The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity

The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity


The servant of God, Elizabeth of the Trinity, was one of those enlightened and heroic souls able to cling to one of these great truths, which are both the simplest and the most important, and, beneath the appearance of an ordinary life, to find therein the secret of a very close union with God. This mystery of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the depths of her soul was the great reality of her interior life. As she herself said: "The Trinity! there is our dwelling, our home: the father's house that we must never leave .... It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, for heaven is God and God is in my soul. On the day I understood that, everything became clear to me. . . ." Obviously the foundation of this supernatural life is the practice of the theological virtues. Faith is the supernatural light through which we receive the revelation of this divine world. Our hope, upheld by the omnipotence of God, Whose hand is ever stretched out to help us, enables us to tend surely toward eternal happiness. Charity establishes us permanently in the friendship and fellowship of the Divine Persons, according to the teaching of St. John the Evangelist: "God is charity: and he that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him" (1 John IV, 16). In essence, there is but the one supernatural life; it begins on earth with our Baptism and it will reach its full development in heaven with the vision of God face to face. Faith is the root of all this new activity. It is "the substance," the principle, the germ "of things hoped for," things which we shall one day behold unveiled. The least light of faith is thus infinitely superior to the natural intuitions of the greatest genius and the highest angel. It belongs to the same essentially supernatural order as the beatific vision. Living faith, enlightened by the gifts of understanding and wisdom, is, accordingly, the only light proportionate to this life of intimate communion with the Divine Persons. Hence, above all else, Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity stands before us as a soul of faith, living in ever more perfect communion with the invisible world while, under the hand of God, sense and spirit were being purified through the events of her daily life. Like a true daughter of St. John of the Cross, she was aware of the primary importance of faith in the supernatural life. "In order to draw near to God," she wrote, "we must believe. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things that appear not. St. John of tilt Cross says that it serves us as feet to go to God, that it is possess Him in an obscure manner. It alone can give us real light upon Him Whom we love; our soul should choose it as the means of reaching the blessed union. . . ." Without neglecting the practice of the moral virtues, she was seen to apply herself more and more to the interior activity of the theological virtues. "My only practice is to enter into myself and lose myself in Those Who are there."

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