Tonight I want to show you my most recent icon -- of the prophet, Elijah, or St. Elijah as the Orthodox call him.
St. Elijah, as you may or may not be aware, is the patron saint of the contemplative Order of Carmelites. Although St. Elijah lived many centuries before Christ lived or the Carmelite communities were founded, he is seen as the founder of the tradition of religious hermits living in solitude in the caves on Mt. Carmel in what is now the country of Israel. The story of St. Elijah is found in the Hebrew Scriptures in the first and second Books of Kings.
From these scriptures we learn that the prophet Elijah was a man of God who lived always in God's presence and fought zealously for the worship of the One True God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel and, afterwards, on Mount Horeb, was given an intimate experience of the living God. From the very beginnings of the Carmelite Order, the founders were inspired by the example of St. Elijah to such an extent that he may, indeed, be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal.
The shield of the Carmelite Order takes as its motto Elijah's words: "Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo Exercituum". A translation of this Latin phrase can be seen in the scroll which I placed in St. Elijah's hand which reads: "I have burned with zeal for the Lord God of Hosts".
Next, I want to show you some photos my friend, Ken, sent me recently of an incredible cat by the name of Kitty.
"Kitty is perhaps the most adventurous cat in the world. She is the beloved pet of a French couple/explorers, Guillaume and Laetitia, who are on a mission to travel from Miami to Ushuaia, Argentina purely on foot. They are currently in Columbia, heading south. Kitty is often seen resting in the backpack carried by Guillaume while they are hiking down the road. They even set us a little umbrella on the backpack to give Kitty some shade from the sun. Kitty appears to be enjoying the trip just as much as the couple!"
Guillaume and Laetitia with Kitty
Kitty checking things out
Kitty napping under her own little umbrella
Kitty napping before they got the umbrella for her -- the hat doesn't work nearly as well as the umbrella!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about Kitty and seeing some photos of her and her family. If you want to learn more then go the web site for Guillaume and Laetitia
May peace be with you all.