Feast of St. Elisha, spiritual co-founder of the Carmelite Order

Today is the feast of Holy Father Elisha (Eliseus in the old transliteration).  Here is the spiritual founding of the Carmelite Order, and of Judeo-Christian monasticism (2 Kings 2:1-15):

1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 “Stay here, please,” Elijah said to Elisha. “The LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel, 3 where the guild prophets went out to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master from over you today?” “Yes, I know it,” he replied. “Keep still.” 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, Elisha, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.”  5 They went on to Jericho, where the guild prophets approached Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master from over you today?” “Yes, I know it,” he replied. “Keep still.” 6 Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here; the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” And so the two went on together. 7  Fifty of the guild prophets followed, and when the two stopped at the Jordan, stood facing them at a distance. 8  Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, which divided, and both crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” 10 “You have asked something that is not easy,” he replied. “Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”  11  As they walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 When Elisha saw it happen he cried out, “My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!” But when he could no longer see him, Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two. 13  Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle which had fallen from him, and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.  14  Wielding the mantle which had fallen from Elijah, he struck the water in his turn and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over. 15 The guild prophets in Jericho, who were on the other side, saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They went to meet him, bowing to the ground before him.

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