She is there at the foot of the Cross, standing, full of strength and courage, and here my Master says to me: “Ecce Mater tua.” He gives her to me for my Mother. . . . And now that He has returned to the Father and has substituted me for Himself on the Cross so that “I may suffer in my body what is lacking in His passion for the sake of His body, which is the Church,” the Blessed Virgin is again there to teach me to suffer as He did, to tell me, to make me hear those last songs of His soul which no one else but she, His Mother, could overhear.
When I shall have said my “consummatum est,” [it is finished] it is again she, “Janua coeli,” who will lead me into the heavenly courts, whispering to me these mysterious words: “Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi; in domum Domini ibimus!” [I rejoiced when they said to me: let us go to the house of the Lord].
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Last Retreat, Fifteenth Day
This last photo was taken of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity in mid-October, 1906, shortly before her death in the Carmel of Dijon, France. She is seated on the terrace of the monastery wearing a more lightweight habit that she received October 4. She is holding two gifts from her dear friends, the de Bobet family. First, Volume 4 of the Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, opened to the Living Flame of Love; this was a gift from Madame de Bobet received shortly after Elizabeth was clothed in the habit and began her novitiate. Elizabeth wrote her thank-you note on or about 10 February 1902. The rosary came from the shrine in Lourdes; Elizabeth’s closest friend Antoinette de Bobet brought the gift to the monastery in January 1906. The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes is the one that Elizabeth gave to her mother when she entered the monastery; in her final illness, the statue returned to Carmel and Elizabeth called her, “Janua Coeli”, meaning “Gate of Heaven”. [Source: De Meester]
Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2014, I Have Found God, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity Volume 1: Major spiritual writings, translated from the French by Kane, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Elizabeth of the Trinity, S, de Meester, C, Lonchampt, J, 1980, Oeuvres Complètes, Les Editions du Cerf, Paris.
I like “substituted me for Himself” on the Cross. It’s usually written the other way about. Really thought-provoking. Was the lighter habit because of her illness?
Yes, I believe so. She could barely sit up straight at that point, says De Meester.
Oh, the poor thing. One can’t see that in her contented face!
That detail is provided elsewhere by Fr. De Meester.
The things we tell our Superiors, which the world has no idea of at all! There was a Protestant hymn I used to sing, which had the line, “Go give them the sunshine; tell Jesus the rest”…