A glorified face transformed in Christ – St. Teresa of the Andes

 

St. Teresa of the Andes, professed Discalced Carmelite nun, born July 13, 1900. She died April 20, 1920, just before her 20th birthday.

“For her God is infinite joy. This is the new hymn of Christian love that rises spontaneously from the soul of this young Chilean girl, in whose glorified face we can sense that grace of her transformation in Christ.”

–Pope St. John Paul II, canonization homily for St. Teresa of the Andes in 1993

“Look at Him!”

“Jesus alone is beautiful; he is my only joy.  I call for him, I cry after him, I search for him within my heart.  I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly [like wheat] so that I may become a pure host where he can find his rest.

I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love.  I would die to creatures and to myself, so that he may live in me. Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus?  Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret.  Power, for which nothing would be impossible.  Justice, which made him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin.  Providence, which always watches over and sustains us.  Mercy, which never ceases to pardon.  Goodness, which forgets the offenses of his creatures.  Love, which unites all the tenderness of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing him out of the abyss of his greatness, binds him closely to his creatures.

Beauty which enraptures…what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?  Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united?  There is love in him.  His passionate love made him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near hm.  This passionate love made him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into his infinite being.  This passionate love made him give his life by dying on the Cross.  Are you perhaps afraid to draw near him?  Look at him surrounded by little children.  He caresses them, and presses them to his heart.  Look at him in the midst of his faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on his shoulders.

Look at him at the tomb of Lazarus.  And listen to what he says to Magdalene: ‘Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.’ What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of God?  He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.”

—St. Teresa of the Andes

“I want to Gaze on God Always” – St. Elizabeth of the Trinity!

St. Elizabeth of The Trinity
St. Elizabeth of The Trinity

“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.S.

Elizabeth, a strong-willed three year old.
Elizabeth, a strong-willed three year old.

We have a new Saint in the Church as of October 16th–the French Discalced Carmelite nun, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity! Elizabeth Catez, known to her family as “Sabeth,” was born July 18th, 1880, near Bourges, Frances, the daughter of a military officer.  Early in life she lost her father. Under the firm guidance of her mother, Elizabeth, a very strong-willed child, learned to master her temper. (Just look at that glare!)  At the age of fourteen, Elizabeth heard in her heart a call to be a Carmelite nun but due to her mother’s objections she was not able to enter Carmel until the age of 21.  Her life was “a praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity present in her soul and loved amid interior darkness and excruciating illness. A praise of glory “is a soul that dwells in God, loves Him with a love that is pure and disinterested… a silent soul, which remains like a lyre beneath the mysterious touch of the Holy Spirit…a soul that gazes steadfastly upon God in faith and simplicity; it is a reflection of all that He is…” IMG_0944

In the mystery of the divine indwelling she found her “heaven on earth.”

“It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth because Heaven is God, and God is in my soul.  The day I understood this, everything became clear to me, and I would like to proclaim this secret aloud to those whom I love, so that they also may always cling to God in everything.”

Elizabeth suffered greatly from the effects of Addison’s disease.  As she was dying she realized that God had also chosen her to be “conformed to the image of His Son” and that this meant “sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death.” She died on November 9th, 1906, after five brief years in Carmel.  Her Feast day is November 8th.

O My God, Trinity Whom I Adore

O My God, Trinity Whom I Adore,  help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity.  May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of Your Mystery. Give peace to my soul, make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling and Your resting place.  May I never leave you there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to Your creative action.  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!  But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to clothe me with Yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to posses me, to substitute Yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your life.  Come to me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior, O Word Eternal, Word of my God.  I want to spend my life listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You.  Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light.  O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that that I may not withdraw from your radiance.  O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, come upon me, and 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.  And You, O Father, bend lovingly over your poor little creature; cover her with your shadow, seeing in her only the Beloved in whom You are well pleased.  O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I love myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey.  Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.  November 21, 1904 — St. Elizabeth of the Trinity