The Light of His Gaze

“As a thirsty doe longs for the springs of fresh water, so my soul longs for You, O God! My soul thirsts for the living God! When shall I see Him face to face?”  (Psalm 42)

Holy Face Veil of Manoppello, Italy (Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)
                                             I long to behold the light of His gaze.
                                             Oh! What splendor must shine in His eyes!
                                             In contemplating this Only Begotten of the Father
                                             I will have the Three and I will have all of Heaven!
                                             He will make His light shine in my soul,
                                             He will purify me in divine flames!
                                             O my adored Word
                                            Luminous Beauty,
                                            Look upon me! ~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
“… the soul will live, like the immutable Trinity, in an eternal present, ‘adoring Him always because of Himself, ‘and becoming by an always more simple, more intuitive gaze, ‘the splendor of His glory,’ that is the unceasing praise of glory of His adorable perfections.” ~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Feast Day, November 8th

A Praise of Glory and Luminous with His Light

“We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.” (Ph 3:12) 

Laudem Gloriae – Praise of Glory. It was the name that St. Elizabeth of the Trinity chose for herself. “A praise of  glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves Him with a pure and disinterested love, with out seeking itself…” St.Elizabeth did this by surrendering herself to God’s perfect will completely, keeping her soul in silence and peace, docile to the touch of the Holy Spirit in each moment, and keeping her gaze on God.

“A praise of glory is a soul that gazes on God in faith and simplicity; it is a reflector of all that He is; it is like a bottomless abyss into which He can flow and expand; it is also like a crystal through which He can radiate and contemplate all His perfections and His own splendor. A soul which permits the divine Being to satisfy in itself His need to communicate all that He is and all that He has.” But,  our souls will only be glorified in the measure in which they will have been conformed to image of Jesus Christ. In order to be conformed to Him, we must know Him, as St. Elizabeth did, by first becoming aware of His Divine indwelling in her soul. 

“The Word will imprint in your soul, as in a crystal, the image of His own beauty, so that you may be pure with His purity, luminous with His light.”  

Ten years before entering the Carmelite Convent in Dijon, France, eleven year-old Elizabeth Catez met the prioress on the afternoon of her First Holy Communion. What the prioress told her on that occasion left a deep impression in her soul; upon learning Elizabeth’s name, the prioress told her that her name meant “House of God.” She later wrote on the back of a holy card for Elizabeth: “Your blessed name hides a mystery, accomplished on this great day. Child, your heart is the House of God on earth, of the God of love.”

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16)

Waiting to enter Carmel–St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Upon entering Carmel at the age of twenty-one, Elizabeth sought God’s Face within the temple of her own soul, in prayer and silence, with a growing desire to be united with Jesus, to share in His life and sufferings–to be transformed into His image–so that God the Father would find in her the image of His Son, in whom He was well-pleased. Elizabeth wrote, “God bends lovingly over this soul, His adopted daughter, who is so conformed to the image of His Son, the ‘first born among all creatures,’ and recognizes her as one of those whom He has ‘predestined, called, justified.’ And His Fatherly heart thrills as He thinks of consummating His work, that is of ‘glorifying her by bringing her into His kingdom, there to sing for ages unending’ the praise of His glory.”  She prayed that the Holy Spirit “create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery.”

“I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light.”~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, OCD

“We must become aware that God dwells within us and do everything with Him; then we are never commonplace, even when performing the most ordinary tasks.” 

This was the fruit of contemplation that St. Elizabeth of the Trinity wanted to share with everyone; the secret of transforming love hidden within our own hearts. By gazing steadfastly upon God, in faith and simplicity, the Word of God, Jesus Christ–as in the legend of St. Veronica’s Veil–will leave the imprint of His image on the veil of the soul. By her continual loving gaze at Him, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was transformed into His image. In corresponding to her vocation in life; she became a perfect praise of glory of the Most Holy Trinity, living no longer her own life, but the life of God – loving with the love of God, and continually giving thanks, praise and adoration to the thrice-holy God. When she died at the young age of twenty-six, she had already fulfilled her mission in the Church as a ceaseless “Praise of Glory,” reflecting the luminous, pure light of the Holy Trinity.  “In the heaven of our soul let us be praises of glory of the Holy Trinity, praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us “the name promised the Victor”  –  Laudem Gloriae. 

“It is Your continual desire to associate Yourself with Your creatures…How can I better satisfy Your desire than by keeping myself simply and lovingly turned towards You, so that You can reflect Your own image in me, as the sun is reflected through pure crystal? …We will be glorified in the measure in which we will have been conformed to the image of His divine Son.  So, let us contemplate this adored Image, let us remain unceasingly under it’s radiance so that it may imprint itself on us.” –Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.

Holy Face of Jesus of Manoppello (photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

All Saints, All Souls

St. John on Patmos

“I saw a great multitude which no man could number…These are they who have come out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He who sits upon the throne will dwell with them.” (Rev. 7:9) 

“All the elect who have palms in the hands, and who are wholly bathed in the great light of God, have had first to pass through the ‘great tribulation,’ to know this sorrow ‘immense as the sea,’ of which the psalmist sang. Before contemplating with uncovered face the glory of the Lord,’ they have shared in the annihilation of His Christ: before being ‘transformed from brightness to brightness in the image of the Divine Being,’ they have been conformed in the image of the Word Incarnate, the One crucified by love.” –St. Elizabeth of the Trinity