Eyes for Jesus Alone

“With the Virgin Mary embrace your beloved. He is yours.” ~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

 

“My desire is to dwell in Your Hearth of love  

In the radiance of the brightness of Your Face

and to live on You alone.” ~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

 

(Detail) painting by Hans Holbein the elder.

There can be no dispute that we live in evil times. The face of the Bride of Christ has been defiled and disfigured horribly by the Church’s own members, who by blasphemy, spit in the Face of Christ, and prefer their own wicked idols to the one, true, and living God. There is no need to enumerate the offenses against God, and it is useless to bemoan them. There is, however, a remedy for the offense which is in our own power: to restore what has been defiled, by turning back to His Face, and as a bride has eyes only for her husband, to have eyes only for Jesus.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

It has been said that God raises up saints for a particular time in history as a remedy the evils of that time. Recently canonized, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, is such a saint. She tells us what it means to be “a bride of Christ”:

“To be a bride means to have eyes only for Him… our heart wholly taken over, wholly possessed, as if it has passed out of itself and into Him, our soul filled with His soul, filled with His prayer, our whole being captivated and given.

To be “a bride of Christ” is to rest from everything in Him, and to allow Him to rest from everything in our soul!

To be “the bride of Christ”…is to have all rights over His Heart…It’s a heart-to-heart exchange for a whole lifetime…It’s living with…always with…”

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You–even unto death.” 

Veronica’s Veil by Hans Memling

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote that God has created human beings in His image and likeness to be able to contemplate Himself in His creatures.  When we, in turn, are contemplating Christ, we become all His. His image and likeness is restored in us. Like the veil of St. Veronica, the imprint of His Face will remain upon our souls.

Then, the Most Holy Trinity must become our home, she says, that we must never leave. St. Elizabeth accomplished 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.

St. Elizabeth of The Trinity, Discalced Carmelite nun

“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.

 

The face of the Bride of Christ will become beautiful once again, one person at a time, when each becomes a “praise of glory” like St. Elizabeth, reflecting the light on the Face of Christ to others.  “A soul united to Jesus is a living smile that radiates Him and gives Him!”

Our souls will be glorified in the measure in which they will have been conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. In order to be conformed to Him, we must know Him through prayer, as St. Elizabeth did, by first becoming aware of His Divine indwelling in her soul.

“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.”

Young Elizabeth Catez

 

“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.”

“May the Father fill you with great largesse, May the Word imprint Himself in the center of your heart, and may the Spirit of love consume you unceasingly.” ~St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

“The Face of the Bride of Christ”

Our Lady of Sorrows

The Catholic Church recently has been rocked with a seismic shock which has rattled it to its foundation due to the clergy sex abuse scandals. In particular, the scandal of the former Cardinal McCarrick has moved the well-respected, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Vigano, to act: troubled in conscience, and no longer able to keep silent in hopes that those in authority would remedy the evils that have beset the Church for decades, he felt compelled to bear witness.  The goal of his straight forward testimony was clear:

Our Lady of Czestochowa, her face slashed by the sword of an enemy of the Church.

“To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes…”

He went on to relate his personal experience, of evil uncovered, and frustration that it has continued for so long. “…and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark…shall be proclaimed from the housetops.” (Lk:12:3)

“The first reaction to truth is hatred,” said Tertullian.  Not surprisingly, the attacks against Archbishop Vigano were mounted immediately.  Despite this, many bishops have attested to the personal integrity of the Archbishop, and have called for investigation to discover the truth.  But, make no mistake, it will be a battle that lasts until the end of time.
The filth that has so long marred the face of the Church, is at the same time an attack by Satan on “The Woman,”  Mary, who symbolizes the Church, holy and immaculate–the Bride of Christ.
As the truth is made known, the “smoke of Satan” that has entered the Church, will begin to clear, and the Bride of Christ will once again be fully revealed in all her beauty. But for now, it is time to hold fast to the truth, turning toward the Face of Christ in prayer, reparation, and perseverance in faith, hope and love.
One of our local pastors, who has been deeply aggrieved over the scandals that have come to light, turned to Our Lord in prayer.  He said that as he prayed the image of Our Lady of Sorrows came to his mind, over and over again. So, he has asked his parish to join him, in prayer and adoration, before the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows to make reparation for the evils in the Church. Public reparation such as this is a wonderful idea. Please pray for all our good priests and bishops who, like Christ, are suffering so much for the sins of other priests who betrayed their sacred vows.  And pray especially for all victims of these heinous crimes.

AN ACT OF REPARATION FOR BLASPHEMIES
AGAINST THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The pure and immaculate infant Mary
Photo:Paul Badde/EWTN

“How fair you are, O Virgin Mary, Your face is resplendent with grace.”

“Our Lady in whose face – more than in any other creature – we can recognize the features of The Incarnate Word.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sore afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate, to which we are so frequently constrained to listen. O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to such outrages and blasphemies; were it so, how gladly we should make it, for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And just because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men. In the meantime, do thou, our merciful Mother, the supreme comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee “Blessed Among Women,” the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God.

Hail Mary (three times)