Our Daily Life
From early rising until retiring late at night, the Carmelite day is interspersed with a continuous interchange of spiritual exercises: recitation of the Divine Office, Holy Mass, mental prayer and spiritual reading, with manual labor and two one-hour periods of recreation during which they are employed in some kind of useful occupation.
Manual labor is diversified and includes about every kind of duty: making Scapulars, mending habits, embroidering fine sacristy work, painting crucifixes and statues, to cleaning, cooking, laundry--even to the vigorous use of the hammer and saw, garden fork and hoe, the hum of sewing machines, lawnmowers, and other implements of toil.
5:15 AM - Rise. Clappers sound to awaken the Sisters, accompanied by the words, "Praised be Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother! Come to prayer, Sisters! Come to praise the Lord!"
5:40 AM - The Holy Rosary is recited in Choir, followed by Lauds.
After Lauds, the Great Silence ends, and simple silence is in effect through the day until the hour of Compline
6:20 AM - An hour of Mental Prayer
7:25 AM - The hour of Terce is recited in the Choir
7:40 AM - The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, followed by a time of thanksgiving
8:45 AM - Breakfast
9:00 AM - Manual labor; the Sisters work in solitude in the cells, garden, or offices of the Monastery
11:25 AM - The hours of Sext and None are prayed in the Choir, followed by the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a five-minute particular examination of conscience
12:00 PM - Dinner
12:30 PM - Recreation
1:30 PM - Free time
2:00 PM - Spiritual reading in cell
3:00 PM - The hour of Vespers is recited in the Choir (solemnly chanted on Sundays and major feasts)
3:30 PM - Manual labor
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 3:30 on First Fridays
5:00 PM - An hour of Mental Prayer
6:00 PM - Supper (During the Fast of the Order, from September 14 until Easter, Supper is replaced by a light Collation, except on Sundays and major feasts.)
7:15 PM - Recreation
8:15 PM - The hour of Compline, followed by Matins, is recited in Choir.
The Great Silence begins now, and ends after Lauds of the following morning
10:30 PM - Retire
"Wasn't this life of prayer and sacrifice the one that Jesus lived for 30 years?
He spent but three years in preaching.
Isn't this the life of Jesus in the Tabernacle?
Oh, sister dear, it is undoubtable that we've chosen the better part, since a Carmelite deals with God alone."