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Forum 2009
Carmel's Search for Wisdom:
Prayer and Contemplation

(6 CD Set)

A Theology of Wisdom

Keith Egan T.O.Carm

“Among all human pursuits, the pursuit of wisdom is more perfect, more noble, more useful, and more joyful than anything else you can do.” – Thomas Aquinas. Who of us does not want to be wise? It’s a universal aspiration, but a quest that has numerous facets to it. Cultures passing on a wisdom tradition asking how can you cope with the little and the big questions of life. Perhaps it goes all the way back to Plato who seems to have been the person who told us that philosophy is the love of wisdom.


Carmelite Mysticism as Theology

Vilma Seelaus O.C.D.

Our Carmelite mystics would each have something unique to offer in the exploration of Carmelite mysticism as theology. In this presentation, we learn that through a theology of presence and a theology of silence, John of the Cross constructs a mystical theology of the human person which, as it unfolds, gives deep meaning to the biblical understanding of the human person as created in the divine image and likeness. John’s writings take one ever deeper into the mystery of God.


John of the Cross: A Spirituality of Wisdom

Daniel Chowning O.C.D.

The spirituality of wisdom, its evolution in scripture and the questions it raises in our search to grasp this mysterious wisdom, has captivated the human imagination since ancient times. A renowned scholar of wisdom literature wrote, “Wisdom has many faces.” This is definitely true in the writings of Saint John of the Cross, since wisdom’s presence in John’s works is extensive and profound.


Falling into the Arms of God:
Perspectives on Aging and Dying

John Welch O.Carm

The title of this talk, Falling into the Arms of God, is from St. Thérèse, the Little Flower, who when she was dying said, “I’m falling into the arms of God.” But not all deaths are as peaceful as falling into the arms of God sounds. And, dying and aging aren’t the same thing. Aging kind of creeps up on us.


Teresa the Reader

Kieran Kavanaugh O.C.D.

The overwhelming mass of people did not know how to read or write in Teresa of Jesus’ day; and this is what we often forget. In fact, 80 to 85 percent of the people in her time were illiterate – didn’t know how to read or write. Printing is what contributed, above all, to people gradually learning how to read the numerous books that were printed and read. Many of these reached Teresa. Nevertheless, the printed books did not eliminate the use of manuscripts. Teresa herself read manuscripts from the most important books for her Carmelite formation in the Monastery of the Incarnation.


The Wisdom of Emptiness

Kevin Culligan O.C.D.

Marvelous existence is true emptiness or true emptiness is marvelous existence. Either way, you have a saying that challenges the assumptions of our American way of life that states that a marvelous way to live is to have more of everything, more money, beauty, reputation, power, pleasure, religious experience. Emptiness sounds like the existence of those who live on the fringes of our society, no home, no security, no influence, no sanity, no say, nothing. What could be so marvelous about that? And where’s the wisdom?