God's meeting place

According to my missal, Mount Carmel was the place where the prophet Elijah proclaimed the faith of Israel in the one God, the meeting place of God and his people. And when I read that I thought yes... Having worked with and got to know several Carmelite nuns over the past few months, and spent time studying their websites and social media, I would say that this is probably how they would regard themselves too - as a meeting place between God and his people. And then I remembered seeing something to this effect on their website, and when I found it, once again I thought oh yes... A Carmelite is called to live in radical openness to God and in solidarity with our world, so that her life becomes a place where the outpouring love of God and the longings of humanity meet. 

A feast-day visitor to our garden this evening
Such solidarity comes at a cost. It's the solidarity of Mary, who - as in the Gospel for today's feast - stood at the foot of the cross accompanying her dying Son in his final, anguished hours, unable to relieve or even soothe him, except with her presence and love. A solidarity, rooted in faith and hope, which finds its strength in stillness and its voice in silence; a solidarity in which so much has been stripped away, clearing the space for that crucial meeting with God. As the nuns say elsewhere on their site, it is an uncompromising choice, which they are prepared to stake their lives on.

Happy feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to all my Carmelite friends! - along with my gratitude for the support of their prayer, so necessary in this world filled with brokenness and anguish and longings. May they continue to be a meeting place between the God who is Love and his people...