Sunday, August 06, 2017

Visit to Mount Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ and here are some recollections of my too-brief visit to Mount Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration, in 2005.

Wild Ride to the Mount of the Transfiguration

The first day we stayed on Mount Carmel, we rode off to visit Mount Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration. We had to disembark from our buses at the bottom of Mount Tabor and wait a long time at a taxi stand where local Arab drivers pick up and ferry tourists up the serpentine road to the top.

Pilgrimage Group at the Taxi Stand, Fr. Koller Front Right
Whenever I remember my taxi ride to Mount Tabor I'm reminded of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Wind in the Willows. I was in the back seat on the passenger side, and ascetic Fr. Koller was in the middle.  As we sped along each of the sixteen or so hairpin switchbacks, even though I tried to hold onto anything within grasping distance, even going so far as trying to hold onto the fabric on the roof with my fingernails, the slender monk and not so slender I were thrown onto each other, back and forth, all the embarrassing way to the top.
Prohibito: Skimpy clothes, smoking, eating, guns, loud talking, animals

The Latin inscription on this mural in the Church of the Transfiguration reads, “And he was transfigured before them.”

Then after we finally got there, we were only allowed to stay a few minutes. I was so strongly moved by being at the site where Moses and Elijah had appeared with Christ at His Transfiguration in the presence of Saints Peter and John that when the tour guide told us it was time to go, I started to cry, and I told him I didn’t want to leave. Finally he persuaded me, and I reluctantly walked back to the taxi stand with tears streaming down my face while he gently but firmly propelled me along with his arm around my shoulders.

Excerpted from a three part series, "Carmelites Visit Mount Carmel", published at Dappled Things.

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