Wisdom of the Carmelite Saints


Holy Wisdom from Carmelite Saints on the Life of Prayer


Each of you is to stay in your cell or nearby, pondering the Lord’s law day and night and keeping watch at your prayers unless attending to some other duty.

There can be no pleasing God without faith. . . .

St. Albert of Jerusalem (martyred 1214) Rule


Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation.

With what procrastination do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart.

For contemplation is nothing else than a secret and peaceful and loving inflow of God, which, if not hampered, fires the soul in the spirit of love.

God, like the sun, stands above souls ready to communicate himself.

Let all find compassion in you.

St. John of the Cross (d. 1591)


Some books on prayer tell us where one must seek God. Within oneself, very clearly, is the best place to look.

I tried as hard as I could to keep Jesus Christ, our God and our Lord, present within me. That was my way of prayer.

You will be immediately told that speaking with [a friend] is unnecessary, that it is enough to have God. But a good means to having God is to speak to his friends.

Believed me, in the presence of Infinite Wisdom, one act of humility is worth more than all the knowledge of the world.

There is no other remedy for this evil of giving up prayer than to begin again.

The Lord doesn’t look so much at the greatness of our works as at the love with which they are done.

St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582)


I felt it was far more valuable to speak to God than to speak about Him.

What is our humiliation at the moment is our glory later on, even in this life.

Your soul is called to raise itself to God by the elevator of love and not to climb the rough stairway of fear.

YES, it suffices to humble oneself to bear with one’s imperfections. That is real sanctity.

Let us see life as it really is . . . a moment between two eternities.

St. Therese of Lisieux (d. 1897)


If anyone were to ask me the secret of happiness, I would say it is no longer to think of self.

Prayer is the bond between souls.

You must cross out the word “discouragement” from your dictionary of love.

Christ does not want any sadness in your soul about what was not done for him. He is the savior, his mission is to pardon.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (d. 1907)