Monday, July 16, 2007

FEAST DAY! Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Today is one of my favorite feast days of the entire year - the day we honor Mary as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel dates back almost eight hundred years before the birth of Jesus, to the prophet Elijah (or Elias, as he is sometimes known, which has something to do with Hebrew and phonics, about which I have no clue, so anyway....) Elijah went to Mt. Carmel in Palestine and settled there to begin a life of prayer and contemplation. He and his followers dedicated themselves in prayer for the one woman chosen by God to bear His Son -- Mary.

According to the tradition of the Catholic Church, the descendants of Elijah's cloistered "order" came to St. Peter and the apostles after Pentecost and asked to be baptized in the names of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thus numbering themselves among the first Christians. It is so beautiful to think that they had been there, praying, almost a thousand years before, maybe looking forward to that very day.

Three thousand years later, the Carmelite Order continues to prosper and grow. It is the spiritual home of great saints such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse, the Little Flower of Liseux and Edith Stein, as well as Brother Lawrence and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.

I am humbled to be part of them as a Third Order Carmelite, having entered my novitiate in September of 2006. The Third Order allows laypersons to be part of the beauty of Carmel spirituality and sharing their unique charism while working out in the world, being married and raising children

Praise be to Jesus our Lord for the gift of His dear mother.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

A most beautiful post, Shelley.