Our good Mother, who looks after your Sabeth with a truly maternal heart, insists that I spend time out in the fresh air, so, instead of working in our little cell, I’m settled like a hermit in the most deserted part of our big garden, and I spend delightful hours there [the prioress became aware of Elizabeth’s changing health].
All nature seems so full of God to me: the wind blowing in the tall trees, the little birds singing, the beautiful blue sky, everything speaks to me of Him.
Oh! Mama, I want you to know my happiness keeps on growing, it takes on infinite proportions, like God Himself, and it is such a calm, sweet happiness; I would like to share my secret with you!
Saint Peter, in his first epistle, says: “Because you believe, you will be filled with an unshakable joy” [1 Pt 1:8]. I think the Carmelite actually draws her happiness from this divine source: faith. She believes, as Saint John says, “in the love God has for her” [1 Jn 4:16]. She believes that this same love drew Him to earth . . . and into her soul, for He who is called Truth has said in the Gospel “Remain in me, and I in you” [Jn 15:9].
Then, quite simply, she obeys this most sweet commandment and lives in intimacy with the God who dwells within her, who is more present to her than she is to herself [Cf. St. Augustine Confessions, “Deus intimior intimo meo.”].
All that is not just sentiment or imagination, darling Mama, it is pure faith, and yours is so strong that God could repeat to you what He once said: “O woman, your faith is great” [Mt 15:28].
Yes, it was great when you led your Isaac to sacrifice him on the mountain [Cf. Gen 22:1-19]. God has recorded this heroic act carried out by your mother’s heart in the great book of life [Cf. Rev 21:27]; I believe your page will be very full and that you can await the day of divine revelation in sweet confidence!
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 236 to her mother (excerpt)
11 or 12 August 1905
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.