Item description for The Carmelite Way: An Ancient Path for Today's Pilgrim by Professor John W. Welch...
Overview An introduction to Carmelite spirituality that focuses on two major moments in the Carmelite tradition: the beginnings of teh Carmelite Order in the 13th century and the reform of the order by Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.
Publishers Description An Ancient Path for Today's Pilgrim, John Welch, O.Carm. An introduction to Carmelite spirituality that focuses on two major moments in the Carmelite tradition: the beginnings of the Carmelite Order in the 13th century and the reform of the order by Teresa of Avila in the 16th century.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Carmelite Way: An Ancient Path for Today's Pilgrim?
Wonderful to Use in a Devotional Way May 3, 2008
Welch may, as one reviewer has noted, used sources about some of Christianity's more sectarian battles (i.e., the reformations & counter-reformations within Western Christianity in the 16th and 17th century CE), but this should not bias a potential reader against this book! Guilt by association has done in more than one Carmelite (i.e., Brother Lawerence of the Resurrection and subject of "Practice the Presence of God" who was guilty of being liked by Quietists in 17th century CE France even though he wasn't one). So I counsel to not judge this book by its cover or sources!
I personally use this book as a devotional piece by reading a chapter or a smaller portion each day (or so). In this book, Welch takes an aspect of Carmelite spirituality and uses it as "grist for the mill" in processing a larger point within the tradition thus exposing the deeper issues. For example, in his chapter about the incensed general of the order writing "The Flaming Arrow," the general's critique had little to do with the ministry performed by the Carmelites, but rather there abandonment of their first calling - contemplative prayer. Sometimes what a group fights about can reveal the deeper loves and drives of this population than anything they more explicitly and formally state.
Welch does a good job of bringing these processing issues to the fore which an uninformed reader of the primary Carmelite source material might miss. That is (one of) the great strengths of this book.
New Age type Carmelite nonsense. Jan 23, 2008
Dated sections on Man Psychology and Gender issues. The writer should have stuck with real Carmelite knowledge, not this trifle. Reminds me of the "Iron John" nonsense in the 1980s. Even quotes from a writer who describes in detail the releasing of Martin Luther's "constipated and compulsive" bowels in relationship to the Protostant Reformation (pg.114). I kid you not.
Try Wilfrid McGreal, O. Carm. "At the Fountain of Elijah: The Carmelite Tradition" instead, for a grounded, vastly superior overview.
The riches of the Carmelites Sep 6, 2000
If you have ever opened a door for the first time and been blown away by the vista that presented itself to your vision, then you will begin to understand what it is like to read The Carmelite Way by John Welch.
Welch manages to present an amazing overview of the history of the Carmelite order. In this book, modern Christians are confronted by a form of Christianity that is altogether different from what we see in most of the traditions that are prevalent in today's world.
The Carmelite story is rich and colorful. It is a story of a spirituality with roots that come from a fountain on a mountain (Mt Carmel) in the desert-and the saints that first sojourned there. It is a song that sings beautifully of the themes of failure and renewal.
Welch gives not only a great overview of the history of the Carmelites; he also delves into the riches of Carmelite teachings and thought; outlining a path for the modern pilgrim.
I know of no better introduction to the Carmelite tradition. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the life of and through the Spirit.
Good, in-depth introduction to Carmelite Spirituality. Feb 6, 1997
Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my thoughts. See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths. (Psalm 139) The Carmelite Way is indeed a spiritual guide book along the ancient path up Mount Carmel. The author uses his knowledge and insights to provide an historical overview of the foundations of this Religious Order and also points out its fundamental beliefs and visions. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross ( two of the more well known and major influences in the Order) are used extensively throughout the book to illustrate important concepts. The Carmelite Way has helped me better understand my Order's rich traditions and "roots". It will also be very useful to anyone searching for a deeper spiritual understanding. Read the book and come join us as we journey in Carmel