Commemoration of All Carmelite Souls

Carmelite saints

The following excerpt is from a reflection by Fr. Emiel Abalahin, O.Carm., published on the Order of Carmelites website.

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The homes of most people do not consist of a mere wooden frame or a cement foundation; rather, they are constructed from a great variety of materials, and more often than not, the result of the participation of more than one or two people. So, too, the Order of Carmel continues to grow and develop today because of the presence and contributions of all those who built upon its spiritual foundations, and not just its great saints.

These brothers and sisters ...
made their mark on each of us
through their own efforts to live
in allegiance to Jesus Christ.

On this commemoration of All Carmelite Souls, we call to mind all of these people and their part in the heritage that has been handed down to us. These brothers and sisters of ours may not have been famous spiritual writers nor renowned for extraordinary experiences of prayer, but they made their mark on the Order and on each of us through their own efforts to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ in service to the Order and to the Church. Whether as priests or brothers, nuns or sisters, consecrated lay or third order members, they brought the spirit of Carmel to their daily lives and to all those around them. Others were not official members of the Order, but through their generosity of time, talent and support, encouraged us Carmelites to an ever-deeper fidelity to our vocation.

But this day is not simply a day for remembering. It is also a day in which the Order prays especially for these souls in an act of faith that trusts in the mercy and promises of Jesus Christ himself, “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) who assures us that the will of the Father is that he should not lose anything of what he gave him, but that he should raise it on the last day (John 6:39). Through our prayer, united to the intercession of Mary, we ask God to look upon our sisters and brothers in His infinite and great mercy (cf. Isaiah 55:7-11), and call them home. At the same time, our supplications are also for our departed Carmelites, encouraging them to move toward God with great trust that what they believed in, experienced and lived for during their earthly lives will now come to be fully realized in the eternal Divine embrace.

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The Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary is a religious community of men in the Church, whose members, responding to the hunger for God in themselves and in the world, answer an interior call to prayer, community, and ministry.