November 8th is the feast day of our parish patroness – St. Elizabeth of the Trinity.
That being so, I thought it would be nice to share with you an excerpt from one of her writings, titled Heaven in Faith.
In August of 1906, three months prior to
her death, St. Elizabeth composed this
ten-day spiritual treatise as a memento for her sister Marguerite in an effort to convey the truth about the abiding presence of the Holy Trinity in our souls. Throughout the treatise, Elizabeth combines her own insights with those several saints and holy people who inspired her - e.g., St. Paul, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Bl. John van Ruysbroeck and others. It was the first of four such treatises she would leave behind. The following excerpt from Day 2 of the discourse, describes the soul, as the divine presence of God who abides in our “deepest center.”
St. Elizabeth writes: “The Kingdom of God is within…, St. John of the Cross says: “it is in the substance of the soul where neither the devil nor the world can reach” that God gives Himself to it: then “all its movements are divine, and although they are from God, they also belong to the soul, because God works them in it and with it.”
St. John of the Cross goes on to say: “God is the center of the soul. So when the soul with all its strength will know God perfectly, love and enjoy Him fully, then it will have reached the deepest center that can be attained in Him.” Before attaining this, the soul is already “in God who is its center,” but it is not yet in its deepest center, for it can still go further. Since love is what unites us to God, the more intense this love is, the more deeply the soul enters into God and the more it is centered in Him. When it “possesses even one degree of love, it is already in its center; but when this love has attained its perfection, the soul will have penetrated into its deepest center. There it will be transformed to the point of becoming very like God.” To this soul living within can be addressed the words: “No longer ask for the Master among those on earth or in Heaven, for He is your soul and your soul is He.”
There is so much we can learn from the writings of the saints. If this particular excerpt from the writings of St. Elizabeth inspires you, I encourage you to visit www.icspublications.org, and browse their catalog, where you will find: The Complete Works – Volume One, of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, in which Heaven in Faith can be found, and many other inspiring books by saints of the Carmelite Order.
If you would like to share any comments or questions about this article, feel free to contact me at: [email protected]