What is the Sabbatine Privilege attached by Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to Her Scapular?
The Sabbatine Privilege consists essentially in the early liberation from Purgatory through the special intercession of Our Blessed Mother, which She graciously exercises in favor of Her pious and faithful Carmelite children on the day the Holy Church traditionally consecrates to Her, Saturday.
Requirements to make oneself eligible for the Sabbatine Privilege: see Membership Requirements on our page "Brown Scapular Confraternity".
All Soul's Day
November 2, 2011
+ + +
"What are all prayers the Carmelites pray and what time of the day do they pray?" - K. Smith
Teresian Carmel, as our community is called because it is based on the reform of St. Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila), is the school of intimacy with God - the school of intimacy with the Divine. A Teresian Carmelite is one determined to strive to go straight to the very heart of prayer, which according to our holy mother Teresa: "is nothing but friendly intercourse, and frequent solitary converse, with Him Who we know loves us" (Autobiography, Ch. 8).
Teresian Carmel's preoccupation is rather the attainment of what we call 'infused contemplation': a simple yet greater knowledge and love of God caused by His own direct action - a prayer that is a 'gift' of God. There are vocal prayers, spiritual reading, meditations, and mental prayer - all of which make up the 'habit of prayer' or our human effort to maintain ourselves in intimate contact with God - but they are only our means, that is, helps or aids to get us to the very heart of all prayers; the best one (not only for a Teresian Carmelite friar, nun, tertiary, or to one attached to the Order through the Confraternity, but also for all the faithful), however, will be that which will lead him more quickly to the end or goal - intimate converse with God.
Of the vocal prayers, there are only two chief forms prescribed by our Holy Church as obligatory for all the Discalced Carmelite Friars and Nuns (which is what we have in common with the other choir religious): the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the choral or communal celebration of the Divine Office (which consists chiefly in the chanting of the Psalms, Canticles and Hymns). Concerning the Divine Office, it is celebrated seven times (Seven times a day I have given praise to thee..., Ps. 118.164, the Catholic Douay-Rheims Version): the midnight office of Matins followed by Lauds, the morning office of Prime, the mid-morning office of Terce (third hour of the day), the midday office of Sext (the sixth hour), the mid-afternoon office of None (ninth hour), the evening office of Vespers, and the night office of Compline.
On mental prayer, the Discalced Carmelite Friars and Nuns have an exercise in common for two hours, one in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening.
Of course, prayer in Carmel is not restricted to the prescribed schedule for true prayer is not complicated or constrained: it is the breath of the soul that loves its God, the habitual attitude of the heart which tends towards God. The soul seeks Him, wants to live with Him, knows that every benefit, every help, comes from Him. Prayer understood in this way is always possible, in all kinds of circumstances and in the midst of varying occupations thus fulfilling Our Lord's words: Pray always (Lk. 18.1).
Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
31 May 2011