This is the fourth blog on Teresa of Avila’s four waters of prayer, which is a description of Teresa’s experience of prayer outlined in chapters 11 to 22 of her autobiography (Life). Finally, we have reached the fourth water (Life, chapters 18-21). Teresa likens this stage of prayer as like a shower of rain that … Continue reading What is prayer…? (4) ‘like a shower of rain’
This is the third blog post on Teresa of Avila’s four waters of prayer, which is a description of Teresa’s experience of prayer outlined in chapters 11 to 22 of her autobiography (Life). Here, we explore the third water (chapters 16, 17), which develops Teresa’s metaphor of prayer as like watering a garden. We have … Continue reading What is prayer …? (3) ‘like a stream’
This is the second blog post on Teresa of Avila’s four waters of prayer, which is a description of Teresa’s experience of prayer found in chapters 11 to 22 of her autobiography (Life). The four waters aren’t intended to be stages of progress, against which we may measure our ‘performance’. It isn’t the case that … Continue reading What is prayer…? (2) ‘like a water wheel’
This is the first of a planned series of four, on Teresa of Avila’s Four Waters of prayer. This is Teresa’s description of her own experience of prayer offered in chapters 11 to 22 of her autobiography (Life). Using Teresa’s metaphor of prayer as like watering a garden, the first stage of prayer is like … Continue reading What is prayer? … (1) ‘hard work’!
The Carmelite approach to prayer is very flexible. Unlike some other Christian spiritual traditions, it’s not possible to point to a particular method of prayer that is distinctively ‘Carmelite’. But the Carmelite tradition places a strong emphasis on prayer. The 16th century Carmelite nun, Teresa of Avila, experienced a phase as a young woman where … Continue reading What is prayer? Exploring the experience of prayer with Teresa of Avila’s “Four Waters“
The notes below are from a talk that I gave as part of a series at a local parish church. These talks were on different spiritual traditions (i.e. Benedictine, Franciscan, Celtic, New Monasticism and, of course, Carmelite) and sought to ask/answer the question: What do these spiritual traditions have to offer to the parish? What … Continue reading What does Carmelite spirituality offer to the parish?
This is the next in a series of posts on Carmelite books and other resources. It refers to Climbing the Mountain: The Carmelite Journey edited by Johan Bergström-Allen TOC. In the late 1990s, the Third Order of Carmel (lay Carmelites of the ancient observance) underwent a reform. At a national gathering of lay Carmelites at … Continue reading Climbing the Mountain: The Carmelite Journey
At a recent retreat at Glasshampton, one of the topics of conversation was to share resources (especially, books) on Carmelite spirituality. The next series of posts will be an introduction and review of the short list of books that ended up on our list of 'essential reading'. The first book on the list is At … Continue reading Book Review: At the Fountain of Elijah
This is a guest post by Jackie Robson, who has professed vows to the single consecrated life. Jackie is part of the dispersed network called The Carmelite Companions of the Way. We are a dispersed community, who are discerning a shared commitment to a secular expression of the Carmelite spirituality within the Church of England … Continue reading My journey in Carmel: “praise of His glory”
A very useful resource for anyone interested in the Carmelite tradition is the Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality run by the discalced Carmelite friars at Boar’s Hill, near Oxford. Even if you're not able to get there in person, some of the lectures and events are publicly-available on YouTube. One resource is a lecture by … Continue reading Prayer, Silence and the Carmelite Tradition