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Discalced Carmelites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Well, first of all, there is no accounting for an autistic person's interest (obsession) with anything.  We are interested in what we are interested in for as long as we are interested and then we don't care if we never hear about it again.  This is part of the way our brains work (or don't work, as the case may be),

Also, although this order was founded by Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, many of my catholic friends have never heard of it.  The letters O,C,D. after a persons name gets no recognition.

The name "Discalced" (unshod)  made me wonder for a long time.  Why such emphasis on shoelessness?  In Latin America (so i assume in Spain also) in the Twentieth Century (so i assume in the 16th also) shoes were an important indicator of status.  In Mexico where the mixing of African, Indian, and European lineages became very involved and complex it was difficult to tell who was Meztiso (relatively high status) and who was Indio (the lowest status).  If a dark skinned person wore shoes and spoke Spanish he was considered Mestizo.  Of the two designators, footwear trumped language.  To be shoeless was to put oneself among the lowly.

The Franciscans and the Carmelites had gone through similar secularization processes, partly because contemplation and voluntary poverty were out of line with trends in European culture and partly due to wars and plagues and developing freedom of thought.  The death of St Francis had brought internal demands for a hierarchical structure and more rules which caused the order to become more worldly.  The Carnelites were driven from Mount Carmel by the Crusades and found their discipline and prayer and poverty to be more difficult in a continent that claimed it was already Christian.  So by the 16th century, both the Franciscans and the Carmelites needed reform.  It was Peter of Alcantara's efforts to "rediscalc" the Franciscans that stimulated
Teresa to begin her reform.  Therefore i see in the Discalced Carmelites many of the strengths of St. Francis, combined with those of Teresa and John of the Cross.

Prayer and contemplation plus poverty plus study -- What a great combination.  Obedience and Chastity?  Well, i will leave those topics for others to discuss.



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bobby1933
bobby1933

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