Ordo Praedicatorum wrote:
Since I am new and trying to get the lay of the land, I thought I would check in and see if there were any members either professed or in formation with a religious order. So, how about it? Anyone a lay brother or sister in the Order of Preachers, in the Secular Franciscan Order, a Benedictine Oblate, etc.? If so, what led you there. If not, is it something you have considered or would be interested in learning more about?
I am fairly convinced that the average faithful Catholic sitting in the pews is not even aware that such things exist.
I am a professed Third Order Lay Carmelite. (O.Carm.)
I was 39 years old at the time and Mom to eight children. Without going into detail, there was a lot of turmoil going on at home, particularly with my oldest daughter. My husband rarely went to Mass (that changed later), and my frustration and unhappiness lasted for about two years, until a friend of mine offered to take me to one of her Lay Carmelite meetings as a guest.
She mentioned something about the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which I had worn many years before, and I thought the meeting was about people who were wearers of the Scapular. When I went to the meeting I saw the members wearing large 6" x 8" Scapulars over their clothing. I wondered what that was all about.
Then, a Carmelite priest started out the evening, in full habit, and celebrated Mass for our group. His homily was centered on Carmelite spirituality. After Mass we all went to the church basement to have the monthly meeting. There was a short business meeting, then another homily by the Carmelite priest, which I felt so blessed by.
Prior to that I heard the Formation Director give a faith-filled talk on the lesson for that night.
I couldn't help but feel that a ton of spiritual bricks fell on my head that night. After sorting everything in the next few weeks I knew I had to go back to those meetings and find out how to become a member. The rest is history......it was life changing for me, and spoke to me about the kind of spirituality I was attracted to. Quiet prayer.
It all started in 1975 for me, and I can't imagine my life without a Lay Carmelite Community to meet with every month.