Before today, I wouldn’t have counted Elizabeth of the Trinity as one of my saint-besties. I’d really only vaguely heard of her as the “spiritual sister” of St. Therese of Lisieux, and that’s because Hans Urs von Balthasar’s comparison of the two Carmelites is in one of the many stacks of (unread) books making my office into an obstacle course.
But with her canonization this morning, I decided it was a good moment to take a glance at her complete works. I’m still just getting started, but because I’m a mom trying to raise children in a world that seems ready to fall apart before November, her words, some of them written almost exactly 110 years ago, instantly soothed my soul.
The heaviness of everything happening around us — Syria, tensions with Russia, nuclear threats in North Korea, the starving in Ethiopia, Venezuela imploding, and of course our own homegrown mess — can overwhelm me, but Elizabeth seems to say, look at all of that only after you’ve looked within.
I’d only been skimming her Letters From Carmel for a few moments when one recurring theme popped out.
Elizabeth of the Trinity had a profound awareness of God’s presence in her soul — in our souls — and it was this that transformed the Carmel into a delight and her life into a song of joy.
But she was convinced that this sweet intimacy with the Trinity was not just a luxury for her, as a Bride of Christ in the cloister. In letters to her mother, to sisters and friends, in advice to women expecting babies or raising small children, she returns again and again to this counsel: Find God in your soul and … enjoy! What could possibly take away your peace if you know that He is there?
Read more at Aleteia