Quote of the day, 27 July: Blessed Titus Brandsma

But the principal point to remember is that the school of Carmel, while rating at its highest the cure of souls in the world, cannot forget that it is called to a higher vocation. Elias was called to a life of prayer in the midst of a life of intense activity, yet he is one of the greatest Prophets of the Old Testament. His life and prayer tell us that his prayer was the strength of his life.

So the contemplative prayer of the Carmelite is also the strength of the active apostolate. The influence of the contemplative soul is not withheld from the apostolate. In the mystical Body of Christ — we shall see that more clearly in the last lecture — the prayers and sacrifices of the contemplatives represent an organ of high value.

So there is no opposition of the contemplative life to the active. The former is the great support of the latter. The mystical life is in the highest sense apostolic. Without activity it has the greatest influence. St. Teresa of Avila, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and especially the little St. Therese of Lisieux teach us the apostolate of prayer. Many Carmels are considered the real centers of missionary work, not because of their activity but because of their contemplative life.

Blessed Titus Brandsma

Carmelite Mysticism, Historical Sketches, II
The Hermits of Carmel: Apostolate of the contemplative life
Read Brandsma’s outline for the ten-part lecture series

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day, 27 July: Blessed Titus Brandsma

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  1. Fr Matt Blake, OCD, then Provincial, said to us that: ‘if our works are not based in prayer, then however good they are in themselves, “they are not Apostolic”‘.

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