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CELTIC RITE OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH
CELTIC RITE ORDER OF CARMELITES
THE RULE OF THE ORDER:
The following is the rule for the Order of Celtic Carmelites (O.C. Carm.) based on the original rule (Way of Life) presented to the Carmelite Order by St. Albert of Jerusalem and approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247.
Modifications to the Rule are based on the Celtic Charism of our Church and the current necessity that members of the Order will be living in an internet community rather than a physical location.
1) The Order of Celtic Carmelites are a community of men and women who are in agreement with the Westminster Confession and the five "Solas" - Scripture alone; Faith alone by Grace alone in Christ alone to the Glory of God alone.
2) With the Blessed Mother Mary as our model, we live our lives in quiet simplicity, pondering the Life of Christ continually in our hearts. We are kind to others and gentle on ourselves. We embrace our loving Lord Jesus, have every confidence God the Father will provide for us, and look forward to the Holy Spirit so filling our lives that we may reflect the glory of the Trinity through our consideration of others.
3) Contemplative prayer, the meditation on Holy Scripture, and periods of solitary devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ integrated into our daily lives.
4) The fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, (Gal. 5:22) we gently interweave into our personalities.
5) Each member of the Carmelite community is responsible for their own physical provision as recommended by the Apostle and generously seeks to provide for the needs of the less fortunate through prayer, physical provision, and financial contribution to charities according to their own abilities and conscience.
6) In keeping with our Celtic heritage, when possible we spend solitary time in nature and contemplate “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
7) Our commitment to prayer, knowing that all things are gifts of the Holy Trinity, is considered a sacred honor which we approach with reverence and great anticipation; we bind ourselves with the Angels and Saints who intercede for the salvation of souls and the conversion of hearts with the Lord God Almighty.
8) Aware that our enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour, we clothe ourselves in the whole armor of God (Stand, therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – Eph. 6:14-17).
9) Whenever possible, we seek to live in silence and tranquility, allowing our spirit to listen to the gentle whispering of the Trinity in directing our lives. When we speak, we speak encouragement, we speak the Gospel, and we speak kindness and love to our neighbors.
10) The Celtic Christian is aware of the thin veil between the physical and supernatural worlds; therefore we gently strive to live in that the “kingdom of God is within” (Luke 17:21). Living in quiet contemplation of this great truth, we share the Gospel message of salvation in a manner reflecting Jesus' great love as described in the Holy Scriptures. We pray St. Patrick's Breastplate or read a Bible passage each morning as a means of dedicating our day to Jesus Christ.
11) Acknowledging we are currently an internet community, we will at least weekly share with our brothers and sisters in Carmel prayer requests, praises, and needs. A community website will be available for sharing with one another.
12) Each member of the Celtic Carmelite community is encouraged to discover their Anam Cara (Soul Friend) within the community and develop a spiritual, appropriate, and pure relationship with that person whom the Lord will provide.
13) A Minister General or Abbott of the Celtic Carmelites will be appointed by the Presiding Abbot of the Community.
14) Any concerns or recommendations of the members of the Celtic Carmelites will be presented to the Minister General or Abbott for consideration. The Minister General/Abbott will confer with the Bishop of the O.S.S.T. before implementing any changes to the Rule or taking disciplinary action.
If you are interested in joining our community, please fill out the information in the Guest Book page and indicate your desire to learn more about becoming a Celtic Carmelite.
Joe Schooler, O.C. Carm.