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Tuesday, 12 July 2022 13:57

Training for peace, not war

In his message for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Fr Miceál O’Neill (Prior General of the Carmelites), says, "We come from a different culture, one that St. Titus Brandsma stood for and suffered for in his life. It is the culture of peace and forgiveness. It is that culture that says that we are all sisters and brothers to one another without exception, which makes it unthinkable that we should take up arms against one another."

Brothers and sisters in the Carmelite Family,

I would like to wish all Carmelites a very joyful and fruitful celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2022. Our spirits are lighter because of the feeling that we will be able to celebrate our Lady's feast this year fully without the threat of Covid 19.

There is also the joy that we share because of the canonisation of Saint Titus Brandsma that we celebrated two short months ago, when Carmelites from around the world gathered in Rome in great numbers, while many more followed all that was happening through social media.

The good feeling generated by that event will remain with us for a long time, as we take up St. Titus’ legacy and offer it to the world as a wonderful expression of what it means to be a true follower of Christ in the Carmelite tradition.

Despite all the good things that are happening, all is not well in our world. The threat and the culture of war and violence never seems to leave us, because of a belief that people have that recourse to arms is a legitimate way to achieve one’s goals.

We come from a different culture, one that St. Titus Brandsma stood for and suffered for in his life. It is the culture of peace and forgiveness. It is that culture that says that we are all sisters and brothers to one another without exception, which makes it unthinkable that we should take up arms against one another.

Somehow through this culture we have to find the way to use the power of love and truth to overcome all our difficulties.

One of the expressions of our culture that we have seen this year is the hospitality given by various Carmelite communities, male and female to refugees from the conflict in Ukraine , a reason for all to give thanks.

I pray with all Carmelites this year that as we ponder on what the Holy Mountain means for us, we might know what it means to put on the armour of God (Rule 21) and answer the demand to turn our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks. (Is 2). Peace, joy and happiness to you all.

Fraternally,
Míceál O’Neill, O.Carm.
Prior General

You can download and print the full version of pdf Fr Míceál's letter (233 KB)