Today St. Edith Stein shares with a close friend that Edith realized religious life isn't a matter of naval-gazing but rather an imperative "to carry the divine life" into the world. And the "the deeper one is drawn into God", the greater is this mandate.
St. Teresa of Avila counsels her daughters not to worry whether they are doing household chores or practicing mental prayer: "True humility consists very much in great readiness to be content with whatever the Lord may want to do with them and in always finding oneself unworthy to be called His servant."
So there is no opposition of the contemplative life to the active. The former is the great support of the latter.
Carmelite spirituality is not contemplative and apostolic. It is apostolic because it is contemplative
Carmelites depend on God alone
Gregory IX frees the Carmelites from property to focus on prayer
Your lifted hands are the very strength and hope of all our rising churches
The greatest mystics never saw a tension between apostolic service and contemplative prayer -- for them, it would be impossible to have one without the other. How is it that these prayerful people did more than those who feel they are too busy for prayer?