Quote of the day: 20 July

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kg 19:4).

The previous verse tells us why Elijah decides to go to the desert and wants to die: “He was afraid; he got up and fled for his life” (1 Kg 19:3).

Elijah was a great prophet, a man of God, and a giant of the faith. Even the great men of God can suffer moments of crisis and fear, as in this case with the prophet Elijah, who flees in fear before the threats and persecution of the powerful Phoenician queen Jezebel.

The prophet’s crisis, however, becomes a moment of grace because God approaches him in the desert and feeds him, giving him new strength to live.

Elijah goes to the desert, lies down and goes to sleep. He’s just waiting to die. “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). Like so many other believers in the Bible, Elijah complains before God. All that remains is to throw in the towel; everything has been useless.

And further, now Elijah is afraid. Fear leads Elijah not only to run away but also to fall asleep. Falling asleep is to remain unconscious, in a certain way: it’s an escape from reality.

However, when things turn dark; when what’s transpired becomes indecipherable and the future, uncertain: that’s when we have to be wide awake.

 

BAEZ - We must not turn off the light IGsize

 

We must not turn off the light of conscience and discernment, for that is when we must be more clear-headed than ever.

The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God, because God doesn’t want anyone to be asleep and fearful.

The prophet turns to hear the word of the Lord through an angel, saying two times: “Get up and eat” (1 Kings 19:5).  After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.

Sometimes the crisis is so great
and the discouragement is so strong
that it is difficult to get up and walk.

But God is not overcome by our weakness; God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7). God doesn’t want us to feel fearful, neither does he want us to sleep.

God offered Elijah—through his messenger—frugal and simple food: a pilgrim’s meal (“a cake baked on hot stones” and “a jar of water”, 1 Kings 19:6). At that moment you don’t need a succulent feast, but effective nutrition. That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide. Elijah ate and “he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:8).

Before eating, the prophet’s flight was headed toward death; after being fed in the desert, that miraculous meal takes him to Mount Horeb or Sinai, where Moses met the Lord, where Israel first made a covenant with its God. God began everything on that mountain.

 

Sinai Sunrise Richard White Blogfeatimage
Elijah goes to that mountain—where the whole history of the covenant started—to begin again, renewed by God’s strength, and to be able to continue as a man, as a believer, and as a prophet.

 

Elijah fought against the injustice and arrogance of the powerful, the manipulation of religion, the violent repression, and the use of fear as a form of domination. All of these shady schemes are opposed to God’s plan.

Elijah gave everything. In the end, in self-imposed exile, escaping to protect himself from the death threats of Queen Jezebel, he falls down, tired and hopeless, in the desert. He was tempted not to keep fighting, dreaming, and hoping. It can happen to anyone.

The biblical text, however, gives us the certainty that God’s nourishment allows us to come out of our unconscious state and overcome fear—not letting anyone deprive us of hope. The bread that God gives us in the desert is more powerful than the wiles and threats of the shadowy structures of oppression and death.

Today, too, we need a bread that is mysterious and effective, that allows us to walk with strength and hope.

That bread is Jesus, who today has told us: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). Jesus offers to nourish us so as to give us strength, light, hope, and the breath of life that come from the same God, the creator of life.

If Jesus nourishes us with his love and kindness, with his light and with his strength, nothing can take away our joy and hope. In our interior, in the depths of our heart, God feeds us with his Son, the Bread come down from heaven.

 

Divine Liturgy Eucharistic Prayer St Petersburg Theological Academy Flickr
In our interior,
in the depths of our heart,
God feeds us with his Son,
the Bread come down from heaven
Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy / Flickr

 

We have heard Jesus say: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.” The Father mysteriously draws us to Jesus; he makes Jesus attractive to us. And if Jesus presents himself again to us—attractive, fascinating, familiar in the depths of our being—we are attracted to the good, the beautiful, the noble.

If Jesus makes us attractive, we will be fascinating and attractive, which does good for the human person—which builds a better world.

 

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpts)
12 August 2018 

 

You can read the full text of the homily on our blog here.

Elijah: Fear and Hope

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Homily of H.E. Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Parish of San Anthony of Mount Tabor, Managua
12th August 2018


Today’s first reading (1 Kings 19:4-8) tells us about the prophet Elijah, who one day is filled with fear and goes to the desert because, disappointed in himself, in religion, and in the society in which he lives, he wants to die: “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kg 19:4).

The previous verse tells us why Elijah decides to go to the desert and wants to die: “He was afraid; he got up and fled for his life” (1 Kg 19:3). He had made a great effort for years to show the people the true face of God; he had committed himself completely so that the people of Israel would keep the faith intact against the religion of the false god Baal and defend the poor against the acts of violence and injustice of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, the royal couple who ruled at that time.

Elijah was a great prophet, a man of God, and a giant of the faith.

After having defeated the false prophets of the queen, unmasking the religious deceptions of the royal couple with which they dominated the people, and having denounced the great acts of injustice they committed, the queen had persecuted him and threatened to kill him. The prophet is afraid and runs away. Nelson Mandela said that “the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Even the great men of God can suffer moments of crisis and fear, as in this case with the prophet Elijah, who flees in fear before the threats and persecution of the powerful Phoenician queen Jezebel who ruled at that time in Israel. A prophet of God was running away from a soulless woman, whose will was supposed to be the law; who was the manipulator of religion; she who was the unjust and violent one. The prophet is afraid and flees to the desert.

 

Leighton, Frederic, 1830-1896; Elijah in the Wilderness
Elijah in the Wilderness
Frederic Leighton (British, 1830–1896)
Oil on canvas, 1877-78
Walker Art Gallery

 

The prophet’s crisis, however, becomes a moment of grace because God approaches him in the desert and feeds him, giving him new strength to live.

Elijah goes to the desert, lies down and goes to sleep. He’s just waiting to die. The fact that Elijah lies down and wishes for death shows the drama of the moment he is experiencing: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4).

Like so many other believers in the Bible, Elijah complains before God and goes on about the weariness of his life, the fatigue of the struggle, the temptation to make the final withdrawal. All that remains is to throw in the towel; everything has been useless. He has probably experienced that his prophetic ministry and his efforts to fight against Baalism and against the injustice of the system in Israel have proved to be of little value.

In reality, nothing has changed and now his life is threatened.

And further, now Elijah is afraid. The powerful queen has intimidated him and threatened to take his life. To dominate others, fear is the most effective instrument. It is the preferred weapon of oppressors. Fear leads Elijah not only to run away but also to fall asleep. Falling asleep is to remain unconscious, in a certain way: it’s an escape from reality.

However, when things turn dark; when what’s transpired becomes indecipherable and the future, uncertain: that’s when we have to be wide awake. We must not turn off the light of conscience and discernment, for that is when we must be more clear-headed than ever. Poor Elijah. Defeated. Full of fear, running away from Queen Jezebel, running away from reality, and running away from himself.

 

BAEZ - We must not turn off the light IGsize

 

The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God, because God doesn’t want anyone to be asleep and fearful. Precisely at the moment of the greatest darkness and fatigue is when the prophet turns to hear the word of the Lord through an angel, saying two times: “Get up and eat” (1 Kings 19:5).  After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep. Sometimes the crisis is so great and the discouragement is so strong that it is difficult to get up and walk.

God is not overcome by our weakness

God insists for the second time in feeding him: “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7). God doesn’t want us to feel fearful, neither does he want us to sleep. That is why he feeds the prophet, as he feeds all of us when we feel fallen, frustrated, and hopeless. God makes the boundary seem like it becomes a new horizon; what is experienced as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.

 

Leighton, Frederic, 1830-1896; Elijah in the Wilderness
That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide.

 

God offered Elijah—through his messenger—frugal and simple food: a pilgrim’s meal (“a cake baked on hot stones” and “a jar of water”, 1 Kings 19:6). At that moment you don’t need a succulent feast, but effective nutrition. That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide. Elijah ate and “he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:8).

Before eating, the prophet’s flight was headed toward death; after being fed in the desert, that miraculous meal takes him to Mount Horeb or Sinai, where Moses met the Lord, where Israel first made a covenant with its God. God began everything on that mountain. Elijah goes to that mountainwhere the whole history of the covenant startedto begin again, renewed by God’s strength, and to be able to continue as a man, as a believer, and as a prophet.

 

 

SONY DSC
God began everything on that mountain. | Phillip Marsh / Flickr

 

We who are living in the current drama of our society know about the injustice and arrogance of the powerful, the manipulation of religion, violent repression, and the use of fear as a form of domination. All of these shady schemes are opposed to God’s plan.

Elijah fought against all of this. He gave everything. In the end, in self-imposed exile, escaping to protect himself from the death threats of Queen Jezebel, he falls down, tired and hopeless, in the desert. He was tempted not to keep fighting, dreaming, and hoping. It can happen to anyone.

 

BAEZ - Elijah was tempted not to keep fighting TWsize

 

The biblical text, however, gives us the certainty that God’s nourishment allows us to come out of our unconscious state and overcome fearnot letting anyone deprive us of hopeto keep moving forward to build a freer and more democratic country. The bread that God gives us in the desert is more powerful than the wiles and threats of the shadowy structures of oppression and death.

We have the right to dream of a Nicaragua without rulers who oppress the people, where the dignity and rights of every person are respected, where we put off particular interests to share our goods and concerns in peace and justice, and where dissent from power is not a crime.

 

BAEZ - I dream of a Nicararagua

 

Today, too, we need a bread that is mysterious and effective, that allows us to walk with strength and hope.

That bread is Jesus, who today has told us: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). Jesus offers to nourish us so as to give us strength, light, hope, and the breath of life that come from the same God, the creator of life.

If Jesus nourishes us with his love and kindness, with his light and with his strength, nothing can take away our joy and hope. In our interior, in the depths of our heart, God feeds us with his Son, the Bread come down from heaven.

 

Divine Liturgy Eucharistic Prayer St Petersburg Theological Academy Flickr
In our interior,
in the depths of our heart,
God feeds us with his Son,
the Bread come down from heaven
Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy / Flickr

 

We have heard Jesus today who told us: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.” The Father mysteriously draws us to Jesus; he makes Jesus attractive to us. And if Jesus presents himself again to us—attractive, fascinating, familiar in the depths of our being—we are attracted to the good, the beautiful, the noble; we will prefer honesty instead of corruption, truth instead of lies, peace rather than violence.

If Jesus makes us attractive, we will be fascinating and attractive, which does good for the human person—which builds a better world.

 


Ocupa INSS protest 20jun13
† Silvio José Baez, O.C.D. is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua; when he speaks of the “current drama of our society” he refers to the regime of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. The Organization of American States commissioned a Group of Independent Experts to study the violence that occurred during the first six weeks of protests in 2018 after the government announced cutbacks to Social Security pensions. The official report was clear-cut: the Ortega-Murillo police and paramilitary forces committed crimes against humanity. However, the grievances of the people are not recent; in this photo, the youth turned out to support older adults when Social Security pension cutbacks were first announced in June 2013. The sign says, “in Ortega and Murillo’s government, senior citizens have no rights.” Learn more about the 2013 protests here. Learn more about the 2018 unrest and the challenges for the Catholic Church in Nicaragua here. Listen to Bishop Báez deliver this homily in Spanish at San Antonio en Monte Tabor parish here.| Jorge Mejía Peralta / Flickr

 

This English translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

20 July: Saint Elijah

July 20
SAINT ELIJAH
Prophet and Our Father

Solemnity (O.Carm.)
Feast (O.C.D.)

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 contact on Mt. Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mt. Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their Father and model.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

Let the sun, rising, hear your prise, Elijah,
Earth, sky, and water, hear our jubilation
To the sun’s setting, glory of your people,
Strength of our Order.

O light of heaven’s radiant beauty glowing,
Mighty in wonder, blessed in your merits,
Many times witness of his greatest marvels
By the Lord chosen.

Fiery the chariot, drawn by fiery horses,
Upwards in triumph, swiftly angels bear you
Blazing in glory beyond earthly beauty
Shining from heaven.

You were the witness, Moses your companion,
To the bright glory of the sole-Begotten,
As the Apostles gazed and fell in wonder
High on Mount Tabor.

Stay with us now and shield us with your favor.
We are your children; trustingly we ask you
Stretch out your hand and grant us your protection
Guarding us always.

Praise to the Father, to the sole-Begotten,
Praise to their Holy Coeternal Spirit,
Kingdom and power, glory and dominion,
Now and forever.

11.11.11.5.
Audiat miras oriens cadensque
Tr. by Mary Paula, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Psalm 111

I will thank the Lord with all my heart *
In the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord, *
to be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work, *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders. *
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him; *
keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people *
by giving them the lands of the nations.

His works are justice and truth: *
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm for ever and ever: *
they are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people †
and established his covenant for ever. *
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom; †
all who do so prove themselves wise. *
His praise shall last for ever!

Ant. Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Ant. 2 How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Psalm 115

Not to us, Lord, not to us, *
but to your name give the glory
for the sake of your love and your truth, *
lest the heathen say: ‘Where is their God?’

But our God is in the heavens; *
he does whatever he wills.
Their idols are silver and gold, *
the work of human hands.

They have mouths but they cannot speak; *
they have eyes but they cannot see;
they have ears but they cannot hear; *
they have nostrils but they cannot smell.

With their hands they cannot feel; †
with their feet they cannot walk. *
No sound comes from their throats.
Their makers will come to be like them *
and so will all who trust in them.

Sons of Israel, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.
Sons of Aaron, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

He remembers us, and he will bless us; †
he will bless the sons of Israel. *
He will bless the sons of Aaron.

The Lord will bless those who fear him, *
the little no less than the great:
to you may the Lord grant increase, *
to you and all your children.

May you be blessed by the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
The heavens belong to the Lord, *
but the earth he has given to men.

The dead shall not praise the Lord, *
nor those who go down into the silence.
But we who live bless the Lord *
now and for ever. Amen.

Ant. How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Ant. 3 The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Canticle: Rev 11:17-18; 12:10-12

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, *
who are and who were,
that you have taken your great power *
and begun to reign.

The nations raged, *
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged, *
for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name, *
both small and great.

Now the salvation and the power †
and the kingdom of our God *
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, *
who accuses them day and night before our God.

And they have conquered him *
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony, *
for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Rejoice, then, O heaven, *
and you that dwell therein.

Ant. The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Scripture Reading

James 5:16-18

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

Responsory

R/. Blessed are they * who see you. Repeat R/.
V/. And are honored with your friendship * who see you. Glory … R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

Intercessions

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Ivy border media

Invitatory

Ant. Come let us adore the living God, who speaks to us through the prophets.

Office of Readings

HYMN

Great Author of all things that are
To you we sing in joyful praise
Of him, the Thesbite, whom you love,
Elijah, seer of ancient days.

With burning zeal for your blest name
He challenged wicked priests of Baal
And conquering, killed them in his might
To make your sacred law prevail.

The victims offered by his prayer
Drew heaven’s blest consuming flame
In vain Baal’s servants scream and rave,
Their frenzy brings them only shame.

Then Jezebel, unholy queen,
In fury raves, the prophet flees,
Beneath the sheltering juniper
He sleeps and then an angel sees.

The angel offers strengthening bread
With water pure his thirst to end
And marks a journey he must make
Mount Horeb’s summit to ascend.

No food but this for forty days
He journeys through the desert land
Prefiguring the royal feast
Prepared us by the Father’s hand.

To Father, Word and Paraclete
All glory, honor ever be
O undivided Trinity
Through whom creation came to be. Amen.

88.88.
Te magne rerum Conditor

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Psalm 11

In the Lord I have taken my refuge. †
How can you say to my soul: *
‘Fly like a bird to its mountain.

‘See the wicked bracing their bow; †
they are fixing their arrows on the string *
to shoot upright men in the dark.
Foundations once destroyed, *
what can the just do?’

The Lord is in his holy temple, *
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world; *
his gaze tests mortal men.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked: *
the lover of violence he hates.
He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked; *
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

The Lord is just and loves justice: *
the upright shall see his face.

Ant. Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Ant. 2 An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call, *
my rock, hear me.
If you do not heed I shall become *
like those in the grave.

Hear the voice of my pleading *
as I call for help,
as I lift up my hands in prayer *
to your holy place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked, *
with the evil-doers,
who speak words of peace to their neighbors *
but with evil in their hearts.

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard *
my cry, my appeal.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; *
in him my heart trusts.
I was helped, my heart rejoices *
and I praise him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people, *
a fortress where his anointed find help.
Save your people; bless Israel your heritage. *
Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

Ant. An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Ant. 3 Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

Psalm 30

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me *
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

O Lord, I cried to you for help *
and you, my God, have healed me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, *
restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, *
give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favor all through life. *
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

I said to myself in my good fortune: *
‘Nothing will ever disturb me.’
Your favor had set me on a mountain fastness, *
then you hid your face and I was put to confusion.

To you, Lord, I cried, *
to my God I made appeal:
‘What profit would my death be, my going to the grave? *
Can dust give you praise or proclaim your truth?’

The Lord listened and had pity. *
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing, *
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
So my soul sings psalms to you unceasingly. *
O Lord my God, I will thank you forever.

Ant. Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

V/. You are a man of God.
R/. And the word of God in your mouth is true.

The First Reading (Alternative)

1 Kings 19: 4-9a, 11-14a

A reading from the first book of Kings

Elijah walked all the way to the mountain of God

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the Lord came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb. There he came to a cave, where he took shelter.

Then the Lord said, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord, the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” He replied, “I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.”

Responsory

R/. Leave this place and go eastward, said the Lord to Elijah. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.
V/. Hide yourself by the brook Cherith, and there drink from the stream; and I have commanded ravens to feed you there. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.

The Second Reading

Bk 2, Hom. 1, 17

From a Homily of Pope St. Gregory on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

The mystical contemplation of God

In divine contemplation the spirit is often abstracted to such a degree that it is already granted the joy of partaking a little, in image as it were, of that eternal freedom which ‘eye has not seen nor ear heard;’ but then, hampered by the weight of its own mortality, it falls back into the depths and is held captive in penalty for its sins. It has glimpsed the delights of true freedom and longs to escape from its captivity but, since it cannot, it keeps its gaze fixed upon the imprisoning doors. This is why, when the Jews had been freed from slavery to Egypt, each of them stood adoring in the doorway of his tent when God spoke and the pillar of cloud was visible.

Wherever we direct our mental gaze, there we may be said to stand. That is why Elijah said: ‘The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand.’ He did indeed stand before God, for his heart was intent on God. That the Jews gazed at the pillar of cloud and stood at the doors of their tents in adoration, has this meaning: when the human mind perceives these high and heavenly things—albeit in image—the elevation of its thought has already lifted it free from the limits of its bodily habitation; and although it is denied sight of the divine substance, it humbly adores Him whose power it can already see by spiritual illumination.

This is why Elijah is described as standing at the mouth of his cave and veiling his face when he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him; for as soon as the voice of heavenly understanding enters the mind through the grace of contemplation, the whole man is no longer within the cave, for his soul is no longer taken up with matters of the flesh: intent on leaving the bounds of mortality, he stands at the cave’s mouth.

But if a man stands at the mouth of the cave and hears the word of God with the heart’s ear, he must veil his face. For when heavenly grace leads us to the understanding of higher things, the rarer the heights to which we are raised, the more we should abase ourselves in our own estimation by humility: we must not try to know ‘more than is fitting; we must know as it befits us to know.’ Otherwise, through over-familiarity with the invisible, we risk going astray; and we might perhaps look for material light in what is immaterial. For to cover the face while listening with the ear means hearing with our mind the voice of Him who is within us, yet averting the eyes of the heart from every bodily appearance. If we do this, there will be no risk of our spirit interpreting as something corporeal that which is everywhere in its entirety and everywhere uncircumscribed.

Beloved brothers, we have already learned through our Redeemer’s death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, what the joys of eternity mean, and we know that our fellow-citizens we have known. While our feet stand within the walls of His holy Church, let us keep our hearts facing towards the freedom of our heavenly fatherland. We are still encumbered, it is true, by the many cares of this corruptible life. If then we cannot leave the cave completely, let us at least stand at its mouth, and go out whenever we are granted the favor of doing so by the grace of our Redeemer Who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Responsory

R/. The word of the Lord came to Elijah. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.
V/. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and the Lord passed by in the whisper of a gentle breeze. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.

Canticle I  

Jer 17:7-8

Happy are those who put their trust in the Lord 

Happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28)

Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, *
whose trust is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water, *
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, *
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought, *
for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Canticle II

Sir 14:20, 15:3-5a, 6b

The happiness of the wise

Wisdom has been proved right by all her children (Lk 7:35)

Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reasons with good sense.
She will give him the bread of understanding to eat, *
and the water of wisdom to drink.

He will lean on her and will not fall, *
he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will raise him high above his neighbors, *
and he will inherit an everlasting name.

Canticle III

Sir 51:1-3b, 4a, 7c, 11, 14ab, 15

Thanksgiving for delivery from affliction

God has saved us from the hands of our foes, that we might serve him (Lk 1:74)

I will give thanks to you, Lord and King, *
and praise you, God my Savior,
I give thanks to your name; *
for you have been protector and support to me,
and redeemed my body from destruction.
from the snare of the lying tongue, *
from lips that fabricate falsehood.
You have redeemed me, 
true to the greatness of your mercy, *
from the perjured tongue slandering me to the king.

Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, *
and your deeds from earliest times.
I called on the Lord, the father of my Lord: *
“Do not desert me in the days of  ordeal,
I will praise your name unceasingly,
and gratefully sing its praises;” *
and my plea was heard.

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.

Gospel

Mt 17:1-8

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Moses and Elijah appeared to them

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. “Lord,” he said, “it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favor. Listen to him.” When they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. “Stand up,” he said, “do not be afraid.” And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.

Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

watering can border medium

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Come, blest companions, let our joy resounding
Extol to Heaven the Leader of our line.
‘Tis meet the memory of his deeds abounding
Should waken ceaseless canticles divine.

He knows the gentle breathing of the Spirit
Clothed in the whistling murmur of the air,
By God’s command the chastisements they merit
Proud Jezebel and Ahab justly share.

The caverns green of Carmel form his dwelling,
With leathern tunic is he rudely clad,
To impious Ahaziah his foretelling
Gives portent of a dissolution sad.

Twice at his prayer the fire from Heaven descending
Consumeth trembling soldiers in its flame,
The flowing waters mit with his mantle rending,
Dry shod he passeth safely through the same.

O Father, let thy help and thy protection
Be o’er thy children as they humbly plead,
Entreat the Spirit, by His sweet election,
To multiply His graces in their need.

O unbegotten Father, we adore Thee,
O Son begotten, reverence be to Thee,
O glorious Spirit, bow we low before Thee,
Thou simple undivided Trinity.

11.11.11.10.
Pergamus, socii, tollere canticus

Psalmody

Ant. 1 God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you*
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Ant. 2 Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Ant. 3 With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Scripture Reading

2 Pt 1:19-21

We have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds. At the same time, we must be careful to remember that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual. Why? Because no prophecy ever came from man’s initiative. When men spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them.

Short Responsory

R/. I will be satisfied, Lord, * when your glory appears. Repeat R/.
V/. And in righteousness I will see your face, * when your glory appears.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

Intercessions

God our Father spoke in former days through the prophets, but today he speaks to us in his Son, through whom he wishes the whole world to be joined to him. Let us humbly pray:

R/. Lord, draw us to yourself.

Lord, you revealed yourself to the prophet Elijah in silence and solitude; help us to put aside all that prevents us from hearing your voice, so that we may seek and find you. R/.

When he was thirsty, you gave Elijah refreshing water at the torrent of Karith; may we drink at the living springs of love and contemplation. R/.

As he walked to Mount Horeb, you filled Elijah with strength; may we who are strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ press on unwearied in our journey to you. R/.

Lord, you revealed yourself to Elijah in the whisper of a gentle breeze; in attentive silence and with an obedient spirit may we receive every inspiration of the Holy Spirit. R/.

Lord, you raised up Elijah like a fire and made him zealous for your glory; may we too burn with the fire of your love, to serve the Church and our brethren in all our work. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Blazon - first emblem authorized by Gracian

Prayer during the Day

Antiphons and psalms of the weekday.

Before Noon

Ant. Elijah called out to the Lord, and the Lord heard his voice.

Scripture Reading

Heb 12:1-2

Since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

V/. Lord, I have sought your face.
R/. Your face I will seek always.

Midday

Ant. The words of the Lord were fulfilled; he did what he had promised his prophet Elijah.

Scripture Reading

Heb 4:12

God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart.

V/. I have hidden your sayings in my heart, Lord.
R/. So as never to sin against you.

Afternoon

Ant. The fire of the Lord fell and consumed Elijah’s offering.

Scripture Reading

Heb 12:28-29

We who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should hold fast to God’s grace, through which we may offer worship acceptable to him in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.

V/. Lord, your word is a consuming flame.
R/. Your servant loves it.

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Blazon Ocarm antique

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Praises to the great Elijah!
Let our songs to heaven rise.
His the grace to hear God’s whisper
Where all earthly music dies.

Clad in skins he made his dwelling
On Mount Carmel, finding there
That austere and lonely wisdom
Hidden in a life of prayer.

Yet he went forth at God’s bidding,
Flashed God’s word and law abroad
Till the idols fell around him
And his people turned to God.

May we, too, make war on falsehood,
Burn with zeal for God’s command
Till we follow our true Master
In whose sight we always stand.

Now we pray our Prophet-father
That our lives obtain this grace:
An outpouring God’s Spirit
Over every time and place.

Praise and honor to the Father,
To the Son and Spirit praise.
Theirs be all our love and worship
Now and through eternal days.

87.87.
Text: Unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Psalm 15

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;

he who does no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may; *
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent. *
Such a man will stand firm for ever.

Ant. Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Ant. 2 The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Psalm 112

Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house; *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered for ever.

He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; *
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor; †
his justice stands firm for ever. *
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry, †
grinds his teeth and fades away;
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Ant. 3 Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

Canticle: Rev 15:3-4

Great and wonderful are your deeds, *
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, *
O King of the ages!

Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? *
For you alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship you, *
for your judgments have been revealed.

Ant. Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

Scripture Reading

2 Kgs 2:11-12

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, ‘My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and its horseman!’ And he saw him no more.

Short Responsory

R/. Elisha lifted the cloak of Elijah: * he struck the waters and they divided. Repeat R/.
V/. Because the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha: * he struck the waters and they divided.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

Intercessions

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Translation of Elijah_Epic Poem_BritLibrary
Image taken from page 8 of ‘[Elijah the Prophet. An epic poem.]’; courtesy British Library
To discover more illustrations from the public domain digital image collection of the British Library, visit their Flickr account, which contains more than one million photos available for download.
Featured image: Elijah Taken Up in a Chariot of Fire, Giuseppe Angeli  (c. 1740/1755)

 

Haifa and the beauty of Carmel

We thank the Christian Media Center, the communications ministry of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, for this fine video on the City of Haifa and the citizens that live and work to make Mount Carmel of today a place of beauty and peace.

A touristic, seaside city, which stands out as a technological and academic center, Haifa is a model of peaceful coexistence between religions. Religious, historical and cultural factors explain this good union.

 

Quote of the day: 30 May

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 — 1 Kings 19:4-8

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.


Commentary

The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God because God does not want anyone to be afraid and remain asleep. Precisely at the time of greater darkness and weariness is when the prophet listens once again to the word of the Lord — two different times — speaking through an angel, saying: “Get up and eat.”

After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.

 

Sometimes crisis in our lives is so great and there is so much discouragement, that it is difficult to get up and walk; but God is not overcome by our weakness.

 

God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, because the road before you is very long, it is greater than your strength”.

God does not want us to feel fearful; neither does he want us to sleep. That is why he feeds the prophet, just like he feeds all of us when we feel deflated, frustrated, and hopeless.

 

God takes what seems like the end of the road and turns it into a new horizon;  what we experience as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.

 

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Homily, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (excerpt)
Mount Tabor Parish, Managua — 12 August 2018

 

PalmSunday2019_Esquipulas_CARLOSHERRERA-04
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. | Carlos Herrera / Confidencial (Used by permission)

 

Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. is one of eighteen living bishops who are affiliated with the Discalced Carmelite order; he is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua. He began his Discalced Carmelite formation in the General Delegation of Central America in 1979 and was ordained a priest 15 January 1985. He pursued advanced studies in Sacred Scripture and biblical geography and archeology in Rome and Jerusalem. In 1999 he defended his doctoral thesis in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the subject, Tiempo de callar y tiempo de hablar: el silencio en la Biblia Hebrea (A time to keep silence, and a time to speak: silence in the Hebrew Bible). Serving as a seminary professor, he authored numerous articles and books, speaking at conferences and retreats, and served on the council of the general delegation. In 2006 he was appointed Vice-President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum in Rome, where he was Professor of Sacred Scripture and Biblical Theology and Spirituality; in addition, he was the editor of the theology journal Teresianum. On 9 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Managua and Titular Bishop of Zica.

On 30 May 2009 Silvio José Báez, O.C.D, was ordained bishop in the Cathedral of Managua. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua; the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki, Titular Archbishop of Blera and Bishop César Bosco Vivas Robelo, Bishop of León en Nicaragua.

You may view his episcopal lineage / apostolic succession here.

 

#BAEZ BLAZON
The coat of arms of Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. reflects his background as a native of Nicaragua — seen in the image of the volcano and the lake on the left — and as a Discalced Carmelite friar, exemplified by the emblem of the Order on the right. At the base of the shield is the scripture with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega (Rev. 22:13). The bishop’s motto is, “For Your Word.” | SajoR / Wikimedia Commons

 

Scripture commentary translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission

.

Son of the Church: Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. says, “Yes” when called

Pope Francis told him, “I’m interested in having you here with me, I need you right now.”

Wednesday 10 April at the archdiocesan chancery offices in Managua, Cardinal  Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua met with members of the press along with his Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Cardinal Brenes, speaking off the cuff to open the press conference, explained that Bishop Báez would be leaving Nicaragua after Holy Week and Easter to go to Rome for an undetermined period. Báez, a Discalced Carmelite who was teaching in Rome when Pope Benedict XVI nominated him to return to his native Nicaragua as Auxiliary Bishop 9 April 2009, is no stranger to the Holy City. In October 2018 we published the exclusive translation of Bishop Silvio’s tribute to former Nicaraguan president Violetta Chamorro, Meeting With a Mother in Rome.

Readers of this Carmelite blog will recognize from our many publications that Bishop Silvio José is a passionate, prophetic voice in Nicaragua who embodies the spirit of the Holy Prophet Elijah, the Guide and Father of Carmelites.

Bishop Báez prefaced his remarks by reading at length from the Apostle Paul’s farewell address to the Elders of the Church at Ephesus, where Saint Paul speaks of “serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.” [Acts 20:19] A subtle reference is made here by the bishop to a June 2018 plot to assassinate him, along with the United States ambassador Laura Dogù — a foiled plot that recently was revealed by Ambassador Dogù in a university lecture.

Bishop Silvio José continued, explaining the reason for this announcement of his departure, which comes on the heels of a seemingly unforeseen trip to the Vatican April 1 – 8, including a private audience with Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace April 4.

As Bishop Báez explained, Pope Francis told him, “I’m interested in having you here with me, I need you right now.”

Our thanks to the Nicaraguan daily La Prensa for bringing us these 15 most memorable quotes — truly, Carmelite quotes — from Bishop Báez’s press conference.

 

Baez-Presser-10Apr19
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. prefaces his remarks to the press conference with scripture

 

  • “I haven’t asked to leave — I’ve been called by the Holy Father”.
  • “I am not going to ignore Nicaragua from this moment on. I’ll continue faithfully living my vocation as bishop enlightened by the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • “Wherever I go I’ll also fly the blue and white flag of our country with pride and hope.”

“This decision of the Holy Father, which I have accepted with complete, loving obedience, has made my heart weep.”

  • “How can you forget the farmers, the mothers of the victims of repression, the youth who are persecuted and suffering, and those who are in prisons — I carry all of this in my heart.”

 

BAEZ - Mtg with grieving families 13oct18_01
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. meets with members of grieving families in Managua, 13 October 2018

 

  • “The joy of having carried out this mission fills my heart with profound peace, although now I’m weeping with great sadness deep inside, to have to leave my native country and my people.”
  • “We’re not an army where we obey out of fear, where there are authorities above us who command in drastic and sometimes irrational ways. We are a fraternity united in faith.”
  • “The pope did not make one single reproof, not a single reproach, not one single correction. For me, it was Peter’s confirmation of his brother.”
  • “I was able to share many things; you all know how I see the reality of Nicaragua. I’ve given my opinion, my constructive criticism, and I made this point to the Holy Father about this year of pain and suffering — this people’s Via Crucis — whose anniversary we are about to mark on April 18.”

 

BAEZ - a pastor has to be next to his people copy (2)
You’ll find this and more quotes and articles by and about Bishop Silvio José Báez here

“In summary, I reminded him that this is a crucified people, that this is a country that has been hijacked, and that here there are de facto powers dominated by lies, injustice, repression, and ambition.”

 

  • “It’s not about saving the economy, it’s not about throwing a life jacket to the financial market, please — today’s golden calf, which is money, cannot take the place of the people.”
  • “I dream of a Church that is less diplomatic and fearful, and more prophetic and courageous in order to be a Church on the side of the discarded, of the last in line, of the voiceless, of the victims.”
  • “I dream of a church that doesn’t have worldly privileges, that is free in the face of power.”

 

Baez_I dream of a Nicaragua
Since July 2018, Carmelite Quotes blog has been pleased and privileged to serve Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. as his English translator in social media

 

  • “In Nicaragua, there aren’t confrontations between two groups: what we have is an idolatrous group that sacrifices human beings and a crucified people.”
  • “Unfortunately, they worship the god of wealth, the god of money, and they sacrifice human beings for it. This is the reality of Nicaragua.”

 

Bishops Apt 02 (2)
The Holy Spirit inspired Saint Teresa, who watches over the bishop in his personal study

 

We invite our readers to join us in prayer for the success of Bishop Silvio José’s new mission with our Holy Father Pope Francis in Rome. Bishop Báez, thank you for being a faithful son of Our Holy Mother Saint Teresa whose parting words were, “I am a daughter of the Church.”

 

Advent 15: Elijah

Elijah, our Father, leads,
In our self-denying we follow him
Strongly and zealously,
Nuns of Carmel.

9903473755_386b7cfa95_o
Carmel of Valladolid, 21 September 2013 | Ángel Cantero

Al Padre Elías siguiendo
nos vamos contradiciendo
con su fortaleza y celo,
monjas del Carmelo.

Poetry: 10. On the Way to Heaven; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Poverty is the way

On the Way to Heaven

Toward heaven let us journey,
Nuns of Carmel.

Mortified, humble, and despised,
Let us walk,
Consolations left aside,
Nuns of Carmel.

Unresisting let us go
To vowed obedience,
Our consoling aim,
Nuns of Carmel.

Poverty is the way,
The very road He came,
Our heavenly Emperor,
Nuns of Carmel.

Untiring in loving,
Our God is calling;
Trusting Him, let us follow,
Nuns of Carmel.

Afire in love’s burning,
He, once born trembling,
Veiled in our humanity,
Nuns of Carmel.

Hasten to this enrichment
Where poverty and grief
Will never be,
Nuns of Carmel.

Elijah, our Father, leads,
In our self-denying we follow him
Strongly and zealously,
Nuns of Carmel.

Renouncing our will,
We long to attain
Elisha’s double spirit,
Nuns of Carmel.

Teresa-vagabonda-statue_full-length

Excerpt from the poetry, number 10; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
BAEZ - Those who are powerful and corrupt (1)
Herod was afraid of John because he knew that John was a good and holy man, and so he kept him safe. He liked to listen to him, even though he became greatly disturbed every time he heard him. (Mark 6:20)
BAEZ - Elijah was tempted not to keep fighting BLsize
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4)
BAEZ - Today too we need a mysterious, efficacious bread
Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. (1 Kings 19:8)

St. Edith Stein Novena – Day 1

SCRIPTURE READING
1 Kings 17:1-7

At the wadi Cherith

Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead said to Ahab, “As Yahweh lives, the God of Israel whom I serve, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years except at my order.”
The word of Yahweh came to him, “Go away from here, go eastward, and hide yourself in the Wadi Cherith which lies east of Jordan. You can drink from the stream, and I have ordered the ravens to bring you food there.” He did as Yahweh had said; he went and stayed in the Wadi Cherith which lies east of Jordan. The ravens brought him bread in the morning and meat in the evening, and he quenched his thirst at the stream.

 

MEDITATION
The Science of the Cross, Chapter 1

The Message of Sacred Scripture

In Carmel—under the mitigated Rule as well—the remembrance of the Prophet Elijah, the “Leader and Father of Carmelites” lived on. The Institutio Primorum Monachorum set the prophet before the eyes of the young religious as a model of the contemplative life. This prophet whom God commanded to go forth into the desert, to conceal himself by the brook Carith across from the Jordan, to drink the water of the brook and to be nourished by the food which God would send him, is to be the model of all who withdraw into solitude renouncing sin and all sensory pleasures, indeed all earthly things.

 

PRAYER

Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death
to the covenant of love ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Wadi Tiwi_Oman
Wadi Tiwi, Oman

 

The Science of the Cross
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 6
ICS Publications, Washington DC 
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

 

July 20: SAINT ELIJAH

July 20

SAINT ELIJAH

Prophet and Our Father

Solemnity (O.Carm.)
Feast (O.C.D.)

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 contact on Mt. Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mt. Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their Father and model.

Evening Prayer I

HYMN

Let the sun, rising, hear your prise, Elijah,
Earth, sky, and water, hear our jubilation
To the sun’s setting, glory of your people,
Strength of our Order.

O light of heaven’s radiant beauty glowing,
Mighty in wonder, blessed in your merits,
Many times witness of his greatest marvels
By the Lord chosen.

Fiery the chariot, drawn by fiery horses,
Upwards in triumph, swiftly angels bear you
Blazing in glory beyond earthly beauty
Shining from heaven.

You were the witness, Moses your companion,
To the bright glory of the sole-Begotten,
As the Apostles gazed and fell in wonder
High on Mount Tabor.

Stay with us now and shield us with your favor.
We are your children; trustingly we ask you
Stretch out your hand and grant us your protection
Guarding us always.

Praise to the Father, to the sole-Begotten,
Praise to their Holy Coeternal Spirit,
Kingdom and power, glory and dominion,
Now and forever.

11.11.11.5.
Audiat miras oriens cadensque
Tr. by Mary Paula, O.C.D.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Psalm 111

I will thank the Lord with all my heart *
In the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord, *
to be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work, *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders. *
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him; *
keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people *
by giving them the lands of the nations.

His works are justice and truth: *
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm for ever and ever: *
they are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people †
and established his covenant for ever. *
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom; †
all who do so prove themselves wise. *
His praise shall last for ever!

Ant. Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Ant. 2 How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Psalm 115

Not to us, Lord, not to us, *
but to your name give the glory
for the sake of your love and your truth, *
lest the heathen say: ‘Where is their God?’

But our God is in the heavens; *
he does whatever he wills.
Their idols are silver and gold, *
the work of human hands.

They have mouths but they cannot speak; *
they have eyes but they cannot see;
they have ears but they cannot hear; *
they have nostrils but they cannot smell.

With their hands they cannot feel; †
with their feet they cannot walk. *
No sound comes from their throats.
Their makers will come to be like them *
and so will all who trust in them.

Sons of Israel, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.
Sons of Aaron, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

He remembers us, and he will bless us; †
he will bless the sons of Israel. *
He will bless the sons of Aaron.

The Lord will bless those who fear him, *
the little no less than the great:
to you may the Lord grant increase, *
to you and all your children.

May you be blessed by the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
The heavens belong to the Lord, *
but the earth he has given to men.

The dead shall not praise the Lord, *
nor those who go down into the silence.
But we who live bless the Lord *
now and for ever. Amen.

Ant. How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Ant. 3 The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Canticle: Rev 11:17-18; 12:10-12

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, *
who are and who were,
that you have taken your great power *
and begun to reign.

The nations raged, *
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged, *
for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name, *
both small and great.

Now the salvation and the power †
and the kingdom of our God *
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, *
who accuses them day and night before our God.

And they have conquered him *
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony, *
for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Rejoice, then, O heaven, *
and you that dwell therein.

Ant. The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

SCRIPTURE READING

James 5:16-18

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

RESPONSORY

R/. Blessed are they * who see you. Repeat R/.
V/. And are honored with your friendship * who see you. Glory … R/.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ivy border media

Invitatory

Ant. Come let us adore the living God, who speaks to us through the prophets.

Office of Readings

HYMN

Great Author of all things that are
To you we sing in joyful praise
Of him, the Thesbite, whom you love,
Elijah, seer of ancient days.

With burning zeal for your blest name
He challenged wicked priests of Baal
And conquering, killed them in his might
To make your sacred law prevail.

The victims offered by his prayer
Drew heaven’s blest consuming flame
In vain Baal’s servants scream and rave,
Their frenzy brings them only shame.

Then Jezebel, unholy queen,
In fury raves, the prophet flees,
Beneath the sheltering juniper
He sleeps and then an angel sees.

The angel offers strengthening bread
With water pure his thirst to end
And marks a journey he must make
Mount Horeb’s summit to ascend.

No food but this for forty days
He journeys through the desert land
Prefiguring the royal feast
Prepared us by the Father’s hand.

To Father, Word and Paraclete
All glory, honor ever be
O undivided Trinity
Through whom creation came to be. Amen.

88.88.
Te magne rerum Conditor

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Psalm 11

In the Lord I have taken my refuge. †
How can you say to my soul: *
‘Fly like a bird to its mountain.

‘See the wicked bracing their bow; †
they are fixing their arrows on the string *
to shoot upright men in the dark.
Foundations once destroyed, *
what can the just do?’

The Lord is in his holy temple, *
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world; *
his gaze tests mortal men.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked: *
the lover of violence he hates.
He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked; *
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

The Lord is just and loves justice: *
the upright shall see his face.

Ant. Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Ant. 2 An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call, *
my rock, hear me.
If you do not heed I shall become *
like those in the grave.

Hear the voice of my pleading *
as I call for help,
as I lift up my hands in prayer *
to your holy place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked, *
with the evil-doers,
who speak words of peace to their neighbors *
but with evil in their hearts.

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard *
my cry, my appeal.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; *
in him my heart trusts.
I was helped, my heart rejoices *
and I praise him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people, *
a fortress where his anointed find help.
Save your people; bless Israel your heritage. *
Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

Ant. An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Ant. 3 Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

Psalm 30

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me *
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

O Lord, I cried to you for help *
and you, my God, have healed me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, *
restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, *
give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favor all through life. *
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

I said to myself in my good fortune: *
‘Nothing will ever disturb me.’
Your favor had set me on a mountain fastness, *
then you hid your face and I was put to confusion.

To you, Lord, I cried, *
to my God I made appeal:
‘What profit would my death be, my going to the grave? *
Can dust give you praise or proclaim your truth?’

The Lord listened and had pity. *
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing, *
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
So my soul sings psalms to you unceasingly. *
O Lord my God, I will thank you forever.

Ant. Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

V/. You are a man of God.
R/. And the word of God in your mouth is true.

THE FIRST READING (Alternative)

1 Kings 19: 4-9a, 11-14a

A reading from the first book of Kings

Elijah walked all the way to the mountain of God

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the Lord came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb. There he came to a cave, where he took shelter.

Then the Lord said, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord, the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” He replied, “I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.”

RESPONSORY

R/. Leave this place and go eastward, said the Lord to Elijah. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.
V/. Hide yourself by the brook Cherith, and there drink from the stream; and I have commanded ravens to feed you there. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.

THE SECOND READING

Bk 2, Hom. 1, 17

From a Homily of Pope St. Gregory on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

The mystical contemplation of God

In divine contemplation the spirit is often abstracted to such a degree that it is already granted the joy of partaking a little, in image as it were, of that eternal freedom which ‘eye has not seen nor ear heard;’ but then, hampered by the weight of its own mortality, it falls back into the depths and is held captive in penalty for its sins. It has glimpsed the delights of true freedom and longs to escape from its captivity but, since it cannot, it keeps its gaze fixed upon the imprisoning doors. This is why, when the Jews had been freed from slavery to Egypt, each of them stood adoring in the doorway of his tent when God spoke and the pillar of cloud was visible.

Wherever we direct our mental gaze, there we may be said to stand. That is why Elijah said: ‘The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand.’ He did indeed stand before God, for his heart was intent on God. That the Jews gazed at the pillar of cloud and stood at the doors of their tents in adoration, has this meaning: when the human mind perceives these high and heavenly things—albeit in image—the elevation of its thought has already lifted it free from the limits of its bodily habitation; and although it is denied sight of the divine substance, it humbly adores Him whose power it can already see by spiritual illumination.

This is why Elijah is described as standing at the mouth of his cave and veiling his face when he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him; for as soon as the voice of heavenly understanding enters the mind through the grace of contemplation, the whole man is no longer within the cave, for his soul is no longer taken up with matters of the flesh: intent on leaving the bounds of mortality, he stands at the cave’s mouth.

But if a man stands at the mouth of the cave and hears the word of God with the heart’s ear, he must veil his face. For when heavenly grace leads us to the understanding of higher things, the rarer the heights to which we are raised, the more we should abase ourselves in our own estimation by humility: we must not try to know ‘more than is fitting; we must know as it befits us to know.’ Otherwise, through over-familiarity with the invisible, we risk going astray; and we might perhaps look for material light in what is immaterial. For to cover the face while listening with the ear means hearing with our mind the voice of Him who is within us, yet averting the eyes of the heart from every bodily appearance. If we do this, there will be no risk of our spirit interpreting as something corporeal that which is everywhere in its entirety and everywhere uncircumscribed.

Beloved brothers, we have already learned through our Redeemer’s death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, what the joys of eternity mean, and we know that our fellow-citizens we have known. While our feet stand within the walls of His holy Church, let us keep our hearts facing towards the freedom of our heavenly fatherland. We are still encumbered, it is true, by the many cares of this corruptible life. If then we cannot leave the cave completely, let us at least stand at its mouth, and go out whenever we are granted the favor of doing so by the grace of our Redeemer Who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

RESPONSORY

R/. The word of the Lord came to Elijah. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.
V/. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and the Lord passed by in the whisper of a gentle breeze. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.

HYMN, Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

PRAYER

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

watering can border medium

Morning Prayer

HYMN

Come, blest companions, let our joy resounding
Extol to Heaven the Leader of our line.
‘Tis meet the memory of his deeds abounding
Should waken ceaseless canticles divine.

He knows the gentle breathing of the Spirit
Clothed in the whistling murmur of the air,
By God’s command the chastisements they merit
Proud Jezebel and Ahab justly share.

The caverns green of Carmel form his dwelling,
With leathern tunic is he rudely clad,
To impious Ahaziah his foretelling
Gives portent of a dissolution sad.

Twice at his prayer the fire from Heaven descending
Consumeth trembling soldiers in its flame,
The flowing waters mit with his mantle rending,
Dry shod he passeth safely through the same.

O Father, let thy help and thy protection
Be o’er thy children as they humbly plead,
Entreat the Spirit, by His sweet election,
To multiply His graces in their need.

O unbegotten Father, we adore Thee,
O Son begotten, reverence be to Thee,
O glorious Spirit, bow we low before Thee,
Thou simple undivided Trinity.

11.11.11.10.
Pergamus, socii, tollere canticus

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you*
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Ant. 2 Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Ant. 3 With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

SCRIPTURE READING

2 Pt 1:19-21

We have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds. At the same time, we must be careful to remember that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual. Why? Because no prophecy ever came from man’s initiative. When men spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them.

SHORT RESPONSORY

R/. I will be satisfied, Lord, * when your glory appears. Repeat R/.
V/. And in righteousness I will see your face, * when your glory appears.
Glory . . . R/.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

INTERCESSIONS

God our Father spoke in former days through the prophets, but today he speaks to us in his Son, through whom he wishes the whole world to be joined to him. Let us humbly pray:

R/. Lord, draw us to yourself.

Lord, you revealed yourself to the prophet Elijah in silence and solitude; help us to put aside all that prevents us from hearing your voice, so that we may seek and find you. R/.

When he was thirsty, you gave Elijah refreshing water at the torrent of Karith; may we drink at the living springs of love and contemplation. R/.

As he walked to Mount Horeb, you filled Elijah with strength; may we who are strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ press on unwearied in our journey to you. R/.

Lord, you revealed yourself to Elijah in the whisper of a gentle breeze; in attentive silence and with an obedient spirit may we receive every inspiration of the Holy Spirit. R/.

Lord, you raised up Elijah like a fire and made him zealous for your glory; may we too burn with the fire of your love, to serve the Church and our brethren in all our work. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blazon - first emblem authorized by Gracian

Prayer during the Day

Antiphons and psalms of the weekday.

Before Noon

Ant. Elijah called out to the Lord, and the Lord heard his voice.

SCRIPTURE READING

Heb 12:1-2

Since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

V/. Lord, I have sought your face.
R/. Your face I will seek always.

Midday

Ant. The words of the Lord were fulfilled; he did what he had promised his prophet Elijah.

SCRIPTURE READING

Heb 4:12

God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart.

V/. I have hidden your sayings in my heart, Lord.
R/. So as never to sin against you.

Afternoon

Ant. The fire of the Lord fell and consumed Elijah’s offering.

SCRIPTURE READING

Heb 12:28-29

We who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should hold fast to God’s grace, through which we may offer worship acceptable to him in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.

V/. Lord, your word is a consuming flame.
R/. Your servant loves it.

PRAYER

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blazon Ocarm antique

Evening Prayer

HYMN

Praises to the great Elijah!
Let our songs to heaven rise.
His the grace to hear God’s whisper
Where all earthly music dies.

Clad in skins he made his dwelling
On Mount Carmel, finding there
That austere and lonely wisdom
Hidden in a life of prayer.

Yet he went forth at God’s bidding,
Flashed God’s word and law abroad
Till the idols fell around him
And his people turned to God.

May we, too, make war on falsehood,
Burn with zeal for God’s command
Till we follow our true Master
In whose sight we always stand.

Now we pray our Prophet-father
That our lives obtain this grace:
An outpouring God’s Spirit
Over every time and place.

Praise and honor to the Father,
To the Son and Spirit praise.
Theirs be all our love and worship
Now and through eternal days.

87.87.
Text: Unknown

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Psalm 15

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;

he who does no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may; *
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent. *
Such a man will stand firm for ever.

Ant. Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Ant. 2 The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Psalm 112

Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house; *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered for ever.

He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; *
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor; †
his justice stands firm for ever. *
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry, †
grinds his teeth and fades away;
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Ant. 3 Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

Canticle: Rev 15:3-4

Great and wonderful are your deeds, *
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, *
O King of the ages!

Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? *
For you alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship you, *
for your judgments have been revealed.

Ant. Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

SCRIPTURE READING

2 Kgs 2:11-12

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, ‘My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and its horseman!’ And he saw him no more.

SHORT RESPONSORY

R/. Elisha lifted the cloak of Elijah: * he struck the waters and they divided. Repeat R/.
V/. Because the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha: * he struck the waters and they divided.
Glory . . . R/.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Translation of Elijah_Epic Poem_BritLibrary
Image taken from page 8 of ‘[Elijah the Prophet. An epic poem.]’; courtesy British Library
Featured image is a detail from the chapel window at Lincoln College, Oxford
To discover more illustrations from the public domain digital image collection of the British Library, visit their vast collection - over 1 million images - stored online at Flickr

Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom in ancient prophecy
God revealed to Saint Elijah by an Oriental sea.
Rise again on God’s creation bring to bloom this arid place
with the white cloud of your beauty and the rainfall of your grace.

Elijah-icon-Cloud-Mary

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