Dr. Lilles continues the spiritual explorations of the Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. In this episode, we discuss letter 162, with a special focus on the power of the liturgy and the grace that comes by living by faith as described below:
[April 28–30, 1903]
Dijon Carmel, April
J. M. + J. T.
My good little Aunts,
It seems to me that Carlipa and Dijon are very close, for my heart has quickly jumped the distance to go find yours! And my Divine Bridegroom gives me wings like this so I can fly off to you: these wings are prayer, and then this unity in faith and love creates the communion of saints! . . . I have many things to tell you, my little Aunts, but where to begin? Oh! if you knew how beautiful Holy Week is in Carmel! I wish you could have attended our beautiful Offices, and especially on our beautiful feast of Easter. On that day, we chant Matins at 3 o’clock in the morning, we enter the choir in procession, wearing our white mantles, each holding a candle and singing the Regina Coeli. At 5 o’clock, we have the Mass of the Resurrection, followed by a magnificent procession in our beautiful garden. Everything was so still, so mysterious, that it seemed our Master was going to appear to us along the solitary paths as He once did to Mary Magdalene, and if our eyes did not see Him, at least our souls met Him in faith. Faith is so good; it is Heaven in darkness, but one day the veil will be lifted and we will contemplate in His light Him whom we love; while awaiting the Bridegroom’s “Veni” we must spend ourselves, suffer for Him, and, above all, love Him greatly. Thank Him for having called your little Elizabeth to Carmel for the persecution;2 I do not know what awaits us, and this perspective of having to suffer because I am His delights my soul. I love my dear cloister so much, and sometimes I have wondered if I don’t love this dear little cell too much,3 where it is so good to be “alone with the Alone.”4 Perhaps one day He will ask me to sacrifice it. I am ready to follow Him everywhere, and my soul will say with Saint Paul: “Who will separate me from the love of Christ?”5 I have within me a solitude where He dwells, and nothing can take that away from me! . . .
Guite had the good idea of passing your dear photographs on to me. I introduced you to our Reverend Mother, since she has heard her little lamb,6 who loves you so much, speak about you for so long. I was also delighted to show her your dear house; what sweet memories it brings back to me. I spent so many wonderful vacations, certainly the best, there among you. And the Serre, is it still so beautiful? What fine prayers must be offered there! Would you tell Monsieur le Curé that I send him my soul to say the Office with him in that dear little valley, pay him my respects and ask him to pray much for me. He is so good, I am sure he would really want to remember me at his Mass. My little Aunts, if you knew how I love your beautiful breviaries! I can’t say it enough, and each time I use them, I take your souls with mine to enter into communion with all Heaven. I assure you that you have made me very happy; they follow me everywhere, and day and night my prayer for you is my “thank you”!
I am leaving you to go to Matins “with you.” I still have many things to tell you, but there’s the bell, so I only have time to kiss you, as well as my good Aunt, from the best of my heart.
Your little Elizabeth of the Trinity r.c.i.
Pray for my dear Mama. Events have really saddened her, but her courage edifies me and I thank Him who has given me such a good one. Hello to Anna.
Catez, Elizabeth of the Trinity. The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (pp. 101-102). 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.