Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 15 ” pt 1 -“The Virgin kept all these things in her heart”
From “Last Retreat Day 15” found in The Complete Works vol 1:
40. After Jesus Christ, doubtless at the distance that there is between the Infinite and the finite, there is one who was also the great praise of glory of the Holy Trinity. She responded fully to the divine election of which the Apostle speaks: she was always “pure, immaculate, and without reproach” 241 in the eyes of the thrice-holy God. Her soul is so simple. Its movements are so profound that they cannot be detected. She seems to reproduce on earth the life which is that of the divine Being, the simple Being. And she is so transparent, so luminous that one would mistake her for the light, yet she is but the “mirror” of the Sun of Justice: “Speculum justitiae!” 242
“The Virgin kept all these things in her heart”: 243 her whole history can be summed up in these few words! It was within her heart that she lived, and at such a depth that no human eye can follow her. When I read in the Gospel “that Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea” 244 to perform her loving service for her cousin Elizabeth, I imagine her passing by so beautiful, so calm and so majestic, so absorbed in recollection of the Word of God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always this: “Ecce, here I am!” Who? “The servant of the Lord,” 245 the lowliest of His creatures: she, His Mother! Her humility was so real for she was always forgetful, unaware, freed from self. And she could sing: “The Almighty has done great things for me, henceforth all peoples will call me blessed.” 246
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.