Dr. Lilles begins the spiritual explorations of the Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. In this episode we discuss letter 111 as described below:
[April 7, 1902]1
Dijon Carmel, April 7
J. M. + J. T.
Dear Monsieur le Chanoine,
If you only knew how good it is to spend Lent, Holy Week, and Easter in Carmel—it is something unique! With what joy I sang Alleluia, wrapped in the white mantle, clothed in the dear habit that I have so longed to wear. It was quite wonderful, I assure you, to spend Holy Thursday close to Him, and I would have spent the night as well, but the Master wanted me to rest. But that does not matter, does it? We find Him in our sleep just as we do in prayer, since He is in everything, everywhere, and always! At 2 o’clock I went down to choir; you can guess what a glorious time I had, and also what I said on your behalf! More and more I love the dear grilles that make me His prisoner of love. It is so good to think that we are prisoners, in chains for each other; more than that, that we are but one victim, offered to the Father for souls, so that they may be wholly consummated in Unity.
When you think of your little Carmelite, thank Him who has given her so beautiful a part. Sometimes I think that it is an anticipated Heaven: the horizon is so beautiful, it is He! Oh! what will it be like above since here below He already makes our union so intimate? You know my homesickness for Heaven, it does not diminish, for I already live in that Heaven, since I carry it within me; in Carmel it seems that we are already so near. Won’t you come to see me some day and continue through the grille the fine conversations you used to have with your little Elizabeth? Do you remember the first time I confided my secret to you in the cloister of Saint-Hilaire? I spent some happy moments with you and I am asking God to reward you for the good you have done me. I still remember my joy when I was able to have a little conference with you and entrust my great secret to you. I was only a child, but you never doubted the divine call!
I have not seen my dear Mama yet; I am expecting her at the first opportunity. My little Guite came last week. It had been nearly two months since we had seen each other, so you can guess what a meeting it was! I am overjoyed to see all the good God is doing in the souls of my darlings. He has taken me in order to give Himself more, and I can see I am doing them much more good in my dear Carmel than when I was near them; oh, how good God is! I am leaving you to go to prayer where we have the Blessed Sacrament exposed every Sunday. I only have time to ask your blessing; I know it is a fatherly one for your little Carmelite.
M. Elizabeth of the Trinity
Thank you very much for your pretty holy card. Please give my greetings to my dear Marie-Louise. Tell her she has certainly not been forgotten!
Catez, Elizabeth of the Trinity. The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (pp. 42-43). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.
Special thanks to Miriam Gutierrez for her readings of St. Elizabeth’s letters
For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity” with Dr. Anthony Lilles’
Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.