In Carmel today we celebrate the feast of our Father, St Elijah the Prophet. When the first monks made their home on Mount Carmel, they looked to this great Biblical figure and saw in him the model for their lives and their teacher in prayer. To this day, Carmelites venerate his memory, and we honour him as a great Saint, believing that he is interceding for us and guiding us from heaven.
Elijah offers us many lessons, one of which is dedication to the truth, and to the God of truth. In an age when many believe truth is relative, may the zeal of St Elijah touch our hearts and make us true servants of the living God.
Of course he was a man of prayer - a real mystic, but one whose mystical experiences led him to action, to proclaim the word of God and to honour the Holy Name. In a sense we can see in him the union of Martha and Mary: like Mary he chose the better part, sitting at the feet of the Lord in contemplation, but then, like Martha, going out to serve. However, unlike Martha in the Gospel story, he was not distracted, but rather kept his mind and heart focused on God.
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