(First Row: Elizabeth as Postulant amd Mother Germaine, prioress, holding “Story of a Soul”- autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux)
Who was Elizabeth?
A brief biography
Born on July 18th 1880 at Avor, a military camp near Bourges, France, as a teenager she was fully involved in the social life of her time and in the apostolic activities of her parish, especially youth work. The “terrible rages” of her baby years were transformed by the love of Christ at the time of her First Communion. Under the influence of that love those potentially destructive forces served to mould the balanced, loving, outgoing person she became, equally at home on dance floor, tennis court or travelling in the Alps. Always, however, Elizabeth’s true home was in the depths of her own being, where, from an early age, she experienced the indwelling presence of the Most Holy Trinity.
This was the core truth from which she lived her entire life. Vividly convinced of God’s personal love for her, she longed to become a Carmelite nun so as to respond fully to that love in a life of adoration, praise, thanksgiving and intercession for the world. In deference to her widowed mother’s wishes, she postponed this step until she was 21 when she entered the Carmelite monastery in Dijon, receiving the name Elizabeth of the Trinity. There, after a painful illness, she died on 9th November 1906, aged 26. Her last words were “I go to Light, to Love, to Life”. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 25th November 1984.
Elizabeth did not have to wait for her entry into religious life to find God within her own being at every moment and in every occupation. This is the grace of our Baptism, when the Father, Son and Spirit come and make Their home within us (cf. Jn 14:23). Elizabeth lived in the presence of the indwelling God Who is Love, through all the activities of her happy, adventurous teenage years and young womanhood. Her message to us today is surely to encourage us also to try to be ever-present to Him in the intimacy of that hidden place.
Quotes of Blessed Elizabeth
The Trinity – this is our dwelling, our ‘home’,
the Father’s house that we must never leave.
|Believe that He loves you.
He wants to help you Himself
in the struggles
which you must undergo.
Believe in His Love,
His exceeding Love.
|A soul united to Jesus
is a living smile
which radiates Him
and which gives Him.
|I leave you my faith in the presence of God,
of the God who is all Love dwelling in our souls.
I confide to you:
it is this intimacy with Him ‘within’ which
has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life,
making it already an anticipated heaven.
|I think that in heaven my mission will be
to draw souls, by helping them go out of themselves to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement,
and to keep them in this great silence
within, that will allow God to communicate Himself to them and transform them into Himself.
Bl Elizabeth’s message for the 21st Century
that I love to find Him since He never leaves me.
God in me, I in Him, oh! that is my life!”
She invites us to open our hearts to the reality within:
He is waiting for you and wants to establish a ‘wonderful communion’ with you”.