A Reflection on Mt. Carmel & Architecture

The lintels of the first floor level have been raised over the doors and windows and the second floor beams have been lowered into place; slowly the building is ascending.

IMG_20190910_123637474.jpg
IMG_20190910_140357930.jpg

The nuns hope to have the Carmelite crest in its simple form engraved on the lintel above the principle door to each building. There it will remind those who enter what the Carmelite life, ethos, mission and destiny entails.

IMG_20190904_070741593.jpg

The eye is drawn to its  central focus: a mountain, Mt. Carmel, which rises abruptly to a summit which becomes a cross. Mt Carmel thus becomes synonymous with Calvary and the steep ascent of its slopes has but one purpose; the encounter and union with God.

From that lofty vantage point, distant and detached from the cares and affairs of the world, the Carmel unleashes Grace by prayer, penance and fidelity to a world that is jaded, skeptical and lost in uncertainties and anxiety.

The three stars represent the three ages of Carmelite spirituality. Firstly there was the Old Testament prophetic age, with Elijah battling the idolotrious prophets of Baal on the slopes of Mt. Carmel, giving the motto "with zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts" . 

The second age began with the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelation in Christ and eastern Christian hermits lived contemplative lives on Mt Carmel. 

During the  Crusades knights from western Europe retreated to Mt Carmel and formed a spiritual community of contemplatives which grew and spread across the world bringing the Carmelite spirituality to the West and starting the third age which, in our small way, we are continuing on this little mountain in Fairfield,  Pennsylvania, seeking to ascend to encounter and become one in God.