Spiritual formation

Discover friends –

Mary Mother of Life

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Ma. Cristina “Kitte” G. Santos, 30th Generation – Pearl

Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, crouched down to the earth, and put his head between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up and look out to sea.” He went up and looked but reported, “There is nothing.” Seven times he said, “Go look again!” And the seventh time, the youth reported, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Elijah said, “Go and say to Ahab, harness up and go down the mountain before the rain stops you.” All at once, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and heavy rain fell. (1 Kings 18: 42b-45a)

This passage recounts the story of Elijah resting on the top of Mount Carmel. He tells his attendant to check the horizon seven times. On the 7th request, he tells Elijah that there’s a small cloud rising out of the sea. Urgently, Elijah prepares for the rain to return. Drought has ended in Israel. The people have returned to their one true God.

For Carmelites, this little cloud is a prefiguration of Mary. Why? A cloud brings water to the earth. Remember, Israel suffered drought for years. The land was barren because it lacked the water that makes life possible. The land was dead. But the rain that arrived with the cloud offered new life. So also with Our Lady. Our life comes in and through Jesus Christ, and He chose to reside in the womb of Mary, who is the little cloud offered to us on the horizon of human history.

Mary gave us the possibility of life by her fiat. Christ came into the world through her. She was fashioned and made by Him, just as the rain in the sky makes a cloud possible. The little cloud that does not appear to hold much actually held the fullest means of salvation. Seeing the cloud – our Lady – reminds us we were once barren, but because of her and her Son, fullness of life is now possible. Like that little cloud, Mary comes to us in ways that seem unassuming, but her impact is totally transforming. She always seeks to make her Son known to us, as a cloud wishes to share its water with the earth. (Fr.N.Blackwell, O.Carm)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel will always be my “little cloud.” Her presence in my life brings freshness and energy whenever there are moments of dryness, scarcity, and dullness in me. Through her, I have come to embrace the difficulties and challenges to follow the will of God because she was able to do it first. Our Lady directed me to her Son, who is the one who truly gives newness and fullness of life.

“Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the cloud in our lives, pray for us.”