The project in a few words

A seed, slowly growing

The project "Karmel op weg" (Carmel en route) has developped slowly. Many years of prayer, of contacts and the valued support of a number of Carmelite nuns, particularly the sisters from the Carmel of Oirschot (NL), and many other religious and lay people. Obstacles have often been in the way.  
The basic inspiration of the project is: carmel is a sign of the presence of God in the heart of humanity, in the here and now.  Shouldn't we bring Carmel back into the city? Into the place where so many people live, work and have their home?

Interview march 20th, 2013: here

But... How can we proceed?

A gap is formed over decades between traditional Theresian Carmel and today's dutch society. This gap is so deep that it seems unbridgeable.
Isn't this exactly the context in which a new form of monastic life can grow? A form of religious life that places greater emphasis on the individual, that reflects the need for more freedom and space and the generally higher level of training. 

Going back in history, we note that eremitic and monastic life in a community rely on each other. Most of the time the eremitic life has developped when monastical life was in trouble. A bit like today...

A first step leads us back to the origin: the hermits of Mount Carmel. Not as an end in itself, but as a way. Here we can discover the outline of the first step for us now : we can already live Carmel now. In our home, as hermits.

We can get in touch with other women who choose this way of life, like the hermits of Mount Carmel have done. We can pray together, reflect together on how to shape our way of life and organize ourselves and just let the seed grow.

We can simply set in motion: en route...

With whom?

If you think that you are called to this way of life, you can just get in touch (see "contact").

These questions can maybe help you to discern:
  • Are you seeking God within the Christian tradition?
  • Do Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the carmelite tradition inspire you ?
  • Do you think that you are called to a life of prayer, and especially to mental prayer?
  • Are you seeking a life of silence, simplicity and prayer in the carmelite tradition?
  • Can you recognize yourself in these words: a prophetic silence in the heart of humanity, in the heart of society here and now?
  • Can you agree to the challenge of a way of life which needs to be shaped, together with other women?
  • Can you live the inherent insecurity of being "en route" and, for example, meet your own needs?
  • Do wou want to fully engage yourself for this way of life?
    Don't answer these questions too quickly. Let the seed grow. Being "en route" means that we go ahead step by step, respecting our own rythm, at the rythm of God. God has time. Much time. 

    If you want, you can take the first step, on your own...


    At the beginning of the foundation of the Carmel in Medina, Teresa of Avila writes that in spite of all the difficulties, the most import thing is just to start" (Foundations, XIII.4).

    And they went forth... (Gn  12, 5)