BTP-LR11 The “Last Retreat” Day 9 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 9 pt 1 ” – “Adoration, ah! That is a word from Heaven!”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 9 pt 1” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

22. “Be holy for I am holy.” 126 Who then is this who can give such a command? . . . He Himself has revealed His name, the name proper to Him, which He alone can bear: “I am Who Am,” 127 He said to Moses, the only living One, the principle of all the other beings. “In Him,” the Apostle says, “we live and move and have our being.” 128 “Be holy for I am holy!” It seems to me that this is the very same wish expressed on the day of creation when God said: “Let us make man in Our image and likeness.” 129 It is always the desire of the Creator to identify and to associate His creature with Himself! St. Peter says “that we have been made sharers in the divine nature”; 130 St. Paul recommends that we hold on to “this beginning of His existence” 131 which He has given us; and the disciple of love tells us: “Now we are the children of God, and we have not yet seen what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him makes himself holy, just as He Himself is holy.” 132 To be holy as God is holy, such is, it seems, the measure of the children of His love! Did not the Master say: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”? 133

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 3339-3353). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR12 The “Last Retreat” Day 9 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 9 pt 2 ” – “Under the protection of His wings”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 9 pt 2” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

23. Speaking to Abraham God said: “Walk in My presence and be perfect.” 134 This then is the way to achieve this perfection that our Heavenly Father asks of us! St. Paul, after having immersed himself in the divine counsels, 135 revealed exactly this to us when he wrote “God has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world, that we might be holy and immaculate in His presence in love.” 136 It is also by the light of this same saint that I will be enlightened so that I might walk without deviating from this magnificent road of the presence of God on which the soul journeys “alone with the Alone,” 137 led by the “strength of His right arm,” 138 “under the protection of His wings, without fearing the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the evil that stalks in darkness, nor the attacks of the noonday devil. 139

24. “Strip off the old man in whom you lived your former life, “ he tells me, “and put on the new man, who has been created according to God in justice and holiness.” 140 This is the way set forth; we have only to strip off self to follow it as God wills! To strip off self, to die to self, to lose sight of self. It seems to me the Master meant this when He said: “If anyone wants to follow Me, let him take up his cross and deny himself.” 141 “If you live according to the flesh,” the Apostle also says, “you will die, but if you put to death in the spirit the works of the flesh, you will live.” 142 This is the death that God asks for and of which it is said: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 143 “O death,” says the Lord, “I will be your death”; 144 that is: O soul, my adopted daughter, look at Me and you will forget yourself; flow entirely into My Being, come die in Me that I may live in you!

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 3353-3374). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR13 The “Last Retreat” Day 10 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 10 pt 1 ” – “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 10 pt 1” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

25. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 145 When my Master makes me understand these words in the depths of my soul, it seems to me that He is asking me to live like the Father “in an eternal present,” “with no before, no after,” but wholly in the unity of my being in this “eternal now.” 146 What is this present? This is what David tells me: “They will adore Him always because of Himself.”

147 This is the eternal present in which Laudem Gloriae must be established. But for her to be truly in this attitude of adoration, so that she can sing, “I will awake the dawn,” 148 she must also be able to say with St. Paul, “For love of Him I have forfeited everything”; 149 that is: because of Him, that I may adore Him always, I am “alone, set apart, stripped” of all things, both with regard to the natural as well as the supernatural gifts of God. For a soul that is not thus “destroyed and freed” 150 from self will of necessity be trivial and natural at certain moments, and that is not worthy of a daughter of God, a spouse of Christ, a temple of the Holy Spirit. To guard against this natural life the soul must be wholly vigilant in her faith151 with her gaze turned towards the Master. Then she “can walk,” as the royal prophet sings, “in the integrity of her heart within her house.” 152 Then she “will adore her God always because of Himself” and will live, like Him, in that eternal present where He lives. . . .

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 3374-3391). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR14 The “Last Retreat” Day 10 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 10 pt 2 ” – “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

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.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR15 The “Last Retreat” Day 11 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 11 pt 1 ” – “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 11 pt 1” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

27. “The Lord brought me into a spacious place, because He was gracious toward me. . . .” 159 The Creator, seeing the beautiful silence which reigns in His creature, and gazing on her wholly recollected in her interior solitude, is enamored of her beauty and leads her into this immense, infinite solitude, into this “spacious place” sung of by the prophet, which is nothing else but Himself: “I will enter into the depths of the power of God.” 160 Speaking through his prophet, the Lord said: “I will lead her into solitude and speak to her heart.” 161 The soul has entered into this vast solitude in which God will make Himself heard! “His word,” St. Paul says, “is living and active, and more penetrating than a two edged sword: extending even to the division of soul and spirit, even of joints and marrow.” 162 It is His word then that will directly achieve the work of stripping in the soul; for it has this particular characteristic, that it effects and creates what it intends, 163 provided however that the soul consents to let this be done.

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 3408-3419). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR16 The “Last Retreat” Day 11 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 11 pt 2 ” – “It is the whole Trinity who dwells in the soul that loves them in truth, that is, by keeping their word! ”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 11 pt 2” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

28. But it is not enough just to listen to this word, we must keep it! 164 And it is in keeping it that the soul will be “sanctified in the truth,” and that is the desire of the Master: “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” 165 To the one who keeps His word has He not made this promise: “My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home in him”? 166 It is the whole Trinity who dwells in the soul that loves them in truth, that is, by keeping their word! And when this soul has realized its riches, all the natural or supernatural joys that can come to it from creatures or from God Himself are only an invitation to reenter into itself in order to enjoy the substantial Good that it possesses, which is nothing else than God Himself. And thus it has, St. John of the Cross says, a certain resemblance to the divine Being. 167

“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” St. Paul tells me “that He works all things according to the counsel of His will,” 168 and my Master asks me also to pay Him homage in this regard: “to do all things according to the counsel of His will.” Never to let myself be ruled by impressions, by the first impulses of nature, but to let the will gain self-mastery. . . . And for this will to be free, it must be, in the expression of a pious writer, “enclosed in God’s will.” 169 Then I will be “moved by His Spirit,” 170 as St. Paul says. I will do only what is divine, only what is eternal, and, like my Unchanging One, I will live even here below in an eternal present.

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 3419-3435). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR17 The “Last Retreat” Day 12 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 12 ” – “God has said: “Be holy, for I am holy.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 12” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

29. “Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis.” 171 God has said: “Be holy, for I am holy.” 172 But He remained hidden in His inaccessible [light173] and the creature needed to have Him descend to it, to live its life, so that following in His footsteps, 174 it can thus ascend to Him and become holy with His holiness. “I sanctify myself for them that they also may be sanctified in the truth.” 175 Here I am in the presence “of a mystery hidden from ages and generations,” the mystery “which is Christ”: “your hope of glory,” 176 says St. Paul! And he adds that “the understanding of this mystery” was given to him. 177 So it is from the great Apostle that I am going to learn how I may possess this knowledge which, in his expression, “surpasses all other knowledge: the knowledge of the love of Christ Jesus.” 178

30. First of all he tells me that He is “my peace,” 179 that it is “through Him that I have access to the Father,” 180 for it has pleased this “Father of lights” 181 that “in Him all fullness should dwell, and that through Him He should reconcile to Himself all things, whether on the earth or in the heavens, making peace through the Blood of His Cross. . . .” 182 “You have received of His fullness,” the Apostle continues, “you were buried with Him in Baptism, and in Him you rose again through faith in the working of God. . . . He brought you to life along with Him, forgiving you all your sins, cancelling the decree of condemnation which weighed on you: He abolished it by nailing it to the Cross. Despoiling Principalities and Powers, He victoriously led them away as captives, triumphing over them in Himself . . . ,” 183 “to present you holy, pure, and without reproach before Him. . . .” 184

31. This is Christ’s work in every soul of good  will and it is the work that His immense love, His “exceeding love,” 186 is eager to do in me. He wants to be my peace so that nothing can distract me or draw me out of “the invincible fortress of holy recolletion.” 187 It is there that He will give me “access to the Father” and will keep me as still and as peaceful in His presence as if my soul were already in eternity. 188 It is by the Blood of His Cross that He will make peace in my little heaven, so that it may truly be the repose of the Three. He will fill me with Himself; He will bury me with Him; He will make me live again with Him, by His life: “Mihi vivere Christus est!” 189 And if I fall at every moment, 190 in a wholly confident faith I will be helped up by Him. I know that He will forgive me, that He will cancel out everything with a jealous care, and even more, He will “despoil” me, He will “free” 191 me from all my miseries, from everything that is an obstacle to the divine action. “He will lead away all my powers,” 192 making them His captives, triumphing over them in Himself. Then I will have wholly passed into Him and can say: “I no longer live. My Master lives in me!” 193 And I will be “holy, pure, without reproach” in the Father’s eyes.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR18 The “Last Retreat” Day 13 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 13 ” pt 1 – “Be rooted in Jesus Christ.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 13” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

32. “Instaurare omnia in Christo.” 194 Again it is St. Paul who instructs me, St. Paul who has just immersed himself in the great counsel of God195 and who tells me “that He has resolved in Himself to restore all things in Christ.” So that I may personally realize this divine plan, it is again St. Paul who comes to my aid and who will himself draw up a rule of life for me. “Walk in Jesus Christ,” he tells me, “be rooted in Him, built up in Him, strengthened in faith, growing more and more in Him through thanksgiving.” 196

33. To walk in Jesus Christ seems to me to mean to leave self, lose sight of self, give up self, in order to enter more deeply into Him with every passing moment, 197 so deeply that one is rooted there; and to every event, to every circumstance we can fling this beautiful challenge: “Who will separate me from the love of Jesus Christ?” 198 When the soul is established in Him at such depths that its roots are also deeply thrust in, then the divine sap streams into it199 and all this imperfect, commonplace, natural life is destroyed. Then, in the language of the Apostle, “that which is mortal is swallowed up by life.” 200 The soul thus “stripped” of self and “clothed” 201 in Jesus Christ has nothing more to fear from exterior encounters or from interior difficulties, for these things, far from being an obstacle, serve only “to root it more deeply in the love” 202 of its Master. Through everything, despite everything, the soul can “adore Him always because of Himself.” 203 For it is free, rid of self and everything else; it can sing with the psalmist: “Though an army encamp against me, I will not fear; though war be waged upon me I will trust in spite of everything; for Yahweh will hide me in the secrecy of His tent” 204 and this tent is nothing else but Himself. I think that is what St. Paul means when he says: “be rooted in Jesus Christ.”

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR20 The “Last Retreat” Day 14 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 14 ” pt 1 – “Be rooted in Jesus Christ.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 14” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

36. “It seems to me that all is loss since I have known the excelling knowledge of my Lord, Jesus Christ. For love of Him I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish that I may gain Christ, so as to be found in Him, not with my own justice but with the justice that comes from God through faith. What I want is to know Him, to share in His sufferings, to become like Him in His death. I pursue my course, striving to attain to what Christ has destined me for by taking hold of me; my whole concern is to forget what is behind and to strain forward constantly to what is ahead; I run straight to the goal . . . , to the prize of the heavenly vocation to which God has called me in Christ Jesus.” 212 The Apostle has often revealed the greatness of this vocation: “God,” he says, “has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world that we might be holy and immaculate in His presence in love. . . . We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.” 213

37. But how do we respond to the dignity of this vocation? This is the secret: “Mihi vivere Christus est! . . . Vivo enim, jam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. . . .” 214 We must be transformed into Jesus Christ; again it is St. Paul who teaches me this: “Those whom God has foreknown, He has predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” 215 It is important then that I study this divine Model so as to identify myself so closely with Him that I may unceasingly reveal Him to the eyes of the Father. First of all, what did He say when He came into the world? “Here I am, O God, I come to do your will.” 216 I think that this prayer should be like the bride’s heartbeat: 217 “Here we are, O Father, we come to do your will!”Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR21 The “Last Retreat” Day 14 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 14 ” pt 2 – “My food…is to do the will of Him who sent Me.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 14” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

38. The Master was truth itself in this first oblation! His life was as it were but the consequence of it! “My food,” He liked to say, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” 218 It should also be that of the bride, and at the same time the sword that immolates her. . . . “If it is possible, let this cup pass me by, yet not as I will but as You will.” 219 And then she will joyfully go in peace to every sacrifice with her Master, rejoicing to “have been known” by the Father since He crucifies her with His Son. “Your decrees are my inheritance forever; they are the joy of my heart”: 220 my Master sang this in His soul, and it should echo resoundingly in that of the bride! It is by her constant fidelity to these “decrees,” whether exterior or interior, that she will “bear witness to the truth” 221 and will be able to say “He who sent me has not left me alone. He is always with me because I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.” 222 And by never leaving Him, by remaining in closest contact with Him, she will radiate “this secret power” 223 which saves and delivers souls. Stripped and set free of self and all else, she can follow the Master to the mountain224 to pray there with Him in her soul, “a prayer of God.” 225 Then, still through the divine Adorer, He who is the great praise of glory to the Father, she will “ceaselessly offer a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name” 226 (St. Paul). And, as the psalmist sings, she will praise Him “in the expansion of His power, and for the immensity of His grandeur.” 227 we could find no other way to express the force of the text” (p. 205).

39. Then, when her hour of humiliation, of annihilation comes, she will recall this little phrase, “Jesus autem tacebat”; 228 and she will be silent, “keeping all her strength for the Lord”; 229 this strength which “we draw from silence.” 230 And when the hour of abandonment, of desertion, and of anguish comes, the hour that drew from Christ this loud cry, “Why have You abandoned Me?” 231, she will recall this prayer: “that they may have in themselves the fullness of My joy”; 232 and drinking to the dregs “the cup prepared by the Father,” 233 she will find a divine sweetness in its bitterness. Finally, after having said so often “I am thirsty,” 234 thirsty to possess You in glory, she will sing: “Everything is consummated; into Your hands I commend my spirit.” 235 And the Father will come for her to “bring her into His inheritance,” 236 where in “the light she will see light.” 237 “Know that the Lord has marvelously glorified His Holy One,” David sang. 238 Yes, the Holy One of God will have been glorified in this soul, for He will have destroyed everything there to “clothe it with Himself,” 239 and it will have lived in reality the words of the Precursor: “He must increase and I must decrease.” 240

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Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

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.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

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