June 20, 2016

Elisabeth of the Trinity to be Canonized on October 16!

Pope Francis announced at the June 20, 2016 papal consistory that the date for the canonization for Elisabeth of the Trinity will be October 16, 2016.  These developments are being reported at by Dan Burke and Liz Estler at SpiritualDirection.com  and there is a press release from the webpage maintained by the Carmel in Dijon.  For the official notification click here.  Her canonization is a huge grace for the Church because it will help people rediscover her spiritual mission. In a noisy and heartless world that has forgotten God, she is ready to help us find the peace that only devotion to Christ in prayer can provide, and this kind of peace is needed now more than ever.

Before her death she came to believe that she was being given a sort of spiritual maternity over souls who desire a deeper union with God. Aware about how anxiety, scruples and self-torment are dangerous for the life of prayer, she described a kind of priestly role in which she would help those who asked get out of themselves and into a more vulnerable posture before the Lord.  Based on her own experience of the power of Christ's love, she was convinced that souls that recollected themselves in holy silence and were confident in the love of God would be raised up into a transforming union with Him.  

Elisabeth of the Trinity's writings provide a mystagogical catechesis on prayer. That is, she provides instruction for those seeking a deeper encounter with the Lord and who want to grow in their dedication to Him.  Her letters and spiritual reflections are filled with quotes from Saint Paul and Saint John -- all meant to encourage a simple movement of love toward God. Firmly convinced of the Lord's benevolence and mercy toward each soul, she understood that progress in the spiritual life requires a humble surrender and abandonment to His will.  To move us in this direction, she also draws from Saint John of the Cross, John Ruusbroec, Angela di Foligno and Therese of Lisieux at once reinforcing and explaining why silent prayer and adoration before the mystery of God are essential for the Christian life.

Even in the final days of her illness, the young Carmelite nun was convinced that God's love in her was so powerful that not even death could stop her from praying for her friends and helping them enter into a deeper relationship with the Holy Trinity.  She even said that it would increase the joy of her heaven if her friends asked her to help them.  This was compelling to both her friends and her family because they knew her to be sincere, profoundly compassionate and always faithful to her word. With her canonization, God has given Elisabeth of the Trinity to everyone in the Church as a new spiritual friend.  If you ask her to help you to pray, you can count that she will not fail to do everything she can.