The Carmelite community around the world -- priests, brothers, nuns, sisters, laity -- celebrate their patronal feast today. This image is of a stained glass window in the sanctuary of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Denmark, Wisconsin. It represents Mary, hands raised in awe-filled praise, in the guise of the burning bush in which Moses encountered God on Mount Sinai. The mandala at the center shows Jesus, her son. The idea is that although Mary is not herself divine, just as the bush on Sinai was not divine, nonetheless the divine presence manifested itself in and through her in a unique way. She is honored for that, though not worshiped as is her son.
The Carmelites have a strong Old Testament strain in their spirituality, as well as an Eastern Christian one. Here those threads come together in a reminder that the Utterly Transcendent can find expression through the ordinary things and people that surround us, if we but have the vision to look deep.