The Virgin of Carmel
Moretto da Brescia
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice
Today is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, on the Carmelite calendar. Since I am a Secular Discalced Carmelite, I thought it would be the perfect day to write something about third/secular orders.
I know that I had never even heard of them until I was well into my 30’s, in spite of a truly exceptional Catholic education. (We had hardback religion textbooks in highschool – no pictures!)
But without knowing they existed, I had actually been yearning for such a thing ever since my adult conversion or reversion or whatever else we call it these days.
Alas, I have not had time to write what I had hoped today, so I will cheat a bit for now, and post a link to a site which gives an excellent overview of the vocation of a Secular Discalced Carmelite.
But, there are several other secular orders as well. And I plan to re-visit this topic to explain in more detail what secualr orders are all about.
This might actually be helpful, since a well-meaning friend of mine spread the word that I had become a “third degree nun.” Pretty funny, but definitely not true!
The one thing I will say is that membership in a secular order is a true vocation, a lifelong commitment. One is called by God into this way of life. It is not akin to membership in a prayer group or participation in a parish ministry, etc.
It is a personal offering of one’s entire life to God, after several years of preparation when one undergoes what is called formation.
For anyone who is interested, or even just curious about the vocation of a Secular Discalced Carmelite, here is the link mentioned above:
Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel, pray for us!