As the Year of Faith draws to a close later this month, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, whose feast day is today, has much to say to us about the love of God which should “impel” us toward a more energetic life of faith. Elizabeth died just 107 years ago today at the age of 26 of Addison’s disease. Like her contemporary, St. Therese of Lisieux, she was a Carmelite who sought to live out her love of God-present-within-her in the activities of her daily life.
As her short life on earth came to a close, she became increasingly aware of the reality that those who love God are adopted by the Holy Trinity to live within their circle of love forever. Additionally, she rejoiced that this reality also meant Jesus wasn’t speaking in hyperbole when He promised that He and God the Father would make their “home” within those who love them (Jn. 14:23).
In letters written just weeks before her death, she tells a fellow Carmelite nun, “My dear Antionette, I leave you my faith in the presence of God who is all Love dwelling in our souls. I confide to you: It is this intimacy with Him ‘within’ that has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life, making it already an anticipated Heaven and it what sustains me today in my suffering.”
And she assures another friend, “I am going to give you my ‘secret’: Think about God who dwells within you, whose temple you are. St Paul speaks this way and we can believe it.”
If each professed Catholic nurtured the awareness of God within, we would soon set the world on fire, as Catherine of Sienna stated, and the Year of Faith will have been a year well spent. When Blessed John Paul II beatified Elizabeth of the Trinity on November 25, 1984, he said,
“She is a brilliant witness of the joy of being ‘rooted and grounded in love’. We can turn to Elizabeth of the Trinity today as a witness to the impact that the presence of the loving God within the soul can have in a human life. She proclaims to us with St. Paul the great dignity of the Christian Vocation: the call to conformed to Christ…and to become temples of the Holy Spirit, all to the ‘praise of the glory of God our Father.’ Additionally, she reminds us that the Trinity is our ‘home’, that God has created us…to live as His adopted children, dwelling in love and remaining there always in this life and in the next.”
Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us!
Copyright © 2013, Glenna Bradshaw