Sometimes at Aylesford it can seem like being at the United Nations. The community members come from England, Scotland and Ireland and then this year Fr. Desiderio from Spain came to work with the novices and to perfect his English. The novices come from different European countries: Jacek is from Poland, Severin is from Germany and Kurt is from Malta. Recently we had a Carmelite visitor from Germany, Günter, who gave a course to the novices on the Carmelite vocation. Of course the pilgrims and visitors to Aylesford are from many different countries. It truly is an international place.
The Church is an international community of people who believe in Jesus Christ. The Carmelite Order is a community within the Church which has a special mission. There are many different ways to bear witness to Christ and his message. The Carmelite vocation is to bear witness above all to the importance of the relationship with God. If we have a relationship with God this will be visible in how we treat other people. In all our work we try to help people discover the presence of God which lives within them.
God is never far away from any of us and we try to discover God’s presence in the events of ordinary daily life and especially in those with whom we live. We try to share what we have and what we are for the common good. Like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, we listen to the Word of God and say “yes” to whatever God is asking of us. It is in the celebration of the Eucharist that we find the strength to continue living in allegiance to Jesus Christ. We come from many different countries but the values we hold in common are the same.
Please remember us in your prayer as we seek to bear witness to the presence of God in our world.