“God lives, and I’m standing in front of his face”


From the “life in God’s presence” speak to the Teresian Carmelite Alfred Herrmann of the Catholic Church, asks in his turn to spiritual Paths of religious orders and monasteries, this time to the Inside to Pray.

The Inner prayer as a Labyrinth into the Inner soul of the people, to meet God there. Photo: Alfred Herrmann

Relax in the monastery. In the peace and seclusion of the answers to life questions, or a spiritual impulse received. Those who wish to engage on a stay in a Monastery, communities, the choice between different order. There are guest houses of the Benedictine monasteries or retreat centers of the Jesuits, an house of the silence of the Carmelites, or places active engagement in Franciscan communities. The monastery is not a monastery, Ordensweg is equal to Ordensweg. It is worthwhile therefore, to explore these different spiritual paths of Christianity.

“God lives, and I’m standing in front of his face” (1 Kings 17,1). It is this exclamation of the prophet Elijah, the shapes of the Carmelite order. The “Stand before God” is your spiritual core. Are you looking for a life in the presence of God, a personal, friendly and intimate relationship with God. You take God in the Everyday and Ordinary true, and at any time. A deeply contemplative way in the tension between solitude and community.

Inside God, encounter

“Everyone should remain in his cell or nearby, day and night, on the instructions of the Lord, reflecting, and Asked waking.” The seventh Chapter of the Carmelite rule, stands the Hermitage of the hermit and thus the Tradition of the former hermits from mount Carmel. The loose hermit composite is the origin of the in 13. Century resulting religious path. Teresa of Avila gave to the Carmelite in the 16th century. Century a modern twist.

The Spaniard to be interpreted, this crucial Chapter of the monastic rule. From mystical experience, she knew that Any Carmelite wearing the cell of the hermit in one’s own heart. Not in outer space, but deep down inside, the people of the place of encounter with God. In the heart of Jesus Christ is present. Day and night, she has focused, therefore, on its Interior, in order always to be ready for the encounter with God that could be in your everywhere in the world. Teresa’s so-called Interior Prayer became a way of life, which fills a religious woman all day, no matter where she is, no matter what it is that makes you – an everlasting Pray.

The Interior Prayer was for Teresa to be the Central way to meet your friend, Jesus Christ. She discovered in the man Jesus of Nazareth access to the otherwise incomprehensible God. With the human Jesus, she was able to share feelings and needs, joys and sorrows. With the incarnate God in a personal relationship, an intimate friendship to you, and You was possible. The Interior Prayer describes Teresa in the book “The book of my life” as “the linger with a friend, with whom we are often alone together, just to be with him, because we know for sure is that he loves us”.

To be Teresia niche Carmelite, means, therefore, even today, to live constantly in communion with Jesus Christ and to leave the everyday world of shape – a life in God’s presence. Inside a way of life, a conscious life in the sight of God is to Pray. This requires a constantly maintained to the end of openness, mindfulness of the presence of God and attention to his answers. God can meet a person anywhere, so the Conviction of Teresa of the Carmelites: in Meditation, in the community Psalm of prayer, but also in the middle of the everyday, in the kitchen, on the way to the Bus, at the doctor, in every human being. For the religious these moments of the self-communication of God are not a matter of course. You remain a gift, you can’t force it. But you should be inwardly prepared for it.

It needs an atmosphere of silence

This requires an atmosphere of silence. Silence here means to let the Other room for the conversation with God. The nuns live in seclusion and try to stay in your heart always remain awake and sensitive to the needs of the world, and the problems of the people. You take the signs of the times and feel into it.

The Teresian Carmelite sisters of Regina Martyrum in Berlin-Plötzensee, for example, of the Catholic Church for the victims of the Holocaust conversations with groups at the memorial Church, with students, with senior citizens. You show yourself to be open to the political issues of the time, offer spiritual guidance, to turn the people aware of the come with their Worries and troubles to you. You invite your “house of silence”, their way of life, to share your spiritual space of silence with you.


Alfred Herrmann, 1972 born in Würzburg and works as a freelance author in Berlin. Recently, his book appeared in the Bonifatius-Verlag “God-approach – women the North in Germany”.