The Mission of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
Recently it was announced by the Vatican that the Carmelite nun, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity will be canonized this year. Many people are just beginning to learn about this holy Carmelite.
Her spirituality is considered to be similar to that of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. These saints shared a zeal for the salvation of souls. While St. Therese proclaimed that her mission would be to, "Spend my heaven by doing good upon earth," Blessed Elizabeth wrote of a different mission:
I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them to go out of themselves in order to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement, and to keep them in this great silence within which will allow God to communicate Himself to them and to transform them into Himself.
Blessed Elizabeth's "call within a call" was her mystical experience of the Divine Indwelling of the Holy Trinity. This was a gift that was given to her from her Beloved, Jesus, the Spouse of her soul. She knew this favor was a gift of love, not only for herself but for the Church. That is why she was aware of being called to spread the good news of the Divine Indwelling while she lived and accepted this mission that would follow her into eternity.
In Blessed Elizabeth's retreat, Heaven in Faith, she quotes John Ruysbroeck numerous times. On the seventh day of this retreat she uses this quote from his writings:
The immense riches that God possess by nature, we may possess by virtue of love, by His dwelling in us and by our dwelling in Him. It is by virtue of this immense love that we are drawn into the depths of the intimate sanctuary where God imprints on us a true image of His majesty.
She told us the same thing in her own words when describing her mission...and to keep them in this great silence within which will allow God to communicate Himself to them and to transform them into Himself.
Blessed Elizabeth was able to enter the "chapel of the heart" and find God there. This is the heart of the Carmelite vocation. It is the heart of the call of every Christian. Christ is the Bridegroom of each soul! We are called to intimate union with him. Carmelites, among other religious in the world, are called to be witnesses in the world of this intimate union. We witness to those around us by being merciful. We witness to those around us by sharing the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that have been given to us. If we are not responding in love to those around ud, if we lose peace of heart over small matters, our prayer life is not totally authentic. We have not let the Holy Spirit totally transform us. However, we should not be discouraged. Blessed Elizabeth is here to help us. She knows the effort it takes for us to cooperate with God's grace. She prays for our transformation, but we must make the effort to meet God in solitude and silence. It is there that he speaks to us, heals us, strengthens us, and transforms us into His image. Let us be faithful to prayer!
In her final days, Blessed Elizabeth wanted to be known as " "Laudem Gloriae," "A Praise of Glory." In her writings she describes at length a Praise of Glory. Here is an excerpt:
A praise of Glory is a silent soul, a lyre beneath the mysterious touch of the Holy Spirit, from which He can draw divine harmonies. Knowing that suffering is a string which produces still more exquisite tones, this soul rejoices at having it on its instrument, that is may thus more sweetly move the heart of its God.
Some Catholics may be familiar with Blessed Elizabeth's famous prayer to the Holy Trinity that can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On this great feast of the Most Holy Trinity, let us give thanks to God for her great witness and her great mission-her prayer and desire that we be one with the Most Holy Trinity.
Prayer to the Blessed Trinity
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in you, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from you, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of your mystery ! Pacify my soul!
Make it your heaven, your beloved home and place of your repose; let me never leave you there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to your creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for you a spouse of your heart! I would anoint you with glory, I would love you - even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask you to adorn me with yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm. me, substitute yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Savior.
O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to you, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from you; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on you and abide under your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave your radiance.
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to him a super-added humanity wherein he renews his mystery; and you O Father, bestow yourself and bend down to your little creature, seeing in her only your beloved Son in whom you are well pleased.
O my `Three', my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to you as a prey to be consumed; enclose yourself in me that I may be absorbed in you so as to contemplate in your light the abyss of your Splendor !
Peace be with you!