Ittri mill-Eremitaġġ – Il-Ħadd 8 ta’ Mejju

DlamDalgħodu qomt bħas-soltu għaċ-ċelebrazzjoni tan-Notturni fl-4.30am u dħalt fl-oratorju dlam ċappa għajr għal ftit dawl kiebi dieħel mill-oculus li lanqas kellu saħħa jdawwal ftit il-post. Xammejtha stramba l-biċċa! U minħabba li ma nafx minn fejn jinxtegħel id-dawl ġejt bejn ħalltejn kif se nġib ruħi… għal moment ħsibtni li qomt xi siegħa qabel! Ħin bla waqt nisma leħen fil-kappella minn taħt l-ilsien jgħidli: “llum talb fil-kwiet minħabba li qegħdin fl-irtir”. Mit-tqaħqieħ u ċ-ċaqlieq fis ninduna li fl-oratorju kien hemm l-irħieb jitolbu fis-skiet! Il-Pirjol kien avżani li minħabba li l-komunità tinsab fl-irtir l-orarju tal-ġurnata jkun fih xi tibdil żgħir, bħal ngħidu aħna xi sigħat tat-talb isiru fil-privat flok flimkien. Peress li mid-dehra mhux soltu li l-konferenzier iqum f’dak il-ħin mal-komunità biex titlob, ma ħassewx li għandhom javżawni.

Il-komunità fiha sebgħa membri, kollha frajiet (Joseph, Gabriel, Christopher, Elijah) minbarra tnejn: P. John u P. Peter. Hawn ukoll postulant li għadu bl-isem li tawh tad-dar: Jason. Hawnhekk għadhom iżommu d-drawwa tal-bidla tal-isem fin-novizzjat. Mill-ismijiet kollha taqta x’karattri hawn fil-komunità li prattikament għadha żgħażugħa. Il-bilanċ bejn il-ħajja solitarja u l-impenn komuni jagħmel possibbli l-għixien flimkien fejn hemm spazju biżżejjed għall-individwalità imma mhux iżżejjed li xxolji u tinnewtralizza l-komunità. Kull membru għandu ċella għalih maqtugħa mill-oħrajn b’ġardina ċkejkna, u fl-istess ħin magħqudin ma’ xulxin permezz tal-kjostru intern.

Architecture

Il-Lvant tal-Kjostru hu kollu meħud mill-bini komuni tal-ermitaġġ: oratorju, refettorju, salta tal-kapitlu bibljoteka, kċina, nfermerija u kantina. B’dan il-mod l-irħieb huma maqtugħin mill-parti komuni tal-kunvent hekk li tagħmel possibbli u viżibbli il-“convenire” muri fir-Regula Karmelitana tal-irħieb individwali li joħorġu miċ-ċella tagħhom biex kollha jiltaqgħu f’post wieħed għall-atti komuni. Il-kamra tal-pirjol, ukoll skont il-preskrizzjoni tar-Regula Karmelitana tinsab fid-daħla tal-monasteru. Ir-Regula Karmelitana għandha struttura bi-polari li tibbilanċja l-individwalità tal-irħieb mal-komunità li fiha jgħixu. Għalkemm f’kull komunità Karmelitana hemm l-istess dinamika, hawnhekk toħroġ iktar ċara għax il-mod ta’ kif inhi l-binja u l-istruttura tal-jum isegwu litteralment ir-Regula sa fid-dettal u għalhekk toħroġ iktar ċar dan il-moviment, per eżempju bl-oratorju proprju fil-qalba tal-bini u ċ-ċelel imdawwrin miegħu. Nammetti li fil-ħajja ta’ kuljum ma’ tantx niftakar fir-Regula, imma hawnhekk bla ma trid ir-Regula xxommha fl-arja. Kontinwament jitilgħu f’moħħi u f’qalbi dak li jagħmel il-ħajja Karmelitana dak li hi:

In a prayerful and contemplative attitude, the Carmelite must strike balance between personal and communal life; a personal prayer life, characterised by incessant pondering of the Word of God, that converges at dawn in the Eucharist. “Early in the morning Carmelites come together in the oratory, in the midst that is filled by no one. Like the bride in the Song of Songs they seek him who their soul loves at night – while it is still dark”. The oratory that is built in the midst creates the mystical empty space to be filled by the Lord’s glory. The expression “early in the morning” evokes the experience of Mary of Magdala who came to the tomb before dawn, where she met the risen Lord.

The Eucharist, as well as the community meeting for fraternal correction on Sundays are the central occasion on which Carmelite life spins. The Eucharist is the empty space in the midst of the community, filled by the glory of the Lord’s presence. In the Eucharist all are invited to identify themselves with the Lord by entering into his death and sharing in his divine life. The oratorium or the chapel is at the centre of the scattered cells, reminiscent of the Biblical concept of God present in the midst of his people. This presence found its full expression in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God in the person of Jesus Christ. This centripetal dynamic within the Carmelite lifestyle is a unifying factor in their life that should not otherwise be individually de- centralised. A Carmelite lifestyle must necessarily find its convergence in the person of Jesus Christ who is at the centre of all Carmelite spirituality.

The Carmelite Rule is structured in such a way that Carmelites are called to live not egoistically in the body of sinfulness and death, but to live to- gether the new life in the Crucified and Risen Christ. The Rule presents this polarity between the one and the others in “a constant movement of con- venire” towards unity in Christ. This applies both for the weekly fraternal gathering as well as the daily gatherings for liturgical prayer where Carmelites, come out of their cells, heading towards the central place, the unifying place that belongs to nobody because it is intended to foster the salus animarum and the custodia ordinis.

Carmelite life seeks to be characterised by harmony: a fundamental characteristic of that which is beautiful. Infact community life in the Carmelite Rule was even compared to “a choral hymn which pervades all the vitae formula, leaving behind the touches of an ineffable beauty”. The Rule presents a polarity between the one and the others in a constant move- ment towards unity in Christ. In this sense the Carmelite is called to the following of Jesus Christ and to the “mystical contemplation of the Lord with- drawn in the bosom of the Father, who has still to come in order to transform humanity into God’s glory”.

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