Oh, how happy I am to see myself imperfect and to have such need of God’s mercy
at the moment of my death. – St. Therese of Lisieux
“It is true that Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and earth,
but at the same time she is more Mother than Queen.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
Although Mary, along with the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, is considered a spiritual founder of our order, the Carmelite connection to Our Lady has traditionally had a distinctly different feel than the regal pomp generally associated with Mary during May.
I was once at a meeting with a cloistered Carmelite group of nuns where a question was brought to one of them: “Why don’t the Carmelites have a strong devotion to Mary?” The nun’s response was memorable, “It depends on what you mean by devotion,” she said somewhat cheekily. “We don’t look at Mary as someone extraordinarily special; rather, we just look at her as one of the sisters who done good.” In that moment this nun summed up not only the way we see Mary, but also the way that Carmelites see God, and ourselves. Our Carmelite spiritual tradition is certainly mystical but it also deeply familial and relational. – Fr. Greg Houck, O. Carm., “A Carmelite View of Mary,” Carmelites.net