Saturday, September 2, 2017

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Enrichment through Writing

by Sister Mary Paul Cutri, OCD

Each order of religious life offers the Church a spirituality consistent with the inspiration of its founder.  In the Carmelite Order of Discalced Carmelites, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross left, as heritage to their followers, many writings on prayer and the life of Carmel in the Church.  They spoke of what they experienced in response to the requests of many who sought to learn of God’s ways with us in a life committed to God in prayer.

For some religious, expressing themselves in writing comes as a response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to share the riches of the unique spirituality in which they have been nourished.  In this spirit, moved by the teaching of Saint John of the Cross regarding solitude, I began several years ago to attempt to write on this subject.  In 2010, the Institute of Carmelite Studies published my book, Sounding Solitude, which is an approach to transformation in Christ by love. The twelve chapters of the book describe some experiences along the way of solitude’s intimacy, solitude’s savorings, solitude’s sufferings, love as its meaning and the power of transformation that takes place through Christ in us.  To spend time with the Lord in long periods of solitude and prayer is to begin to learn the ways of God and how we are to respond in the likeness of Christ to the work God is doing in us. In our desire for union with God, “God will capture the hearts of people, leaving them so touched by love that they have no desire other than to belong to God by consent, as they belong to God by creation and grace.  We are destined to be transformed in Christ by love.”

I have received comments, especially from our Secular Carmelites who have read the book, saying that it has helped them in their life of prayer.  All praise to God who both inspires and motivates us in sharing the gifts of grace God gives us.  It is all God’s work of love.