Teresian Press, Carmelite Priory, Boars HillOxford OX1 5HB
Tel.: + 44-1865- 730183 www.carmelitebooks.com
TERESIAN PRESS is the book publisher of the Teresian Carmelite friars of Great Britain and Ireland. While the Press has brought out a number of books and booklets going back a number of years – including the Carmelite missal and breviary – in 2008 we began to publish a new series of works, which has steadily increased since then, the aim of which is to popularise and promote Carmelite spirituality and the life of prayer at very affordable prices.
Our books comprise prayerful reflections on Scripture, the teachings of our saints, and accounts of the experience of prayer. We have brought out titles on Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux and Elizabeth of the Trinity, and our books are regularly reprinted and translated into other languages. One of our notable bestsellers is the profound but very accessible introduction to Carmelite prayer, Upon This Mountain by Sr Mary McCormack, OCD, which is available in several languages, both European and in Chinese and Japanese. We also have three very popular presentations of the saints by Fr Eugene McCaffrey, OCD, including an introduction to Elizabeth of the Trinity which contains numerous photographs from the Carmel of Dijon, and a two-volume work on the spiritual itinerary of Elizabeth by Joanne Mosley, for the general reader and researchers alike. Our other authors include Fr Iain Matthew, OCD, already well known for The Impact of God on St John of the Cross, and Fr Conrad De Meester, OCD, the foremost authority on St Elizabeth and Brother Lawrence, with a brief guide to Carmelite prayer (forthcoming).
For further details of our titles, both current and forthcoming, please either check the final pages of our spiritual review, Mount Carmel, or contact the: Carmelite Book Service, Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB; tel. + 44-1865- 730183; www.carmelitebooks.com.
Thomas Merton, in The Ascent to Truth, paid this striking tribute to our Order: ‘There is no member of the Church,’ he wrote, ‘who does not owe something to Carmel.’ We hope, and indeed believe, that the work of the Teresian Press continues, in some small way, that contribution to the Church, enriching its readers with the teachings and witness of our Carmelite saints and of our authors today.
Fr James McCaffrey, OCD
Director, Teresian Press & Editor, Mount Carmel
TERESIAN PRESS PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE
Journey of Love: Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle – A Reader’s Guide
Eugene McCaffrey, OCD £4.00
St Teresa and the Our Father: A Catechism of Prayer
Aloysius Rego, OCD £6.00
Praying with St Teresa through The Way of Perfection
Jerome Lantry, OCD £5.00
The Writings of St Teresa of Avila: An Introduction
Eugene McCaffrey, OCD £5.00
John of the Cross: Seasons of Prayer
Iain Matthew, OCD £5.00
Infinite Horizons: Scripture through Carmelite Eyes
James McCaffrey, OCD £8.00
Elizabeth of the Trinity: The Unfolding of her Message
Joanne Mosley 2 volumes, £10.00 each volume
Holiness For All: Themes from St Thérèse of Lisieux
Aloysius Rego, OCD £7.00
Upon This Mountain: Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition
Mary McCormack, OCD £4.00
Let Yourself Be Loved: Elizabeth of the Trinity
Eugene McCaffrey, OCD £5.00
SOME FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS
Living with God: St Teresa’s Understanding of Prayer
Tomás Álvarez, OCD
A Moment of Prayer – A Life of Prayer
Conrad De Meester, OCD
St Paul: A Gospel of Prayer
James McCaffrey, OCD
What Carmel Means to Me
Edited by James McCaffrey, OCD & Joanne Mosley
Captive Flames: A Biblical Reading of the Carmelite Saints – to be reissued
James McCaffrey, OCD
Allegiance to Christ
Our Carmelite vocation, commits us to a life of 'allegiance to Jesus Christ', our Friend and Companion along the way. In the words of St Teresa: ‘He is the ‘beginning, the middle and the end of all our striving’.
The gospel call is never simply an invitation to follow a way of life or an insight; it is an invitation to follow someone who has taken possession of our lives, a passionate and all-absorbing love for Jesus. Religious life is not in the first place bound to a well-described, scheduled way of life, but to a person: Jesus Christ. ‘Can’t you see,’ Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote, ‘if a heart is given to Christ, it wants to love him with passion and be transformed into him’. St Paul calls it ‘the great mystery’: the mystery of the immense love of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ: a love that gives meaning and a sense of purpose to every aspect of our life.
Life Modelled on Mary
By God's grace we bear the name 'Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary' and belong to a religious family dedicated to her love and service. This special bond with our Lady influences our whole approach to the pursuit of perfect charity. It pervades our communities and stamps our life of prayer and contemplation, our apostolic zeal and activity and even the kind of self-denial we practise, with a distinctly Marian character.
The presence of our Lady pervades the whole history of the Order. This had its beginnings on Mount Carmel and got its name from a chapel dedicated to our Lady there. With the Church's approval it is committed to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and to his Mother. Led by our Holy Parents, our Teresian Carmel treasured this commitment and strongly reaffirmed it. They acknowledge Mary as 'Lady' and 'Mother' of Carmel and propose her to us as a model of prayer and surrender of self on our pilgrimage of faith. They present her as she eagerly ponders God's word in her heart and with complete docility to the grace of the Holy Spirit, is inseparably united with her son in the joys and sorrows of his Paschal Mystery.
Our Lady, as portrayed in the Gospels, is thus put before us as the perfect embodiment of the ideal of our Order, and we are drawn to follow her closely. With the attitude of the 'poor of the Lord' we must ponder on God's word in faith and spend ourselves in a manifold service of love. Then our life will truly resemble hers and, under her guidance, we shall be made to share more fully in the mystery of Christ and his Church.
In this way our profession, which binds us in a special manner to our Lady, and which we have put in her hands, will become a reality in our life. That too is what the scapular we wear symbolises: that we belong to Mary and that we strive to be clothed in her virtues so as to mirror in the world the beauty of her holiness.
This presence of Our Lady characterises our apostolic mission too. Our filial love for her impels us to deepen our knowledge of her by careful study of the scriptures so that we can present her faithfully to others as a model and guide in their quest for union with Christ and his Church.
'As we contemplate our Lady in faith we are led to promote her liturgical cult in the light of the Paschal Mystery, and to express our faith and love by various exercises of devotion in her honour. God himself in his loving designs closely associated St. Joseph with our Lady in the mystery of the incarnation. This is why in our Order the cult of St. Joseph is closely linked with that of our Lady. Led by St. Teresa (of Avila) we lovingly venerate him as the spouse of the Virgin Mary, as the humble servant of Christ and his Mother, as a master and model of prayerful union with Christ and as provident protector of our Order.'
Taken from Discalced Carmelites Constitutions and Norms
In the year 1251, in the town of Aylesford in England, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite. She handed him a brown woolen scapular and said, “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.” In time, the Church extended this magnificent privilege to all the laity who are willing to be invested in the Brown Scapular of the Carmelites and who perpetually wear it. The Brown Scapular has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries. The Scapular is not a magical charm to protect you or an automatic guarantee of salvation.
The Brown Scapular is the part of the religious habit worn by Carmelites to signify their devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, their trust; in her, and their commitment to live like her. There is a simplified form form as illustrated in the photo for those who do not wear the full Carmelite habit. There is also a medal form of the Scapular.
The word 'scapular' indicates a form of clothing which monks wore when they were working. With the passage of time people began to give symbolic meaning to it, such as the cross to be borne every day as disciples and followers of Christ. In some religious orders, such as the Carmelites, the Scapular turned into a sign of their way of life. The Brown Scapular came to symbolize the special dedication of Carmelites to Mary
The Brown Scapular is therefore a sign which stands for the decision to follow Jesus like Mary:
- open to God and to his will,
- guided by faith, hope and love,
- close to the needs of people,
- praying at all times,
- discovering God present in all that happens around us
- introduces people into the family of Carmel,
- points to a renewed hope of encountering God in eternal life with the help of Mary's protection and intercession
Links to further articles
Short formula for giving the Brown Scapular
Receive this Scapular, a sign of your special relationship with Mary the Mother of Jesus, whom you pledge to imitate. May it be a reminder to you of your dignity as a Christian, in serving others and imitating Mary. Wear it as a sign of her protection and of belonging to the family of Carmel, voluntarily doing the will of God and devoting yourself to building a world true to his plan of community, justice and peace.
Scapulars can be obtained from the Carmelite Bookshop.