We begin each day by turning our thoughts and hearts to God in an hour of personal prayer. Another hour in the late afternoon is also set aside for personal prayer. Daily Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours form the core of our community prayer life. Five times a day, we gather to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the church.
An hour of spiritual reading (Lectio Divina) provides daily nourishment for our spirits. A weekly hermit day provides time for greater solitude. Except for sisters in formation who follow set times of classes and study with the novice director, professed sisters schedule their own time of study each week.
Prayer and contemplation are our traditional mission for the Church and the world. For the Carmelite, prayer is an intimate friendship with Jesus, a “being with the one we know loves us.” This state of recollection, which is fostered by the Word of God, through the practice of Lectio Divina, helps us strive to live always in the presence of God actively seeking His loving will.
“…meditate day and night on the law of the Lord. - Carmelite Rule”
In the structure of our day, there is a balance of solitude and community activity as specified by our Rule. We come together daily for Mass, the Divine Office, dinner, and recreation. We have a community lifestyle like that of a family, governed by love. St. Teresa called it the “College of Christ”. Boston Carmel is part of a Formation Program, with classes in theology, scripture studies, and Carmelite spirituality offered twice a month given by Carmelites and professors of nearby colleges and seminaries.
“…all must be friends, all must be loved, all must be helped. - St. Teresa of Avila”
In accordance with our Rule, we work for about four hours daily in silence and solitude. Work is an important part of each day and is one way we express our vow of poverty. The work we do is varied, everything entailed in the running of a household and the upkeep of our monastery and gardens. It is approached in such a way that the abilities of each are considered and the call to recollection is fostered. Among other things, our daily duties include cooking, answering requests for prayers, sewing vestments, preparing liturgies, sacristy work, answering mail, gardening, archival work, managing our bookstore, administrative duties, cleaning, and maintenance.
“…work in the Presence of you Bridegroom who is ever-present loving you. - St John of the Cross”
In order to practice evangelical self-denial each nun practices renunciation and hidden sacrifices to conform herself to Christ by sharing in His mission of salvation. This is done with detachment, humility, and love.
“Fix your gaze on the crucified, and everything will become easy for you. - St. Teresa of Jesus”
The Carmelite nun is essentially ecclesial and apostolic. Prayer and immolation are our service to the church and to the world. Taught by the shining example of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, patroness of the Missions, all Carmelites foster an apostolic spirit. Our prayer is first and foremost for priests, “preachers, missionaries and theologians.” Our prayers also support our own Archdiocesan needs and undertakings and seek to intercede for all who contact us for prayer. We are deeply involved in the universal mission of the church, presenting to God in prayer “the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and the anguish of the human family in their times, especially the poor and suffering.” (Carmelite Constitutions)
“I will be love in the heart of the Church.- St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face”
The spirit of the Teresian Carmel is characterized by joy which is shared in our daily recreations.
“We enjoy ourselves in recreation, for we laugh and kid the whole time!" - St. Teresa of the Andes”