Christ did not come into the world to be a solitary mystic. The world was created in order to find and love God. So, too, the Carmelite is called, not only to the simple private life of contemplation, but to share that experience of God with a world that is blindly seeking His face in all the wrong places. In so doing, the Carmelite testifies to the boundless love God has for the world. Prayer is not undertaken as a private task of personal meditation, but solely to reflect and share the God which he finds living within himself.
Active religious orders, on the other hand, are called to imitate Christ's concern for people, especially the poor and defenseless. Their spirituality is founded in their authentic call of service in Christ's name.
The Carmelite is called to live amid the tension of these two ideals: the abiding presence of God, and the call to be present in the world. Our life is not simply one of service, but especially a presence in prayer. Not only did Jesus come to serve the world, but he make His Father present wherever He was present.
The spirituality of Carmel is a dynamic, life-giving tension. Neither private prayer not public service by themselves fulfill the Rule of Carmel. Rather, to be present to God in the midst of His people, to bring to the world flames from the divine fire burning within our hearts, is the Carmelite vocation and spirituality.