The beginning of the Teresian family within Carmel, and the meaning of its vocation in the Church, are bound up closely with the development of the spiritual life of Saint Teresa and her charism. In particular, it grew out from her mystical graces which compelled her to renew Carmel. Her intent was that it should be entirely directed toward prayer and contemplation of the things of God and that all would observe the evangelical counsels, as set forth in the primitive Rule, in a small sisterly community that would be founded on solitude, prayer and strict poverty.
Saint Teresa wanted a particular style of life to characterise everything. She set forth asceticism and mortification as expressions of a deeper theological life at the service of the Church. She proposed a magnanimous observance and a cordial, sisterly lifestyle that made it a joy to live together as the family of God. She promoted the dignity of the person, friendship among the sisters, and communion among the various monasteries.
The vocation of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns is a gift of the Spirit. Through it, they are called to a “hidden union with God” in friendship with Christ, in familiarity with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in an existence in which prayer and immolation blend into a great love for the Church. Therefore, in virtue of their vocation, they are called to contemplation in prayer and in life. Their commitment to continuous prayer is sustained by faith, by hope, and above all, by divine charity. In that way they are enabled to reach the fullness of life in Christ with pure hearts. Through such prayer, they prepare themselves for ever more lavish gifts of the Spirit.
The very nature of the Teresian Charism demands that the prayers of a Discalced Carmelite and the consecration of all her energies be directed toward the salvation of souls.
~ Constitutions Nos. 4, 8, 10 ~