Saint Joseph Secular Discalced Carmelites

San Francisco, California


Contemplation: The Carmelite Spirit

As Carmelites, we strive to imbue our daily lives with prayer. We look to Jesus teach us to pray to the Father, and to our Blessed Mother to show us by her example,how to listen to her Son.

Our Constitution exhorts us to a cultivate a personal discipline of prayer through the daily practice of a half hour of mental prayer, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, spiritual reading, and if possible, daily Mass.

"Let us then together decide to make every day one of uninterrupted unification. Let us awaken in the morning in His love, and offer ourselves to His love the whole day. This means, follow the will of God, and live under His eyes, with Him, in Him, and for Him alone. Let us offer ourselves to Him in every moment, in the way that He wants.And when the evening comes, after a dialogue of love which never stopped in our hearts, we will fall asleep in His love." Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

So, what is prayer and how can we pray?

"Prayer is, in my view, nothing other than a talk with a friend. One to whom we gladly come alone to talk with, because we are sure that he loves us."

St. Teresa of Avila

There are many ways to pray. Here are some resources to get you started in prayer and to deepen your prayer.

"Lectio Divina and the Practice of Teresan Prayer"  Read about the practice of Lectio Divina and to do so in the spirit of St. Teresa of Avila

"The Practice of the Presence of God",  Bro. Lawrence in the 17th century, described a simple, yet profound way of contemplative spirituality. You can download this book to read at your leisure by clicking on the title above.

The Liturgy of the Hours is a collection of psalms, readings and prayers which constitute the breviary, the "prayer of the Church." Forgot your breviary? Print out the Morning, Evening, and Night Prayers for today. Are you a commuter on public transportation? Shut off your cell phone and laptop, and stay awake. Carry printed pages of today's Liturgy of the Hours to make your commute a holy journey. 

The Rosary  A prayer from combining vocal and mental prayer in which we meditate on the life of Christ through in the company of Mary, His mother. 

Eucharistic Adoration  Catholics believe that Jesus Christ -- body, soul, and divinity -- is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, under the appearance of bread and wine. In Eucharistic Adoration, we sit before the Blessed Sacrament and in silence, worship Jesus Christ present before us. Learn more about what Christ's Real Presence means, what Eucharistic Adoration is, why we do it, and how to propagate this sacred practice.


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