Carmel Bulletin, 23 June 2019
The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July. The parish celebrates the feast day on the Sunday closest to the feast day, this year on Sunday 14 July. As a lead up to the feast day we will provide some reflections on the feast day and what it means to be a Carmelite.
Last time we left our introduction to the feast day at the beginning of the 13th century. It was at this time that a number of crusaders and pilgrims had found their way up to Mount Carmel in northern Israel. They discovered hermits living there dedicated to the spirit of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, who had plied his trade on Mt Carmel in the 9th century BC. They had also built a small chapel dedicated to Mary in the midst of their humble, individual caves.
In 1214 this group of hermits decided to ask Albert, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, for a written rule to codify their already established practices. They had a balance of being alone and in community. They had a simplicity of life based on the Gospel. They were drawn by the spirit of Elijah and they placed themselves in the care of Mary. They celebrated the Eucharist together. So we can sense where the importance of Our Lady of Mount Carmel arises. These early Carmelite hermits saw in Mary the beloved model of the humble listening that makes a ‘yes’ to God possible, the fruitful dwelling place of the Word. Our Lady of Mount Carmel holds the things of God in her heart in reflective love and silence.
Denis Andrew OCarm (Parish Priest)
and Paola Yevenes (Pastoral Associate)