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Dr. Lilles continues the spiritual explorations of the Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. In this episode, we discuss letter 157, with a special focus on the Communion of Saints and petitionary prayer as described below:
[157}To Madame de Sourdon
[February 21, 1903]
Carmel, Saturday evening
J. M. + J. T.
Before your letter I received a few lines from Madame de Maizières, a cry from the heart my soul has really responded to, I assure you. When you write to her, would you tell her that we are praying fervently in Carmel and that I never once attend the Divine Office without commending to God the health of the dear patient who causes so much concern to those who love him. I understand this distress so well, and God above all understands it!
You remember, dear Madame, the distressing hours I have known myself. I will never forget how good you were to the poor little one who thought she was about to lose her mother. What painful memories—they are the bond, as it were, that unites our souls. Those are God’s times. Père Didon says “any destiny that doesn’t have its calvary is a punishment from God.” Oh, then, if we knew how to surrender ourselves totally into the hands of Him who is our Father. . . . I recommend your intentions to Him. Do not doubt Him, dear Madame, abandon everything to Him, as well as to your little friend. . . . She will be your advocate . . . for her mission is to pray unceasingly, and you know how much that holds true for you! She is so HAPPY, with a happiness that God alone knows, for He is its sole Object, a happiness that closely resembles that of Heaven. During this Lent, so divine in Carmel, my soul will be especially united to yours. I am asking God to show you the sweetness of His presence and to make your soul a sanctuary where He can come to be consoled. Will you let me enter there and, with you, adore Him who dwells there?
I kiss my dear Françoise whom I love so much and your sweet Marie-Louise. I pray fervently for them, and I am always all yours; don’t you feel that?
Your little friend,
Sr. M. Elizabeth of the Trinity r.c.i.
Would you tell my dear Mama that my soul is one with hers and that I love her with all my heart.
Catez, Elizabeth of the Trinity. The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (pp. 94-95). 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.