Rev. Marlon Beharry, O.Carm.
Shrine Chaplain: The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel
HOMETOWN: Trinidad and Tobago
YEARS IN THE ORDER: 8
ORDAINED DEACON: 9 January 2021
ORDAINED PRIEST: 4 December 2021
I joined the Carmelites after meeting some friars in my country of Trinidad and Tobago. At the time, I was finishing up university and took up a job as an economist with the government. I fell in love with Carmelite spirituality after reading a few small pieces of Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila and Ascent of Mount Carmel by St. John of the Cross. What touched me the most was the spiritual truth that when we persevere in prayer and yet begin to experience dryness, it is not because God has abandoned us, nor that we have abandoned God. It is because God is moving our attention away from His gifts and consolations and instead to the Giver Himself. I am a deacon in my seventh year of formation.
Do you have a particular saint that attracts you in Carmel? Do you have any devotions, if so, why?
One of my favorite lesser-known saints of Carmel is St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. She called herself “Praise of Glory,” which she took from the letter to the Ephesians. Her spirituality is simple – we are called to be praises of God’s glory in this life and in the next. She says that “a praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love, that loves him beyond all his gifts.”
What are some of the challenges and gifts of community life?
The challenge of community life is learning to love my brothers for who they are and what God is making them into, not what I want them to be. The gift of community life is the same – being loved for who I am and what God is making me into, not what others want me to be.
Do you have any tips/suggestions/advice to anyone discerning?
I recommend that you find a spiritual director or a religious or a priest who can accompany you along the way. Find someone who can both affirm your gifts as well as challenge you to grow. We need the community of the Church to assist us at every step of the way.