Ten Approaches
to the Mission of Justice and
the Carmelite Order



 1. Justice and God

Carmelites have a keen sense of justice, both ad intra and ad extra. They understand that justice has a number of meanings: it is a virtue of God; it is the urgent and necessary expression of love for the needs of today; it is the existence of right relationship. 


2. Justice and the Poor

Carmelites love the poor, the materially poor, the ones that are hard to love: immigrants, those whose behavior is seen to be anti-social, those whose existence disturbs. They recognize also the new faces of poverty and strive towards solidarity with alI the poor.


3. Justice and Our Charism

Carmelites take pride in their charism and they are enthusiastic about their spiritual tradition. By reason of this charism and tradition Carmelites have learned to see with the eyes of God and to love with the heart of God. They are people of deep and constant prayer. They are generous and open in building good relationships with others both within their community and outside it. They set themselves to defend the image of God by standing against all manipulation of God and religion by people with vested interests and by upholding the dignity of every human being, because each one is created in the image and likeness of God.


4. Justice in the Midst of the People

Carmelites are noted for their hospitality which is extended to everyone but especially to people in need. Carmelites are inclusive in their attitudes and language and cherish the culture and giftedness of those whom they see to be different.


5. Justice, Leadership and Authority

The leaders of the Order have deep convictions about our commitment to justice and to the poor and they communicate that by their decisions and by their discourse. Leadership in the Order is exercised also by ensuring that every member of the Order is given proper access to the knowledge of our Charism and tradition that some parts of the Order enjoy almost exclusively at the moment.


6. Justice and Formation

The vocation to justice is fostered in the formation program of the Order. They provide for direct contact with the needs of people in today's society and to include experiences of solidarity with people who today cry out for justice. The centers of spirituality of the Carmelite Order offer good programs that express the unity between prayer, personal growth, community building and the work of justice. Knowledge of the saints and of the spirituality of Carmel serves to color, energize, and give direction to this work.


7. Justice and the Good News

In their preaching Carmelites give evidence of a deep knowledge of scripture and of what is happening in people's lives. It is obvious from what they say that they are committed to the work of justice and that they love the poor.


8. Justice and Inter-Religious Dialogue 

Carmelites rejoice in sharing the Elijan tradition with Judaism and Islam. They find in this heritage a springboard for dialogue with people of other religious traditions. A concentration on people's experience of God allows Carmelites to seek closer bonds with all God seeking people.


9. Justice and the Integrity of Creation

Carmelites celebrate the gift of Creation. They recognize the many abuses of this gift that are evident in today's world and they strive to restore the right relationship between the different elements of creation among themselves and with the Creator.


10. Justice, Carmelites and the United Nations

The Carmelite NGO is successful in maintaining a network of communication within the Order and beyond. Its offices serve to support projects in places of need. It is known and respected at the UN for its defense of its poor and its clarity about the use and abuse of religion and the image of God.

FROM: INTERNATIONAL Commission for Peace, Justice, and the Integrity of Creation