May my life be a continual prayer, a long act of love. May Nothing distract me from You, neither noise nor diversions. O my Master, I would so love to live with You in silence. But what I love above all is to do Your will, and since You want me to still remain in the world, I submit with all my heart for love of You. I offer You the cell of my heart; may it be Your little Bethany. Come rest there, I love You so….
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Personal Notes, 5
Around 23 January 1900
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity draws our attention to Love—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—humbly dwelling in us.
Saint Elizabeth invites us to make haste and meet God, already present deep within us, that he may draw us out of ourselves. The grace of self-forgetfulness she begged for was not about neglecting the self. In fact, it was not about the self but rather about making everything about God so that her life could become a “continual prayer.”
Pope Francis often speaks of the dangers of self-referentiality, a kind of Catholic self-absorption. In his speech to the General Congregation of Cardinals prior to the papal conclave that elected him in March 2013, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio said:
“When the Church does not go out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then becomes sick (like the woman who was bent over in the Gospel)” [Cf. Lk 13:10-17].
Saint Elizabeth’s life models for the Church and the world today this iterative movement of going inward and outward, always seeking God, and never stopping to make it all about anything or anyone else.
Elizabeth’s life and works offer a remedy for a world hyper-focused on the self and self-image, which can result in superficiality, narcissism, and despair.
Beholding the mystery of God dwelling within her changed everything for Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, and her life radiated God’s Presence.
The thought of God dwelling in me brings me a sense of terror and awe. Terror because I am a sinner; awe because I am a sinner who is also loved.
And, if this same loving God dwells in my neighbors, then I am always on holy ground. The opportunities on earth to love the “Three in One” who loved me first are never lacking.
During this Novena, I hope these words from Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity will heighten your sense of God’s indwelling, making your soul, more and more each day, His Heaven on Earth.
Father Quang D. Tran, S.J.
Carmelite Quotes welcomes Father Quang D. Tran, S.J., who prayerfully composed our 2022 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena. Father Tran is a Jesuit priest of the Central Southern Province. He is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is currently a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Boston College. His profound devotion to St. Elizabeth and his rigorous training—not only in theology but also in the interior life of the human person—enable him to share great insights for our Novena. You can follow Father Tran on Instagram at @lemetellusumtin.
PRAY EACH DAY WITH
ST. ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY
- Day 1
He dwells in me—and I in Him
- Day 2
I have found my heaven on earth
- Day 3
A praise of glory is…
- Day 4
O blessed death in God!
- Day 5
The secret of peace and happiness
- Day 6
Martha and Mary
- Day 7
The Eucharist: heaven on earth
- Day 8
- Day 9
Our Lady, full of light
O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face-to-face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs that we recommend to you.
(Mention these here)
Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our hearts.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.
(pray slowly, offering Him “the cell of your heart”)
(three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)
All scripture references in this novena are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.
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.
The portrait of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity in our featured image for this novena is used through the kind permission of the artist, Belita William (© Belita William, all rights reserved). You can view more of Belita’s artworks at belitawilliamart.com.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer