Friday, July 20, 2012

Elijah the Prophet



"Do not love the world or the things which are in the world, for the boasting of the world and its destruction belong to the devil." Apocalypse

July 20 is the feast of St. Elijah.

From the 11th century, Carmelites have claimed Elijah as their founder; John and Teresa* arrived much later as the reformers of the order, yet they also pointed to Elijah as their Father.  For centuries, the Carmelites of the Primitive Observance literally traced their foundation to the followers of Elijah on Mt. Carmel, today I believe all Carmelites simply venerate him as Prototype and Patron.  Likewise, Elijah is venerated by both the East and the West as a monastic archetype.

In the 19th century a Coptic manuscript was found, known as the Apocalypse of Elijah.  Elijah is of course associated with the coming of the Messiah - for Jews and Christians - Muslims as well.  Christ attested to his coming in the Gospel - in regard to John the Baptist.  Jews still set a place at table for Elijah, and the Book of Revelation speaks of his return at the end times.  Occasionally I wonder if the current resurgence of Carmelite spirituality and attempts at reform, is somehow a 'sign' of Elijah's presence?  Just wondering of course ...

"No one is able to enter the holy place if he is double minded.  The one who is double minded in his prayer is darkness to himself. And even the angels do not trust him." - Apocalypse

Anyway - I'll post excerpts of the Apocalypse of Elijah below:
 1.The word of YHWH came to me saying, "Son of man, say to his people, 'why do you add sin to your sins and anger the Lord God who created you ?' " 2.Don't love the world or the things which are in the world, for the boasting of the world and its destruction belong to the devil.

13.Hear, O wise men of the land, concerning the deceivers who will multiply in the last times so that they will set down for themselves doctrines which do not belong to God, setting aside the Law of God, those who have made their belly their God, saying, "The fast does not exist, nor did God create it," making themselves strangers to the covenant of God and robbing themselves of the glorious promises. 14.Now these are not ever correctly established in the firm faith. Therefore don't let those people lead you astray.

25.Likewise no one is able to enter the holy place if he is double minded. 26.The one who is double minded in his prayer is darkness to himself. And even the angels do not trust him. 27.Therefore be single-minded in the Lord at all times so that you might know every moment. - Apocalypse of Elijah

* "The reform of the Carmelite Order, the 450th anniversary of which fills us with inner joy, arose from prayer and tends towards prayer. In promoting a radical return to the original Rule and abandoning the mitigated Rule, St. Teresa of Jesus sought to create a form of life which favoured a personal encounter with the Lord, finding 'a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us. Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest'". - Benedict XVI, July 16, 2012

Art: Second attempt: Elijah and Virgin of the Messianic Cloud. TN  

3 comments:

  1. "Do not love the world or the things which are in the world"

    This is the kind of schizophrenia in Christianity that drives me nuts. It's this kind of stuff that causes me despair every time I like anything or anyone that is not God Himself or praying. And prayer is such a difficult chore - it's not something I enjoy, but something I do out of duty and need, and even then, not well.

    Enjoying a good meal? Music, movies, games? Company of friends, even non-Christian friends? Emotional joy of married life? Physical joys of married life?

    Hate it all, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Do not love the world or the things which are in the world"

      Not to worry - very few Christians pay any attention to that maxim or take it seriously anyway.

      Delete
    2. But what does it really mean? Are we supposed to be Gnostics and just hate the material world?

      Are we supposed to feel dirty for liking things?

      Delete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.