The setting of the Carmelite convent encourages, nourishes and develops this simple form of prayer. This personal, silent, solitary prayer is the backbone, the whole meaning of Carmelite life. Without it, Carmel would be nothing.
"When you have not been speaking to a person for some time," says Saint Teresa, "he soon becomes a stranger to you and you forget how to talk to him. Before long even if he is a kinsman, you feel as if you do not know him, for both kinship and friendship lose their influence when communication ceases."
’Communication’ never ceases in the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. The Carmelite Rule bids each Carmelite, day and night, to meditate on the Law of the Lord and to watch in prayer. This watching in prayer, not only prepares us for heaven when we will behold the Lord of Glory in the face-to-face beatific vision, but it disposes us to receive graces of intimacy in this life.
"O Christian! O my daughters!" she exclaims. "Remember that He does not keep us waiting until the next life before rewarding us for our friendship. Our recompense begins in this life."