Third degree nuns??

The Virgin of Carmel
Moretto da Brescia
c. 1522
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!


One thought on “Third degree nuns??

  1. I asked the lord about my life so many times. When I was in school He made a promise about my future. And He helped me to enter the step to achieve that promise. After joining the college I wanted to become a nun. Because they are with Jesus all the time. Once I went to St. Antony’s church with my parents. While entering and leaving that church I had a strong desire to become nun. I wanted to stay there and never leave. But I thought that ‘God has a different plan for me that He told me in schooling, so I surely won’t get that chance’. But after that I felt being called to that life and I had continuous dreams about being a nun. And His inspirations about that earlier promise. I was so confused at that time and My question was ‘How could I do both at the same time?’. And at that time He showed me the website ‘heart dwelling with Jesus’. That was really Jesus. And He talked to me and answered my questions through that. Later I compromised myself to go on with the first promise. But not wholeheartedly. I had a fear of going away from his will. I was unable to understand His will for me. I prayed to Him. But gates For both desires opened. But now I have no desire for the first but to become a nun. I know it is a great gift to become a nun. And I asked Him about His wish. I couldn’t control myself from crying because I haven’t done anything for Him till now. So many years have passed. Finally He has shown His will for me. I Believe.

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