Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.
- St. Teresa of Jesus
We embrace the religious life in friendship and service of Jesus Christ, in imitation of and under the patronage of the Virgin Mary, whose life of faith, simplicity and intimate union with Jesus and his mission, constitutes for us the interior model.
Our vocation aspires to union with God by the way of contemplation and apostolic zeal indissolubly united, and to the formation of a fraternal community as a sign of communion in the world.
Prayer, which is a life of prayer and a prayer of life, is nourished by listening to the Word of God and the liturgy and with the joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of the Church and of humanity. It is a way of life of faith, hope and love.
Apostolic zeal penetrates our prayer and our entire life, and it impels us to work with fervent activity in different ways in the service of the Church and humankind.
Evangelical self-denial, as a capacity for spiritual sacrifice, is a natural disposition because the Gospel, Jesus and His Kingdom are worth it, and because the road to union with God and the mission makes us experience the necessity of the purification and transformation of the heart and of life.
Everything has to carry the impress of a spiritual humanism which integrates simplicity, authenticity, joy, the gentleness of fraternal life, the dignity of the human person, appreciation for the formation of the religious and the equilibrium of the ascetical life ordained to the theological life and the mission.
The charism is a dynamic reality capable of growing and becoming enriched in the course of history. Numerous Carmelites have enriched it with their teachings and initiatives, like St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Francisco Palau, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein), Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity and others. Many who are not canonized, like Jerome Gracian and John of Jesus Mary, to cite of few of the more eminent of the first generation of Teresian Carmelites, along with later ones, particular the missionaries, have enriched the charism. Inspired and compelled by the Gospel and the Teresian impulse they all have multiplied the interior mansions and have expanded the horizons of Carmel.