Quote of the day, 20 October: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Your Kalougas are excellent, that is a nice little change for me, for now, I have continual nausea; I am losing my sense of smell a little… I’m sorry about all these sweets for my wretched palate* which doesn’t even taste them anymore…

There is a Being who is Love and who wishes us to live in communion with Him (cf. 1 Jn 1:3). Oh, Mama, it is delightful, for He is there keeping me company, helping me to suffer, urging me to go beyond my suffering to rest in Him; do as I do, you will see how that transforms everything.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 327 to her mother
Around 20 October 1906

*Biographer and editor Father Conrad de Meester, O.C.D. offers the following insights concerning Elizabeth’s remark about her “wretched palate”:

After having recounted the [rite of clothing of the new novice on] October 22, Madame Catez testifies:

“Her tongue and her palate were on fire, speaking was excruciating for her, but she still addressed affectionate words to friends, [who were weeping when they left her]…” (Récit Biographique, 2). “At this time (October 22), a great interior inflammation increased her sufferings even more; she was literally burning to death and could speak only with difficulty, but the greatest joy shone on her face.”

And a priest who took her Communion “three weeks before her death”: “Even though I had been warned, when I saw that tongue, red as fire, I was so affected that my hand trembled” (Souvenirs, 241).

That condition kept on getting worse: “Toward the end of October, her stomach, which was nearly consumed, would accept only a few pieces of barley sugar; after All Saints’ Day, it was a complete fast; Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity could not even take a drop of water without experiencing acute pains; her mouth, already on fire for three weeks, continued to dry up. The scorching thirst, the torment of which we could not relieve, was particularly painful for her” (Souvenirs, 249–50).

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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