Elijah Community Project is designed to be a mission. We wish to assist people in the Church of England in their spiritual journey and to deepen their life of prayer. Prayer is a special call of Carmel. Every person inspired by Carmelite spirituality prays and helps others to pray.
Our project is then about creating a network of people who enjoy praying and contemplating. We also love nature and spiritual activity outdoor. Therefore, we promote walking in the mountains and fierce landscapes as Carmelite spirituality was born in the wilderness, desert, and slopes of Mount Carmel. Our goal is to promote this activity as a unique combination of physical and spiritual exercise. It may help us improve our health, but also opens new possibilities in our search for God and the meaning of life.
Our project is open to everyone who would like to experience the Divine Presence in the stillness of mountains and wild places. We promote a very ancient way of spiritual teaching, which is part of the Carmelite tradition of searching for God in the wilderness as developed by men and women living on Mount Carmel in Palestine about 800 years ago. We would simply like to create a network of friends who love walking in the mountains to pray in silence.
As the famous philosopher of religion Mircea Eliade said the religious and spiritual significance of mountains is endless, the Carmelites confirm that mountains are in the heart of their spirituality and tradition. The connection between mountains and the Carmelite way of spiritual life began in a special place of human attentiveness to the Divine presence, which was this coastal mountain range Mount Carmel, which stretches from the bay of Haifa towards Jerusalem. Here, on its massive hills, people have gathered since ancient times to pray or to seek the Divine. Among them was the great prophet Elijah who is known as the spiritual founder of the Carmelite way of life. Many centuries later, a group of Christian hermits living on the slopes of Mount Carmel shaped the idea of climbing mountains as a spiritual image of their way of prayer. It eventually became one of the key symbols of Carmelite spirituality. If you would like to know something more about Carmelites, their spirituality, and Mount Carmel itself, you can open the next page called Mount Carmel. You will also find there some basic information about mountain spirituality.
Let wilderness and dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy . . .
for the splendour of Carmel is conferred on it
(Book of Isaiah 35:1-2)