Elisabeth of the Trinity and The Church of Saint-Michel in Dijon, France
St. Michael the Archangel
is the patron of the home parish of Elisabeth of the Trinity, the 19th Century
Carmelite of Dijon. It is in this parish of Saint-Michel where she went to
daily mass. In fact, she lived just blocks away and at the time, the Carmelite
Monastery was also in the same neighborhood.
Elisabeth of the TrinityThe Church of Saint-Michel in Dijon, France
It is at this parish
that Elisabeth had her first experiences of contemplative prayer. By
this, I mean, she in some sense felt the Lord dwelling inside her heart. Elisabeth
was an award winning pianist, and when asked about how she could perform with
so much composure, she explained that as she played, she would think of
"Him." She was astounded at how much God loved her - the love
was so excessive and dynamic she was constantly drawn to it.
Elisabeth's view after receiving Communion at St. Michele
She enjoyed attending to
and searching for the loving presence of the Holy Trinity in her heart. This
grace seems to have begun with her First Communion, but continued to grow as
her prayer deepened. She wanted to consecrate her whole life to the loving
service of God. After reading Therese of Lisieux's Story of a Soul,
she decided to do this as a Carmelite nun.
In the months before her
death in 1906, Blessed Elisabeth wrote her sister, a young wife and mother, a
series of daily reflections so that she, too, could enter into the same
kind of prayer. In the very first paragraph, she explains to her sister
that the Holy Trinity, the Bosom of the Father, is our true home, the place
where our heart is most at rest. She exhorted her sister to turn her
attention to this reality dwelling in her heart, that by seeking the Lord's
presence, especially in the painful and broken parts of ourselves, the transforming
power of God's love, the power of the Cross, is unleashed in our lives - and we
learn to become the praise of God's glory. This series of reflections is
known as one of her major works "Heaven in Faith."