Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Why I Love Elizabeth

Each of us is attracted to a Saint for a particular reason.  Whether it be the Saint's personality, spirituality or relevance in our own life.  I did not know Elizabeth of the Trinity until I entered Carmel.  She was beatified the year I graduated from college.   Her photos show a serious looking woman with dark and large eyes with a deep penetrating gaze.   But upon closer inspection and reading of her writings, she proves herself to be lovable.  Maybe because it appeals to my serious bent, and also partly because she gives voice to my own desires and longings, I feel a sense of kindred spirit in Elizabeth.  Everybody loves St. Therese because of her youth, love of life and her doctrine of spiritual childhood.  But Elizabeth is not so well known outside a few circles.  Her spirituality is summed up in these words:
"I think my mission in heaven will be to draw souls, helping them to go out of themselves to cling to God, with a spontaneous, love-filled action, and to keep them in that great interior silence which enables God to make His mark on them, to transform them into Himself..... This intimacy with the One who dwells within me has been the beautiful sunshine that has irradiated my life... Give peace to my soul.  Make it your heaven, Your beloved dwelling and Your resting place!"

I highlighted the phrases which speak to me.  Her mission of "helping us to go out of ourselves to cling to God with a spontaneous, love filled action" is an invitation to be simple and childlike in our relationship with God.  Nothing is contrived and formal, everything is spontaneous in love.  "Great interior silence" is a disposition of the soul.  It is a requirement for divine intimacy.  Many of the Saints speak of this but Elizabeth speaks of it with singularity and consistency.  She speaks of a silent soul with such beauty that we are compelled to acquire it so that we too can enter this serenity of heart, undisturbed by the concerns of life because we understand what truly matters .  The only way to know Elizabeth is to read her works and to let them penetrate our minds and capture our hearts so that her desires become our own.

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