Saint Elijah, prophet

Date: 
July 20, 2015
July 20, 2016
July 20, 2017
July 20, 2018
July 20, 2019
OCD commemoration: 
Feast
Classification: 
Prophet

The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in his presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honour of Our Lady on Mount Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their Father and model.  

A reading from the first book of the Kings - 19:1-9a, 11-14a

"Strengthened by that food he walked until he reached the mountain of God.

When Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had put all the prophets to the sword, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, 'May the gods do this to me and more, if by this time tomorrow I have not made your life like the life of one of them!' He was afraid and fled for his life.  He came to Beersheba, a town of Judah, where he left his servant.

He himself went on into the wilderness, a day's journey, and sitting under a furze bush wished he were dead.  'Lord,' he said, 'I have had enough, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors'.  Then he lay down and went to sleep.  But an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat'.  He looked round, and there at his head was a scone baked on hot stones, and a jar of water.  He ate and drank and then lay down again.  But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you'.  So he got up and ate and drank, and strengthened by that food he walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.  There he went into the cave and spent the night in it.

Then he was told, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord'.  Then the Lord himself went by.  There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord.  But the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind came an earthquake.  But the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire.  But the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came the sound of a gentle breeze.  And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  Then a voice came to him, which said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He replied, 'I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of hosts'."

Carmelite Prayer: 
God commanded his prophet Elijah to hide himself by the brook Cherith, and to proclaim him on Mount Carmel the one true God. May he grant you Elijah's spirit of solitary prayer and his zeal for the divine glory