With joy and gratitude sisters greeted the morning of August 24, 2000, the foundation day of the Carmel of the Incarnation, a new community established from the union of the Carmelite communities of Barre, VT, Saranac Lake, NY, and Beacon, NY. During the month of November, Carmelites around the world celebrate two special feasts: All the Carmelite Saints and All the Carmelite Souls. We remember those Carmelite sisters and brothers who have gone before us, that “cloud of witnesses” whose spirits live on in the heart of each Carmelite community.
In our Carmel of the Incarnation, we too pause to remember and celebrate the lives of our sisters who have passed on since our community’s beginning. No longer in our midst, they continue to inspire and encourage us by their fidelity, their joy and their love for the Carmelite vocation to a life of prayer. God’s grace and their faithful response sustained them each day. A wise Carmelite friar once offered us this advice: “Make the saints your support system.” And so, we who walk in the footsteps of our sisters learn from their example and rely on their help.
This Thanksgiving we reflect on the countless blessings God has bestowed on our community. With the example of our deceased sisters and the daily support we give to one another in community, we embrace the future with hope. Trusting in God’s promises, we are drawn more deeply into the mystery of God’s presence and plan for us.