From the primitive rule:

"You will do some work or work with your hands, so that the devil finds you always occupied and that he has no entry into your souls, using your idleness as a door. You have for this a good example and teaching of doctrine in the apostle Saint Paul, through whose mouth our Lord Jesus Christ spoke and, having been established to preach and teach the Gentiles in faith and truth, you cannot fail by following it. So he says thus: We have been among you in toil and weariness, working day and night not to bore you, not that we have power and permission to ask, but to give you form and example, so that you imitate us; for being among you, we announced to you and preached every day that he who would not work should not eat."

At the time of Thérèse, the Carmels lived in autarky, from the work of their hands, the products of their garden and a few donations. They spend little: no heating, kerosene for lighting, no social or other insurance, very simple food. The buildings were constructed from donations.

In the Carmel of Lisieux, the livelihood of the sisters is essentially produced by: the making of altar bread, ornaments and painted images. In addition to paid work, community services occupy a large part of their working time: sacristy, liturgy, accounting, cleaning, laundry, garden, making and repairing dresses and alpargates (homemade canvas sandals). The heavy work is done by the “lay” sisters, of whom this is part of their vocation; but they are helped when necessary for all the sisters.