For many of us, our understanding of the Carmelites is limited to the loves and times of the sixteenth-century Spanish mystics, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. However, Wilfrid McGreal shows that if we want a way into Carmelite spirituality, we need to go back to its origins. How has the vision of the pilgrims and hermits who settled on Mount Carmel been sustained for some eight hundred years? What is the key to it, and how has it been re-imagined in different eras and cultures?
In telling the story of the Carmelite tradition, Wilfrid McGreal shows the enduring importance of the Rule with its call to follow Christ with an undivided heart and its challenge to be steeped in Scripture. The significance of the symbolic figures of Elijah and Mary is highlighted--expressing and resolving the tensions of the contemplative life and pointing towards the mystical. Wilfrid McGreal also stresses the contribution of women to the Order's life, from before the time of Teresa of Avila, also taking in Thérèse of Lisieux and Edith Stein.
At the Fountain of Elijah takes us on a journey through time and space from the twelfth century to the conditions of the present day, conditions which have encouraged renewal and growth in the Carmelite family. It is the story of a living community and an enduring vision which remains just as vivid today as yesterday.