BTP12 – Heaven In Faith: Day 6 Prayer 2 by St. Elizabeth of the Trinity – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Episode 12 – “Heaven in Faith”  Day 6 Prayer 2  – “If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light”

In this episode, Dr. Anthony Lilles and Kris McGregor explore the concept of simplicity in prayer and faith, focusing on the teachings of Elizabeth of the Trinity. They discuss how simplicity in prayer leads to a purifying and illuminating effect on one’s faith, drawing from Jesus’s teachings on blessedness and purity of heart.

The importance of trust in God and the need to prioritize contemplative prayer in one’s life. Take caution against relying on techniques or methods that may detract from the essence of Christian prayer, advocating instead for a simplicity that is rooted in devotion, attention to God, and obedience to His word.

Faith, grounded in simplicity and openness to God’s love, leads to the experience of eternal life both in the present and in the future.

From “Heaven in Faith: Day 6, Prayer 2”:

“If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.” What is this single eye of which the Master speaks but this “simplicity of intention” which “gathers into unity all the scattered forces of the soul and unites the spirit itself to God. It is simplicity which gives God honor and praise; it is simplicity which presents and offers the virtues to Him. Then, penetrating and permeating itself, permeating and penetrating all creatures, it finds God in its depths. It is the principle and end of virtues, their splendor and their glory. I call simplicity of intention that which seeks only God and refers all things to Him.” “This is what places man in the presence of God; it is simplicity that gives him light and courage; it is simplicity that empties and frees the soul from all fear today and on the day of judgement.” “It is the interior slope” and “the fountain of the whole spiritual life.” “It crushes evil nature under foot, it gives peace, it imposes silence on the useless noises within us.” It is simplicity that “hourly increases our divine likeness. And then, without the aid of intermediaries, it is simplicity again that will transport us into the depths where God dwells and will give us the repose of the abyss. The inheritance which eternity has prepared for us will be given us by simplicity. All the life of the spirits, all their virtue, consists—with the divine likeness—in simplicity, and their final rest is spent on the heights in simplicity also.” “And according to the measure of its love, each spirit possesses a more or less profound search for God in its own depths.” The simple soul, “rising by virtue of its interior gaze, enters into itself and contemplates in its own abyss the sanctuary where it is touched” by the touch of the Holy Trinity. Thus it has penetrated into its depths “to the very foundation which is the gate of life eternal.”

Elizabeth of the Trinity. The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity, vol. 1 (featuring a General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings) (Elizabeth of the Trinity Complete Work) (pp. 102-103). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions

  1. Understanding Simplicity in Prayer: How does the discussion on simplicity in prayer deepen your understanding of its significance in the spiritual life?
  2. Trusting God in Prayer: Reflect on the notion of trust in God emphasized in the podcast. How can you cultivate greater trust in God in your own prayer life?
  3. Prioritizing Contemplative Prayer: Consider the importance of making contemplative prayer a priority in your daily life, as discussed in the episode. How can you adjust your schedule to prioritize silent prayer before God?
  4. Discerning Prayer Techniques: Evaluate your approach to prayer techniques or methods. Are there any practices you engage in that may detract from the simplicity and essence of Christian prayer? How can you align your prayer practices more closely with the principles discussed in the podcast?
  5. Obedience and Faith: Reflect on the relationship between obedience and faith discussed in the episode. How can you deepen your obedience to God’s word in your daily life, allowing it to transform your existence?
  6. Eternal Life in the Present: Consider the concept of eternal life as discussed in the podcast. How does the realization that eternal life begins in the present impact your perspective on your spiritual journey?

We would like to thank Miriam Gutierrez for providing “the voice” of St. Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D., has served the Church and assisted in the formation of clergy and seminarians since 1994. Before coming to St. Patrick’s, he served at seminaries and houses of formation in the Archdiocese of Denver and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The son of a California farmer, married with young adult children, holds a B.A. in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville with both the ecclesiastical licentiate and doctorate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome (the Angelicum). An expert in the writings of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church, he co-founded the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation and the High Calling Program for priestly vocations. He also founded the John Paul II Center for Contemplative Culture, which hosts symposiums, retreats, and conferences. In addition to his publications, he blogs at .

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