Today the Carmelite family celebrate the solemnity of the Prophet Elijah. Elijah is a principle figure in our spirituality. Our constitutions describe his ongoing influence beautifully.
“In Elijah we see the solitary prophetwho nurtured his thirst for the one and only God,
and lived in his presence.
He is the contemplative,
burning with passionate love for the Absolute who is God,
“his word flaring like a torch.
He is the mystic who,
after a long and wearisome journey,
learned to read the new signs of God’s presence.
He is the prophet who became involved in the lives of the people,and who, by battling against false idols,
brought them back to faithfulness to their Covenant
with the One God.
He is the prophetwho was in solidarity with the poor and the forgotten,
and who defended those who endured violence and injustice.
From Elijah, Carmelites learn to be people of the desert,
with heart undivided, standing before God
and entirely dedicated to his service,
uncompromising in the choice to serve God’s cause,
aflame with a passionate love for God.
Like Elijah, they believe in God
and allow themselves to be led by the Spirit
and by the Word that has taken root in their hearts,
in order to bear witness to the divine presence in the world,
allowing God to be truly God in their lives.
Finally, in Elijah they see, not only prophetic wisdom,
but also brotherhood lived in community;
and with Elijah they learn to be
channels of God’s tender love
for the poor and the humble.”
Holy Elijah, prophet of God, pray for us!