Monday, July 20, 2015

Feast of St Elijah the Prophet, spiritual father and leader of Carmelites




Holy Prophet of God Elijah, Leader and Father of Carmelites, intercede for us and for the salvation of all. 

V: Pray for us, O holy Father Elijah.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech You, O Almighty God, that we who believe that the Blessed Elijah Your Prophet and our Father was wonderfully carried up in a fiery chariot, may by his intercession be raised to the desire of heavenly things and rejoice in the society of Your saints. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Elijah the prophet originated from Tishbe in Transjordania. He lived in the ninth century before Christ. Elijah heard to voice of the Lord telling him to go and hide himself and drink of the stream and that ravens would feed him there. He did as he was told, and thus he was chosen by God to lead the people back to Him. Some had been worshipping the god Baal, while the rest followed Yahweh. The Kingdom was divided. In  the accomplishment of his mission, there was a test on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal cried out from morning until evening invoking him, but to no avail. The prophet of Yahweh, Elijah, rebuilt the altar of the Lord with twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel). Elijah prepared the holocaust and surrounded it with water (in the midst of a drought), and the Lord consumed it with fire. The truth had been shown in a dramatic way. The drought ended, and Elijah was recognized as a prophet of the true God. The cult of Baal survived, and Elijah faced many challenges and humiliations but remained steadfast in his faith. The prophet listened for the Lord to pass by and found Him, not in an earthquake or fire, but in gentle breeze. Elijah's prayers are direct and clear. He is confident in the power of the one true God.

Lord God of Abraham, Issac, and Israel, let it be known this day 
that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. Answer me Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses (1 Kings 18:30-37)


Siah brook on west site of Mt Carmel, where, according to Carmelite tradition, prophet ELijah lived 'And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there' (1Kings 19:9). More about Elijah in pictures on Bibile walks


Every year on the feast of St Elijah, July 20, Mount Carmel in Palestine is filled with pilgrims who come by the thousands to celebrate the Feast of the Prophet. East and West combine to do him homage. Elijah is invoked in time of drought or flood for his prayers both opened and closed the heavens. He is also invoked against pestilence, to avert public calamities, to restore peace of soul, and to draw the blessings of God on those aspiring to perfection. In Holy Scriptures we read that Elijah was taken up from the earth in a fiery chariot, and that he will return at the end of the world to fight against anti-Christ and to convert Jews. After preaching in sackcloth for 'one thousand and two hundred and sixty days' he will be overcome by anti-Christ and slain in Jerusalem. For three days and a half day his body will lie unburied in the street, then the spirit of life from God will enter into him, and he will be taken up to heaven in a cloud.
Devotion to Elijah is proper to our times when crimes and wars abound, and every day brings us nearer to the time when he will 'come and restore all things'.

Post on the Carmelite devotion to St Elijah HERE

After: "Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints", "Drink of the Stream" and "Carmelite Devotions"

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bill to legalise assisted suicide soon in the House of Commons, again

On 11th September, 2015, the House of Commons will vote on a Bill to legalise assisted suicide - the local MPs may be contacted via the Catholic Bishops' Conference website and everyone can contact their local MP to urge them to attend the debate and vote against the Bill HERE
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Saint of the day, St Teresa de Los Andes


Who are You, and who am I? I am a creature formed by Your hands, a creature taken from nothingness, formed from clay, but with a soul that is like unto God, a soul that is like unto God, a soul that is intelligent and free, destined to give You the glory of the invisible world. My God, we are so miserable that we rebel against You, our Creator. Pardon me! For instead of loving You, we offend You. There is only one commandment You imposed on us and we do not fulfill that one. What does it profit us to gain the whole world if we lose our soul? What do riches, honours, glory, human affections matter, for they pass away and end? How do they compare with my soul, which is immortal and has been made worthy by the Blood of Jesus Christ, my God? How precious must a soul be since the devil will be watching out to destroy it. Either I am going to save my soul or I am going to condemn it forever. That is why I am resolved to save it. 
St Teresa of the Andes, 'God, the Joy of My Life'
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