This module is part of the Distance Learning Website of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)


In this distance learning module we will be looking at prayer in the Carmelite tradition and at what the saints of Carmel can teach us about the experience of prayer. Among the topics we will consider will be:

  • Prayer as relationship with God

  • Foundations of the relationship

  • Growth in the relationship

  • Crisis in the relationship

  • The maturing relationship 


St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross are recognised throughout the Church as authorities on prayer and we will be drawing mainly on their writings. Specific chapters will be provided as needed in this module. For further reading,the complete works of each are easily available online. A Google search will bring up a number of sources. If you do not have internet access, your local library should be able to order them for you. Alternatively, if you are within reach of any house of Carmelite friars or nuns, it might be possible for you to consult any volume that interests you. I repeat that the texts you actually need to complete the module will be provided.

The section on prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church would make excellent background reading, but paragraphs to which reference is made in the module will be quoted in full. The entire Catechism can be found on the Vatican website:

See also Mary McCormack OCD, Upon This Mountain: Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition (Oxford: Teresian Press, 1999).

Module Tutors: Sr Mary McCormack OCD and Sr Mary of St Philip OCD

The module is divided into 5 units of input and, at the end, you may complete a Questionnaire, write a Learning Journal, or write an Assignment .

Once posted online, each unit will be available until the end of the module. The dates on which each of the units, and the other material for this module is available in the calendar in the Student Section.



Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5


Learning Journal

Essay titles


Please click HERE to access the STUDENT SECTION for module start and end dates

From the date corresponding to the relevant Monday (see main web page of, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. Each module includes links to other internet sites of various kinds related to the material being covered.

    Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each module and received the Assignment titles and the questionnaire, pleace complete either the Questionnaire, write a Learning Journal, or write an Assignment based on one of the titles given, and return it to to the course administrator: [email protected]


Copyright: CIBI holds the copyright to this material (text, graphic and other); distribution to family or friends, or publication (including on internet) of any part of the material is not permitted without the CIBI ’s explicit written permission.