October 13, 2016

Pilgrimage to the Canonization of Elisabeth of the Trinity - Mystic of Dijon

On Thursday October 13, after an interview with Father Mitch Pacwa on EWTN the day before, I began the long flight to Rome. (Click here to see the interview.) My trip is going to be a little bit of an adventure - but what is a pilgrimage if there is no adventure to it?

As a academic, my travels are often determined by the lowest cost fare that I can find. This time, it was Turkish Airline.  I have never flown this particular airline but I am convinced that this is unfolding in accord with Divine Providence.  So I am flying to Rome via Istanbul -- I cannot help but think of the deep wounds of our times, and that, perhaps, part of the reason the Lord has permitted this journey through Turkey is that I remember to pray for my persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the Middle East, and that I also pray for Muslims, during this difficult moment of history.

My fellow pilgrim was to be Richard Ziegman who works in a hospital down in Southern Colorado. Elisabeth of the Trinity has been a great consolation to him through the years and he told me that he had to make this pilgrimage no matter what.  But today, God revealed He had other plans. There were complications with his flight so that he never made it here to LAX.

There are other pilgrims who I will meet in Rome if it is God's will.  For example, EWTN will carry the canonization live.  I am hoping to connect with their team in Rome.  We will see happens.

Also, my good friend Kris McGregor with Discerning Hearts will be onsite. She was tremendously helpful in helping get out the message and mission of Elisabeth of the Trinity through a series of podcasts she and Mariam Guttierez (the voice of Elisabeth of the Trinity) conducted with me - first on Saint Elisabeth’s retreat she wrote for her sister, “Heaven in Faith” and second on her retreat for her Carmel “Last Retreat.”

There is also some of my former students, now priests, studying at the Pontifical Universities. We promised to meet for pranzo. I believe that I will meet many more friends in Rome — friends of Elisabeth of the Trinity who have been touched by the inheritance she left us: faith in the all loving God intimately present in the soul.

To find out more about Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity, I highly recommend a book by Sr. Giovanna della Croce translated by Julie Enzler A Life of Praise to God. Sr. Giovanna was a intellectual whose own conversion was influenced by Saint Teresa Benecticta of the Cross. After she entered Carmel, she began to write about this great martyr and also discovered the writing of Elisabeth of the Trinity.  Her book, translated by Julie Enzler, a wife, mother and instructor at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, introduces the life and some of the most beautiful passages of the Mystic of Dijon.
The Carmelite Sisters of Alhambra will be offering a prayer service before the Mass of  Thanksgiving for the Canonization of Elisabeth of the Trinity at 3:30pm on November 6 at St. Teresa's Parish in Alhambra. Their music is really edifying, so I hope you can come.