The prophet Elijah

For centuries the prophet Elijah has been considered to be the origin
of Carmel. There is a strong spiritual connection between Elijah and Carmel: the will to serve God, the long road of learning trust in God, confidence in God's infinite mercy, and the visible testimony of God's living presence in the heart of humanity. The prophet  inspires Carmel and in turn Carmel becomes prophetic itself. 

Elijah's life is characterized by long periods of solitude and silence, in the desert, on the mountain, near the spring. These periods are always followed by a movement which leads Elijah to human beings and to the city. He always carries out this message: "The Lord be God, follow him" (1 Kings 18, 21).

Elijah's life as a prophet starts with a difficult message meant for the king: "as the Lord lives, the God of Israel in whose sight I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to the words of my mouth" (1 kings 17, 1). Then God led Elijah to the valley of Carith, near a torrent., out of the sight of the king. For Elijah, this is the beginning of a long time of learning trust : food was brought to him by ravens. After a long time, Elijah had to go back to human beings.

On Mount Carmel, Elijah was on the watch for the long expected rain and sign of God's blessing. The rain which is so necessary to life. Waiting for a sign of God's blessing... The wait can be long. Sometimes we have to wait in a deep darkness. Finally, a great rain fell (1 Kings 18,45). Not just a few drops, but abundant water. Life in abundance.  

Then came a period of running. Rushing down the mountain and running to the road. Running away from the king's wife who wanted to kill him, towards the desert. There, in the desert, Elijah lies under a lonely juniper tree. He has no more energy. Enough is enough. Then an angel touched him.

Elijah had to go on and the route led to Mount Horeb. Then in the whispering of the gentle air, he meets God. He knew he should not stay there. "Go and return on your way, through the desert, to Damascus" (1 Kings 19, 15). Elijah had to go back to the humans.

Arise, eat: for you have yet a great way to go (1 Kings 19, 7)