Fr. Matt Blake summarized the central teaching of recently beatified Marie-Eugene, OCD, whose life work was making Carmelite spirituality accessible to the laity. He says that Teresa is willing to set out for the heroic and unknown; to die to all that is not God. “I want to see God,” she says at one point. The life of contemplation inevitably leads to a deeper insertion into the life and mystery of the Church and a more profound identification with the Christian community.
Four Elements of Teresian Spirituality
Marie-Eugene notes four elements of Teresian spirituality:
1. Everyone must be contemplative
2. These contemplatives must all become apostles
3. They must participate in the priestly prayer of Christ
“Their souls now purified…consumed in the flames of divine love and like their Divine Spouse in his passion, clothed in the oppressive mantle of the world’s sins, where like the Lamb…they offer to God’s majesty that ardent agonizing prayer which brings purification and salvation to other souls.”
4. Highly contemplative and astoundingly active
“The contemplative apostle becomes the Spouse of Christ, who speaks and gives a doctrine that is higher, wider, and more complete, on the spiritual life.”
Notice how Marie-Eugene emphasizes the apostolic dimension of Carmel. The community he founded called Notre Dame de Vie devote themselves to Teresian Carmelite spirituality while working in the marketplace in some apostolic work.