Quote of the day, 25 November: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

… victim of holocaust. Oh, make me a martyr of your Love, may this martyrdom lead to my death. Take away from me the freedom to displease you, may I never commit the slightest offense. Shatter, rip from my heart all that displeases you. I want to do your will always, to respond always to your grace. O Master, I want to be holy for you, be my holiness, for I know my weakness. Oh, Jesus, thank you for all the graces you have granted me; thank you especially, for having tested me. It is so good to suffer for you, with you. Every beat of my heart is a cry of gratitude and love.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Notes Intimes, 4
Sometime after 16 November 1899

Editor and biographer Father Conrad de Meester, O.C.D. provides copious footnotes on this prayer, “Make me a martyr of your love.”

He first indicates that it was written on the back of an invitation to choir practice scheduled for “Thursday 16 November” [1899].

Already in her previous writings, St. Elizabeth has used the terms victim and holocaust, but here they are forged together in one, single expression. Fr. de Meester states that, obviously, “the entire tenor of this little note indicates that the expression is borrowed from St. Thérèse’s Act of Offering to Merciful Love, which Elizabeth already had read and copied in Story of a Soul” [Elizabeth read the first edition, which had just been published in 1898 by Saint-Paul publications in Paris, edited by the nuns of Lisieux with assistance from Father Godefroy Madelaine and the Abbey of Mondaye].

De Meester believes that there is no doubt that the missing words at the beginning of the note are “I offer myself as a” victim of holocaust.

Students and devotés of St. Thérèse will recognize many similarities between Elizabeth’s prayer and the Offering of Thérèse; for example: “may this martyrdom lead to my death;” and, at first Elizabeth wrote, “don’t permit me to displease you” but then she crossed that out and wrote above it, “take away from me the freedom to displease you,” which is another reference to Thérèse’s Offering.

Conrad de Meester further mentions that in St. Elizabeth’s great joy after having received her mother’s consent to enter Carmel, the Saint had developed the following radical desire, which she expressed in her private journal: “Shatter, rip from my heart all that displeases you.”

Another phrase that was crossed out and replaced with stronger language was this: “may I do your will.” Elizabeth changed from the subjunctive mood that expressed a wish or desire, so as to affirm in the strongest language possible her determination to accomplish God’s will at every moment: “I want to do your will always.”

Further similarities exist in this prayer when compared to St. Thérèse’s Offering. “O Jesus, thank you for all the graces… especially for having tested me” is almost a word-for-word citation of the Little Flower’s prayer, just as she refers to “every beat of my heart.”

Finally, the fact that Elizabeth concludes her prayer with “a cry of gratitude and love” also indicates another instance of the probable influence of Thérèse. Father de Meester reminds us that in her Story of a Soul, Thérèse defined prayer with these words:

For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy…

Manuscript C, folio 25r

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity was beatified on 25 November 1984 in St. Peter’s Basilica by Saint John Paul II.

This translation is an expression of gratitude and love for the many graces received over the years through the intercession of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, who played an instrumental role in the blogger’s conversion and Profession of Faith.

de la Trinité, E 1996, Oeuvres complètes / édition critique réalisée par le P. Conrad de Meester, carme, Les Editions du Cerf, Paris.

Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

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