Through Mary, Carmel perceives the ideal toward which it is drawn and which attracts it. This is a life of unity in God, of union with Christ, of efficacious and salvific charity toward all people.
Of course, for Carmel as for every Christian soul, Mary is above all the Mother. “She is more mother than queen,” affirms Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
But she is also something more. She is “the beauty of Carmel.” What does that mean?
Under this mysterious title, Carmel tries to express something of what she means to the Order: a brightness of eternal light, she in whom God allows himself to be contemplated and cherished, she in whom “the divine light knows no shadow.”
Now we understand why, at Carmel, at least for certain souls, Mary is intimately associated with the very practice of contemplation. In her, the Lord has done great things. The purity and transparency of her soul enable us to see God at work in her and to contemplate in her a reflection of the divine Beauty.
Father Paul-Marie of the Cross, OCD
V. Carmelite Prayer and Contemplation
Characteristics of Carmelite Spirituality
of the Cross, P-M, Payne, S 1997, Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition, ICS Publications, Washington DC.