We must continually apply ourselves so that all our actions, without exception, become a kind of brief conversation with God, not in a contrived manner but coming from the simplicity and purity of our hearts.
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D. Spiritual Maxims
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 300 to her mother
[ July 18, 1906]
J. M. + J. T.
Darling little Mama,
I’m expecting you on Saturday at the time we arranged; I will go to receive you on foot, without a cane. I’m delighted about it! I was expecting you today, and here I see my Master wants to unite mother and child in suffering, since your dear health is the reason for the delay of your visit; I love you too much to be sad about it, for I understand better than ever how much God loves us when He tries us. What a relief for me to think of you looked after by our dear Guite; let yourself be cared for by her, obey her completely, won’t you, little Mama.
The Blessed Virgin has not performed the miracle you desired. When, as you tell me in your dear, kind letter, you’re afraid that I might be a victim marked out for suffering, I beg you not to be sad about it, that would be so beautiful; I don’t feel worthy of it; think now, to have a share in the sufferings of my crucified Bridegroom, and to go with Him to my passion to be a redemptrix with Him. . . . Saint Paul says that those whom God foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Rejoice in your mother’s heart when you think that God has predestined me and has marked me with the seal of the Cross of His Christ.
My legs, however, are getting better; I can walk without a cane. I’ve been given a very light robe, and this is what I wear when I make my little comings and goings, which consist in going out on the terrace and to the little tribune [small second-story prayer chapel overlooking the tabernacle]; can you imagine what a joy this is for my soul? Several times a day I make long visits to my Master, and I thank Him for having given me the use of my legs to go to Him. I am reading your dear book, which is magnificent; you’ve made me a very precious gift, my dear Mama; I have it beside me on the little table that is so useful to me. If you knew how well set up I am. . . . I think up something new every day, and my dear Mother smiles at my “comforts.” How she cares for me and anticipates my every need; I had told her I had a bad taste in my mouth and she got some new candy for me to bring me more relief, and it’s like that with everything; she has the intuitions of a mother. If you knew how she loves you; it was she who told me to write you right away, and I didn’t have to be begged, as you can imagine. We’ve had a very beautiful feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I’ll tell you all about it on Saturday. I’m giving you all my best wishes for my Guite; tell little Sabeth to give her this holy card and to kiss her for Tata. A Dieu, darling Mama, I gather all of you together to kiss you as I love you. Be very reasonable, listen well to your Guite to please me. Your daughter who loves you more than she can say.
M.E. of the Trinity r.c.i. 26 years old today.
This would be the last birthday letter that Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity would write to her dear mother, Madame Catez. Less than four months later, she would die of acute adrenal failure, directly attributable to her years-long battle with Addison’s Disease.
I have come to bring you news of our sick, and it is quite satisfactory. Uncle is having great difficulty recovering from his last attack. His breathing is very heavy at times like someone out of breath, then there are two minutes when he has no air to breath at all. He has been looking very exhausted and despondent since his last attack, so his condition is still very precarious….
Your little sister
Marie Guérin Sister Marie of the Eucharist (1870-1905)
On 5 June 1894, St. Louis Martin suffered the first of two serious heart attacks that ultimately led to his death on 29 July 1894 at 70 years of age. Read the account of his heart attack here and the rest of Marie’s letter here.
Are you the spirit’s fullness and the power
By which the Lamb releases the seal
Of God’s eternal decree?
Driven by you
The messengers of judgment ride through the world
And separate with a sharp sword
The kingdom of light from the kingdom of night.
Then heaven becomes new and new the earth,
And all finds its proper place
Through your breath:
Holy Spirit victorious power!
Our question now is: what makes the prophet certain
that he is standing before God?
Seeing with the eyes or in the imagination does not necessarily have anything to do with this. When both are absent there may still be an inner certainty that it is God who is speaking.
This certainty can rest on the feeling that God is present; one feels touched in his innermost being by him, by the One present. We call this the experienceof God in the most proper sense. It is the core of all mystical living experience: the person-to-person encounter with God. A sensible vision, like that of Isaiah, may accompany it as an extraordinary attendant phenomenon.
On the other hand,
is a vision like this conceivable
without a personal, inner experience of God?
Saint Edith Stein Ways to Know God: Experience
4c1) Revelation, Inspiration, and Supernatural Experience of God
Nota Bene: Translator Walter Redmond rendered Erfahrung as experience of God and Erlebnis as mystical living experience.
SALVE, Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria. Amen.
V./ Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix. R./ Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriosae Virginis Matris Mariae corpus et animam, ut dignum Filii tui habitaculum effici mereretur, Spiritu Sancto cooperante, praeparasti: da, ut cuius commemoratione laetamur; eius pia intercessione, ab instantibus malis, et a morte perpetua liberemur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Note: This solemn tone of the Salve Regina is sung by Discalced Carmelites in every convent of friars and monastery of nuns on every Saturday throughout the year.
Since, O my God, You inspire me to make myself like you in everything, as much as I can, I want particularly to imitate You in those virtues that are so pleasing to Your most loving Heart, namely: humility, meekness, and obedience.
Today we live again in a time that urgently needs to be renewed at the hidden springs of God-fearing souls… It is not necessary that we experience the epiphany in our lives. We may live in confident certainty that what the Spirit of God secretly effects in us bears its fruits in the kingdom of God. We will see them in eternity.
St Teresa Benedicta (The Hidden Life and Epiphany)
In this era of grace, now that the faith is established through Christ and the Gospel law made manifest, there is no reason for inquiring of him in this way, or expecting him to answer as before. In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say…
Those who now desire to question God or receive some vision or revelation are guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him by not fixing their eyes entirely on Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.
God could answer as follows: If I have already told you all things in my Word, my Son, and if I have no other word, what answer or revelation can I now make that would surpass this? Fasten your eyes on him alone because in him I have spoken and revealed all and in him you will discover even more than you ask for and desire…
One should not, then, inquire of God in this manner, nor is it necessary for God to speak any more.
Like a little lamb far from the sheepfold,
I merrily frolicked unaware of the danger,
But, O Queen of Heaven! my darling Shepherdess,
Your invisible hand knew how to protect me
While I played on the edge of the precipice.
You were already showing me the summit of Carmel.
I understood then the austere delights
That I would have to love to fly away to Heaven.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Cual tierno corderillo lejos de la majada,
jugueteaba alegre ignorando el peligro.
Mas ¡oh Reina del cielo, mis pastora querida!,
tu blanca, tu invisible, dulce mano sabía protegerme.
Y así, aunque yo jugaba al borde de los hondos precipicios,
ya tú me señalabas la cumbre del Carmelo,
y ya yo comprendía las austeras delicias
que habría de abrazar para volar al cielo.
Pilate asks Jesus: “What is truth?” The truth of which Jesus speaks is not something that you have, but rather something that you are. Pilate would have to ask this question differently: “who is truth?” The truth is there before him, the truth is this man in whom the most beautiful words in the world have become flesh and blood, and that is why they are true.
Thy kingdom come…
We pray, “thy Kingdom come.” However, the Kingdom has already come, it is already here like a morning star, but it still will come like high noon under the blazing sun; it is already here like a mustard seed, and yet we know that it will come like a mighty tree filled with nests. It was a tiny light of truth lived in the “His story” of Jesus — a light that we are called to welcome and place at the center of our existence as an inspiration and permanent criterion so that it becomes our destiny and the destiny of the world.
We seem to give them back to Thee, O God, who gavest them to us. Yet as Thou didst not lose them in giving, so we do not lose them by their return. Not as the world giveth, givest Thou, O lover of souls. What Thou givest, thou takest not away, for what is Thine is ours also, if we are Thine. And life is eternal and love is immortal and death is only an horizon, and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to Thyself that we may know ourselves to be nearer our loved ones who are with Thee. And while Thou dost prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where Thou art we may be also forevermore.
“As Thou didst not lose them in giving, so we do not lose them by their return.”
Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:17)
Resolution: To forgive whoever has offended me this day.
Maria Felicia, inspire thoughts of forgiveness in us for those who have offended us that we may be able to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Most Holy Trinity:
Father Son and Holy Spirit,
you who are pleased to place your abode
in the heart of men:
we thank you for having lit the fire of your love
in Blessed Maria Felicia of the Blessed Sacrament,
urging her to spend her youth
in the lay apostolate
and to sacrifice herself for all
in the contemplative life.
We praise and bless you
because through an exemplary life
you show us your kindness as Father and Friend
and the total exigencies of true love.
We ask you to grant us, through her intercession,
the graces that we now ask of you,
if it is for your greater glory and good for souls.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.