The Carmelite School of prayer has influenced many throughout the centuries. Fr. Valabek studies this history, highlighting the people and events that helped to promote this contemplative way at the service at the Church.
In this brief historical sketch, brings to our attention some of the writings of those who have played a significant role in the spiritual formation of Carmelites. Bigining with the Rule of Carmel, he take us along the path of prayer in Carmel Pointing out the landmarks. Roots of Carmelite Prayer, Liturgical Prayer, The Cult of the Virgin Mary, Michael Aiguani, Nicholas of France, John Soreth, Devotion to Carmel’s Mother and Patroness and Beauty, The Mantuan Reform, Silvestrani Brenzone, John Baptist Rossi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Juan Sanz, Irradiation of Carmelite Prayer, Miguel de la Fuente, St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, Tourain Reform, Philippe Ribot, a Life of familiarity with God, John of St. Samson, transforming union, Michael of St. Augustine, Maria Petyt, Seraphina of God, Emanuel de Casta, Jesus Prayer, José de S. Anna Pereira, John of the Cross Brenninger, Bartholomew Maria Xiberta, Devotio Moderna, Carmelite Charims (Third printing: 2007)
The Carmelite background of St. John of the Cross is examined in this work by historian Balbino Velasco, O. Carm. He proposes that his formation as John of St. Matthias, a little studied aspect of the saint’s life, was as much a contributing factor to his eventual participation in the Teresian reform. Translated by Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm. from the original Spanish with a helpful glossary of terms. – Translated by Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm.
Fr. Joel Giallanza, CSC, offers some wonderful insights in this “mini-course on the Interior Castle.” He offers a brief description of each of the seven mansion, followed by some reflections on how each level impacts prayer and relationships. Each section ends with a meditation on a particular virtue related to that stage of the interior life. (Third printing: 2008)
Former Prior General Killian Healy, O. Carm., offers some profound reflections on one of the most important figures in Carmelite spirituality, the prophet Elijah. Using the Scriptural texts as a foundation, Fr. Healy incorporates sources of the Carmelite tradition, including the writings of the saints and works of art, to confront contemporary spiritual challenges with a Carmelite perspective.
All three of the world’s great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – venerate the Profet of Fire.
For Jews, Elijah is the forerunner of the Messiah, a messenger between heaven and earth, the rebuilder of God’s chosen people. In the Gospels Elijah appears along with Moses during the transfiguration and bears witness to the Lordship of Jesus. For Muslims, we live because Elijah is alive. For all the paragon of fidelity to God.
In Profet of Fire Father Kilian Healy, former Prior General of the Carmelite Order, presents the perennial challange of Elijah: If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.
Modern man – and woman – prefers to straddle the issues. Like Israel of old we do not want to commit ourselves too deeply: we proclaim the principle of peace and justice but promote indiscriminate consumption; we proclame fundamental equality for all but insist on personal and national privilege; we proclaim the primacy of the spirit but reject discipline.
Elijah still calls on the servants of the Most high to throw down their idols and to return to the worship of the One God: If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him. The Baals of consumerism and reckless self-interest may be less recognizable than the old idols, but they are even more insidious in misleading the Paople of God.
Profet of Fire challanges us to stand up and be counted.
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(Fourth printing: 2010)
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