St. Elizabeth of the Trinity has become one of my very favorite Saints. She has been known as the “Prophet of the Presence” or the “Prophet of the Divine Indwelling”. She is a really important saint for our times. Her writings are filled with lessons that are incredibly pertinent to the maladies of modern day catholics. Here are six quotes that I think we can draw so much wisdom from. I’ll add some thoughts below each quote.
“Of what importance is feeling? Perhaps you are all the closer when I feel you less.” Unfortunately emotivism is so prevalent as a rule of faith now. We base so much of our faith on feelings. In my limited experience of the spiritual life feelings are a terrible gauge for our closeness to God or the health of our soul.
“May my life be a continual prayer, a long act of love.” Echoing “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence, Elizabeth practiced a continual recognition on the indwelling Trinity. She constantly reverenced the presence of God within her soul.
“During painful times, when you feel a terrible void, think how the capacity of your soul is being enlarged so that it can receive God- becoming as it were, infinite as God is infinite.” Modern man has a tendency to avoid suffering at all costs and in every way. I have learned in my own life that the greatest moments of grace come after God has tilled the soil of our hearts with suffering. I almost desire it now because I know that suffering has become one of the greatest graces of my life. I do not yet suffer well but I definitely recognize that each inconvenience and suffering has meaning.
“You will never be commonplace if you are vigilant in love.” The current obsession with being unique is a hopeless pursuit when it is driven by our own efforts. On the other hand, God creates a beautifully unique tapestry out of our souls when we turn our lives over to His love. Have you ever wondered how there can be so many unique saints? Love is always new and alway exciting.
“I go to him as a baby goes to his mother so that he can fill me and invade all and take me in his arms.” I just love the part of this phrase that says, “invade all”. It is a common plea of my heart for God to conquer me. At times I feel this is the only viable option. To invade me like an army and take captive those things out of line with a life of discipleship.
“O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, come upon me, and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole mystery.” So much here. Her great desire is that she would be wholly given over to Christ. That she would be a living mystery of the gospel message renewing the world as Christ did.
“Forget self, give up self, ignore self, look at the Master, look only at Him, accept as coming directly from His love both joy and suffering.” Boom! Accepting joys from God’s love and attributing suffering to no cause at all is so easy. But to look at both joy and suffering as a gift of love from God is where “the rubber meets the road”. No matter what life has brought you look at it as a gift coming directly from the love of God.
Elizabeth of the Trinity: Pray for us!
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.