery is the dwelling where I serve the Church through love for God and others. God weaves together the unique personalities and gifts of each sister. One finds that each monastery has its own spirit, much like that of families.
It is a joy for me to be part of the fabric of our community’s life. My heart and spirit have found peace and fulfillment as a Carmelite. Truly, it is a gift from God for which I cherish and for which I thank God each day.