Here is part of today’s Old Testament reading: ‘And there he [Elijah] came to a cave, and lodged there; And he [the Lord] said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave’.

Here is part of a paper that St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] gave to her Sisters in Carmel: ‘To stand before the face of the living God that is our vocation. The holy prophet set us an example. He stood before God’s face because this was the eternal treasure for whose sake he gave up all earthly goods. He had no house; he lived wherever the Lord directed him from moment to moment: in loneliness beside the brook of Carith, in the little house of the poor widow of Zarephath of Sidon, or in the caves of Mount Carmel. His clothing was an animal hide like that of that other great penitent and prophet, the Baptist. The hide of a dead animal reminds us that the human body is also subject to death. Elijah is not concerned about his daily bread. He lives trusting in the solicitude of the heavenly Father and is marvellously sustained. A raven brings him his daily food while he is in solitude. The miraculously increased provisions of the pious widow nourish him in Zarephath. Prior to the long trek to the holy mountain where the Lord was to appear to him, an angel with heavenly bread strengthens him’.

In our own standing before the Lord, may we gain strength and inspiration from the example of the holy prophet Elijah. May God meet you profoundly in your prayer this day.