Tag Archives: Carmelites

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flos Carmeli, edition)

When living at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel, after offering Holy Mass directly above the cave of Elijah, I would make brave to intone the Flos Carmeli, with all then joining in for a number of verses.

With all of those Flowers for the Immaculate Conception, I am reminded of the Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross, on Mount Carmel:

We might recall that The Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were fierce crusaders. After helping to retake the Holy Land from the genocidal empire building Islamicists of the time – akin to today’s ISIS, as always – they wanted to continue fighting in this Church Militant by way of prayer and penance and sacrifice and spiritual exercises for six months and then evangelizing with ferocious Elijah-like preaching for six months, year in, year out. I’ve been in all those caves and their now destroyed central monastery grounds in the wadi on Mount Carmel. Some like to speak of simple folk who wanted to say a prayer or two together for a few years before returning to Europe after a nice pilgrimage and then visits from the Saracens.

But, as it is, there were more Islamicist incursions, as always with that political “religion”. The early Carmelites were ousted, then came back, were ousted again, and on it went. Finally, their monastery was blown up fairly recently (1800s if I remember correctly), giving them the opportunity, upon return, to build, fortuitously, not in the wadi, but above the cave of Elijah.

I was invested in the Brown Scapular by way of receiving the entire habit in an extended ceremony presided by one of the Definitor Generals of the Discaled Carmelites. That Summer, so many decades ago, was an opportunity to memorize – in Latin – the entire rule of the first Carmelites provided by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and ratified by the Bishop of Rome.

Were you invested in the Brown Scapular? I received one on the way out the door of the church after my first Holy Communion. I wasn’t actually invested. That was 1968. The year of the catastrophic liberal cataclysm which did more to destroy the Church than any genocidal invading Saracens ever could. Wearing a Brown Scapular helps remind us of the Church Militant in which we live upon this earth. We are reminded to pray. Do you recall the promises that come with wearing the Brown Scapular, and the accompanying prayer?

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On Ravens, the Holy Spirit and OCD

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Racing along the highway with The Bread of Life, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, while going from nursing home to shut-ins on Communion calls the other day, this raven decided to do up a bit of photo-bombing. I just wanted to get the snow-capped ridges.

He’s empty-beaked. In this case, I’m the raven of Elijah the Prophet’s fame as I’m bringing the Bread of Heaven to the great prophets, that is, those friends of Jesus in the parish.

And this got me to thinking about the Holy Spirit and the Carmelites who speak of Elijah as Our Holy Father Elijah just as the Benedictines speak of Our Holy Father Benedict. My mind wandered, as it tends to do, to the way of prayer, so to speak, of the Carmelites, and to someone who was refused entry into a Carmelite prayer group because he couldn’t make all the meetings because of his pastoral duties, namely, Karol Wojtyła.

When interviewed as Pope John Paul II, he was asked about how he goes about praying. His answer was, in great Carmelite fashion, to say that one would have to ask the Holy Spirit, who, as it were, transported his soul to the needs of the world such as they are on any given day.

Not so diversely, one may recall that any cloistered nun of any contemplative order may answer to say that such a vocation has one accompany Jesus’ good mother in her maternal concern for the members of the Body of Christ still battling away in this ecclesia militans, in this Church militant, and so are transported in their intercession whithersoever such a good mother would have them go, so to speak.

 

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