The rule of life given to the Carmelites by St. Albert Avogadro between the years 1206 - 1214, was finally approved as the true and proper Rule of Carmel by Innocent IV in 1247 and later underwent mitigations which were not in the original text.
The Carmelite Rule states that it is fundamental for a Carmelite to "live a life in allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, must be unswerving in the service of the Master" (no.2). To live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ, the Carmelites bind themselves especially to:
- develop the contemplative dimension of their life, in an open dialogue with God
- live as sisters, full of charity
- meditate day and night on the Word of the Lord
- pray together or alone several times a day
- celebrate the Eucharist every day
- do manual work, as Paul the Apostle did
- purify themselves of every trace of evil
- live in poverty, placing in common what little they may have
- love the Church and all people
- conform their will to that of God, seeking the will of God in faith, in dialogue and through discernment.
The Carmelite Rule is the shortest of all known Rules, almost exclusively made up of biblical precepts. To this day it is a rich source of inspiration for life.