Our call to religious life as Carmelites is a gift from God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
I. Responding to a Call
1. The experience of vocation [C 15b, 104]
Each one of us recognizes a personal call from God at the origin of our journey of religious and Carmelite life. It was not our own decision that led us to Carmel, but a free divine choice which each of us experienced in his or her own way. We are aware that the call and response are the work of the Spirit: the Spirit of the Risen Lord, that we received in Baptism, who calls and who animates the freedom of the person who responds.
2. The path towards identity
The free personal response with which we consent to the call becomes the beginning of a path of discernment, acceptance, and progressive assimilation of the charismatic identity. This identification will grow and mature in a process that will last a lifetime.
3. The ever-present call [C Epilogue]
In our concern for the future, we must not lose sight of the experience of our call which is the solid foundation on which our existence rests. We do not know what the future of the Order will be, much less of that portion to which we belong. Nor do we know what form consecrated life will take or what changes the ecclesial institutions that we consider unchangeable will undergo. But this is not what we need to worry about; rather, we need to take concrete steps in the light of the experience we hold in our hearts from which our life and our spiritual identity have sprung and continue to spring. Everything can be taken away from us, but not this “hidden source” that nourishes our hope.