Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 10 pt 2 ” – “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
From “Last Retreat Day 10 pt 2” found in The Complete Works vol 1:
26. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” “God,” says St. Dionysius, “is the great solitary.” 153 My Master asks me to imitate this perfection, to pay Him homage by being a great solitary. The divine Being lives in an eternal, immense solitude. He never leaves it, though concerning Himself with the needs of His creatures, for He never leaves Himself; and this solitude is nothing else than His divinity.
So that nothing may draw me out of this beautiful silence within, I must always maintain the same dispositions, the same solitude, the same withdrawal, the same stripping of self! If my desires, my fears, my joys or my sorrows, if all the movements proceeding from these “four passions” 154 are not perfectly directed to God, I will not be solitary: there will be noise within me. There must be peace, “sleep of the powers,” 155 the unity of being. “Listen, my daughter, lend your ear, forget your people and your father’s house, and the King will become enamoured of your beauty.” 156
It seems to me that this call is an invitation to silence: listen . . . lend your ear. . . . But to listen we must forget “our father’s house,” that is, everything that pertains to the natural life, this life to which the Apostle refers when he says: “If you live according to the flesh, you will die.” 157 To forget “your people” is more difficult, I think, for this people is everything which is, so to speak, part of us: our feelings, our memories, our impressions, etc., the self, in a word! We must forget it, abandon it, and when the soul has made this break, when it is free from all that, the King is enamored of its beauty. For beauty is unity, at least it is the unity of God!
Elizabeth of the Trinity (2014-07-24). Elizabeth of the Trinity Complete Works, Volume I: I Have Found God, General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings (Kindle Locations 3396-3407). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.
We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series
For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for 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 Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.