The Prophetic Spirit of Elijah

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You may be sick to death of hearing about Carmel and Carmelites. I rather doubt it as you've put up with it for two or three years now. So I'd like to share something particularly evocative from some recent reading.

from Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced Carmelites
Peter-Thomas Rohrbach

[The passage below is in reference to the Early Hermits living on Mount Carmel (the 13th century or so.]

They were, in the prophetic tradition, witnesses; and their role of witness was accomplishd by manifesting the face of God in their own person. . . .

They were hermits in the Eastern and prophetic sense of the word, and as such were able to coordinate their apostolic enterprises with a life of solitude in a cave or hermitage separated from their brethren. The Elijahan tradition demanded that the hermit, under the inspiration of the Spirit and at the direction of the prior, leave his solitary retreat for the precise apostolic business at hand. It was a freer, more inspired type of eremitism than the hermit's life in other traditions.

The last sentence sounds a bit triumphalist. But let me temper it with the phrasing Father John-Benedict gave it at the retreat. Carmelites are the Church's experts at integrating a life of contemplation and solitude with a community life. That is their contribution to the world of religious orders and to the economy of spirituality. Carmelites are the example for fusing Martha and Mary. In that sense, Lay Carmelites have the potential for a marvelous witness to lay people in all walks of life. We say, in essence, YOU CAN be contemplative and still carry on a "normal" life. We don't say that it is easy, nor that everyone is called to it in the way we are. But we do stand as witnesses that it is possible.

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tagged again from Fructus Ventris on November 19, 2005 10:15 AM

By Rebecca at Doxology 1. Write three things for which we are grateful to God for in this past liturgical year. * My wonderful husband * The daily necessities of life (everyday at work, I see those who live in... Read More


Thank you for sharing... one can almost never tire of hearing about Carmel and the Carmelites.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 17, 2005 10:50 AM.

Pardon My Effusiveness was the previous entry in this blog.

Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel is the next entry in this blog.

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