The history of the people of God is filled with stories of miraculous salvation. Joseph saved his family from starvation, thus saving the whole of Israel. Later, Moses saved the Israelite nation from genocide by getting them out of Egypt. Both are types of how Christ will save His Bride the Church from her enemies every time. In my opinion, there is one special battle that is a type of the times the Church is living right now. All the elements are there. There is an unfaithful king (Ahab) married to a foreigner (Jezebel) and the people of Israel have fallen into the heresy of indifferentism, worshiping both the True God and the false pagan gods promoted by the priests introduced by Jezebel. Do you begin to see the type?
Unfaithfulness results in a drought
A severe drought caused a famine in all the territory of Israel. The unfaithful king was at the end of his wits, trying to save his horses and other animals from starving. He sends his servant Obadiah to search for pastures near the few surviving wells of water. Early during his search, Obadiah meets the great prophet Elijah whom the king wanted to kill.
And as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” (1 Kings 18:7-8 NIV)
When he finally meets the king, Elijah challenges him to send all the false prophets to Mount Carmel and meet him there.
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:17-19 NIV)
The prophets of Baal fail
So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. (1 Kings 18:20-29 NIV)
After the prophets fail miserably, Elijah calls the people to rebuild the altar of the Lord. He makes sure that all the credit goes to God for the miracle that is about to occur by drenching the offering and the altar in water. That gesture of the prophet has a hidden message: by wasting all that precious water at a time of a severe drought, he was communicating the nature of the miracle that God was about to perform, restoring not only the faith of Israel but even its environmental integrity. The water spread over the altar of the oblation by Elijah symbolizes the Christian sacrament of baptism that will be introduced by John the Baptist, whom many compared to the great Elijah. There the heavenly rain mixes with the dry soil (sinful mankind) to form the mud symbolized in the brown garment of the Carmelites.
Altar and Faith restored
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:36-39 NIV)
This manifestation of the awesome power of God, purifies the people’s hearts and make them faithful again. This may be a type of the renewal of the true unpolluted faith after the great apostasy that I’m afraid we are living right now. But now … what do we do with the false prophets? I hope I’m not giving anyone murderous ideas here but the type is clear.
And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. (1 Kings 18:40 NIV)
The great prophet announces the rain although there is not a cloud in the sky. Then he goes to the top of Mount Carmel and starts to pray.
And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
The early fathers of the Church agree that “the little cloud like a man’s hand” is Mary the Mother of God. She appears like the Morning Star over the sea (like Elijah’s little cloud) to announce that the Sun, Christ Our Lord is soon to arrive. At the beginning of the history of redemption she is sent ahead and through her, God makes His Glorious Incarnation happen. In time the Body of Christ, the Church will become a mighty army of faithful but the beginning of it all was a young maid who freely accepted to be the Mother of the Messiah when she said “Let it be unto me according to your word.”
In 1 Kings 19:1-8 we see how the king wants to take revenge on Elijah. But Elijah flees to the wilderness in a figure reminiscent of Revelation 12:1-6. That ties both types to the destiny of the Church with Our Blessed Mother in the center of the action: she is the New Eve about to give birth to a new humanity but she is also the Church as it was in the beginning of her human life when she became the first faithful disciple of Christ, and a perfect model of the Church.
As Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary will preside over the purification of the Church and the reconstruction of the Altar of God. Reading about Elijah and the events at Mount Carmel we have much to meditate these days.
It is obvious that a woman who can make the sun dance in the sky is much more powerful that anything on earth.
We have to pray the Holy Rosary to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus because I really have seen enough.
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I think we are all weary but we know God cannot be late. This is part of the great judgment of the nations of this world. It will go until it is sufficiently proven that man is not capable to live without Christ. If we are living in Christ, the world is over for us and all evil can do is waste our time and annoy us. Our country is in Heaven. We are only passing by here to give witness to the truth.
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Wow – what insight! I’ve always loved that story of Elijah drenching the alar, having a trench filled as well – and how God showed His power by fire. These days are filled with so many false prophets, indifferent or (culpably?) ignorant laity, none of the hierarchy who resist have the power of Elijah to command the peoples attention. We need the type of Saints again that Our Lord raised up during the Reformation/Deformation. In my childhood, miraculous lives were lived in the likes of Mother Teresa, Padre Pio and many others – this touch of God seems to be missing now which strikes me with dread, as if He’s removed Himself and left us to reap what we didn’t stop being sown. Of course He is here, never to leave us orphaned. But when He does make His presence felt again I fear it will go hard on good and bad alike, and worse on the lukewarm and indifferent. Pray for the conversion of sinners and do penance for them.
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Even many of the Discalced Carmelites have abandoned the mission entrusted to them by Our Lady. St. Teresa of Jesus & St. John of the Cross, our blessed founders, gave their lives to founding the reformed Carmel, & many Carmelites died martyrs during the centuries since. I fear to think of the fate of many of today’s members of their Order. A few of us are living according to the original Rule, but we are condemned by our “superiors” & brothers & sisters in Carmel. So much suffering these days, & we do all we can to offer it up to God for the salvation of His Church. “How much longer, O Lord?” Thank you for this reminder, Carlos, that Our Lady will soon intervene!
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Let’s say that I was disappointed in 2017 because I was really believing in a divine intervention in the world because it was the hundred anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima.
At the same time, in September 2017, there was the sign of the woman clothed with the sun that appeared; there were a lot of speculations about it but nothing happened.
I hope that Our Lady will intervene soon because I really have seen enough.
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Thank you Carlos for you encouraging words.
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Thank you for your comments and for following this blog. One day we will lit cigars, have a good glass of strong beer and laugh about these times! 😀
More and more, I think the only people you can trust in our days, which are similar to the days of Noah, are the people who cannot wait for Jesus to come back.
Those who are planning for this life are not to be trusted despite they are the huge majority of mankind.
Makes me think about all the people leaving their country searching for a supposed “better life” elsewhere. For example, here in Canada, many Frenchmen are coming because in France things are not good and they think they will be richer here but often, they finish working at the minimum wage here in Canada.
What annoys me is that, similarly to many others I have to admit who do not have to leave their country, they seem to value so much this life on earth as if there was no Heaven.
But all the signs are there with the volcanoes, the earthquakes, the extreme weather, but they do not seem to notice.
I have really seen enough. Praying to keep courage.
Thank you again Carlos for all your writings.
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Not long ago I was sitting at a local cafe with a friend (a Catholic priest) talking about the same subject. The music system was turned off for some reason. Then Father said very seriously: “I wonder how long it will be until God intervenes” (or something to that effect.) At that exact moment the music system was turned on and The Beatles were heard over the loudspeakers: “It won’t be long, yeah, yeah…” It sounded as if they were responding to what Father was saying! I had to explain because Father does not speak English. It was one of those “coincidences’ — if you want to call them that.
Thank you Carlos for your answer,
Of course I do not Believe in “coincidences”. I really think God was telling you and Father that He will intervene soon.
And it shows also that your friend the Catholic priest and you Carlos are holy men of God.
Thank you for your kindness to answer.
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We are are playing out a choice – the merciful Fire of the Immaculate Heart or the Fire of Justice of God the Father?
I think we are worried about the latter, but wear the scapular, keep the first Saturdays, pray to St. Joseph (he really is our hope) and the Divine Child Jesus to bless the World with Peace by obtaining for us poor sinners the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. – then the merciful fire will come. The last apparition at Fatima warned of the Fire of Justice, and the blessing of the Head of the Holy Family gave a prophetic cure when all will seem too late – increased devotion to St. Joseph can and will save the day.
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