Chapter

 How They Paved the Little Way

Thomas R. Nevin

in Thérèse of Lisieux

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195307214
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785032 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195307216.003.0004
  How They Paved the Little Way

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This chapter focuses on conventual life in Carmel during the time of Thérèse. Carmelites are espoused to the same man, whom they meet only in images and in prayer. They, by their pledge to him, are pledged to a life with each other. They are closely confined, as in a prison, and remain so till death. Visitors are received only at a grille and for only thirty minutes a week. For all but family members, a dark curtain is drawn between the interlocutors, and there is always another sister, known as a tierce, attendant to the conversation. The only men with whom these women are directly in contact are their confessor priest and their physician, who also has to use the grille. They sleep apart in spartanly furnished rooms. They pray, sing, eat together. They work singly and collectively.

Keywords: Carmel; Carmelites; conventual life; grille; confessor priest

Chapter.  22456 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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