Poor Clares and the Carmelites

The religious orders that I have decided to study are the “Poor Clares” and “Carmelites.” Both of these orders are contemplative orders. This means that they are isolated form the rest of the world and can have almost no contact with their friends and family. They go into these orders to have a one to one relationship with God and to pray for people in the world outside.

The Carmelite order got its name from Mount Carmel in the holy land and traces its origins back to the ancient hermits living on that mountain. From these years the order has always had a special love for Mary. She is the mother and patroness of all Carmelites and the scapular, which they wear as part of their habit is a sign of their dedication to her and their reliance on her protection. St Therese of Lisieux was a Carmelite nun along with her sisters from a very young age.

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The poor Clares was founded by saint Clare.

The poor Clares awaken at anytime around four am and breakfast is anything between then and eight am this is because a lot of the nuns like the peaceful early mornings. At 5.20a.m the nuns begin the focused on Jesus in his healing presence. They pray the psalms and readings for Morning Prayer. Private prayer continues through the celebration of the Eucharist at 7.00 with a homily. Then more prayers continue for another hour. Eucharistic adoration continues throughout the day with each sister taking about half an hour each. For the rest of the morning the sisters work around the convent cleaning and earning their living in a quiet peaceful environment.

The poor Clares do lots of activities such as, dancing, pottery, candle making, mushroom picking, keeping beehives and knitting and sewing. They also do things for the community outside such as, make the hosts for Holy Communion and making liturgical vestments.

At about 11.30a.m they gather in their choir for a prayer then eat at noon. They then have free time. In the afternoon they can study, read or develop their personal skills and interests. The sisters have resident scholars where by they have lessons in scripture, theology or spirituality.

As the evening draws in they gather again for a rosary and quiet prayer. At 6.00p.m they eat a light supper while listening to lectures on auto tapes. On a Friday they have adoration for another hour after the daily night prayers.

The poor clares pray for the people in the world and for the peoples sins especially at night when most of the sin takes place in the world for example rape, burglaries, one night stands and violence. People do not have time to pray for themselves so the nuns do this for then. People also request to be prayed for or have a special prayer intention for other people that they ask the nuns to pray for them. They do this via email, letters and telephone. Calls.

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