A direct and intimate experience of God is the basis of Carmelite spirituality. Therefore, before any Rule, and in order that the Rule may be lived when it is formulated, a contemplative spirit and a deep sense of God are required of those who wish to lead the life of Carmel.
If they aspire to love with the love of God himself, it is because they are strong in their hope, resolute in their faith, docile in all things to the invitations of the Spirit; it is because they depend on God alone.
Father Paul-Marie of the Cross, OCD
Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition
II. Characteristics of Carmel: Primacy of the Contemplative Spirit
of the Cross P-M 1997, Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition, translated from the French by Sullivan K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.