This is undoubtedly my favourite Marian feast. Fr Gabriel in Divine Intimacy expresses its essence beautifully:
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel indicates a strong call to the interior life, which, in a special way, is Mary's life. The Blessed Virgin wants us to resemble her in heart and mind much more than externals. If we penetrate into Mary's soul, we see that grace produced in her a very rich interior life: a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted giving of herself to God, and of constant and intimate union with Him. Mary's soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone...
Those who wish to live truly devoted to our Lady of Mount Carmel, must follow Mary into the depths of the interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, of life wholly consecrated to seeking God and tending wholly towards divine intimacy; and she who best realises this very high ideal is Mary, Queen, Beauty of Carmel.
"Judgment shall dwell in the wilderness and justice shall sit in Carmel. And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness and security forever. And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence" Isaiah 32:16-18
Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Souls in Purgatory
Occasionally in Spain you will see a Carmelite nun nipping out of the convent to the chemist for medicines for her sisters. It is a sight that makes my heart beat faster. There is no colour on earth richer or more full of hope than the brown of the Carmelites.