Striving Toward Mysticism
"It is normal for all Christians to strive to become mystics." This is what I heard in a talk on prayer this evening that nearly knocked me off my chair. When we think of a mystic, we assume the saint has extraordinary gifts, such as the stigmata. The speaker was actually referring to the mystic's unique prayer life of contemplation that all Christians should strive to emulate.
He presented the example of Eizabeth of the Holy Trinity (Elizabeth Catez). Elizabeth was born on July 18, 1880 in a military camp in the diocese of Bourges, France to Captain Joseph Catez and Marie Catez. Her father died when she was seven, leaving her mother to raise Elizabeth and her sister. Elizabeth was a strong-willed, exuberant, and popular young lady. She had a great reverence to God, and practiced a beautiful, but simple prayer life. She was a gifted pianist and had a talent for making friends, participating in a very active social life. At the same time, she never neglected those who were in most need of her gifts. She frequently visited the sick and taught catechism to children.
On August 2, 1901, she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Dijon, France at the age of 21. She experienced great periods of spiritual growth, but also periods of darkness. She took her final vows two years later and became a spiritual director for many, leaving behind a legacy of letters and retreat guides.
She died on November 9, 1906, at the age of 26 from Addison's disease, a hormone disorder that causes painful and exhausting symptoms.
Her writings consist primarily of notes and summaries on her private retreats, prayers, and letters to her family and friends. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every Christian was the central focus which inspired her life and spirituality.
Favorite Quotes from Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
"It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth, since Heaven is God and God is my soul. The day I understood that, everything became clear to me. I wish to tell this secret to those whom I love so that they also, through everything, may also cling to God..."(Letter 122)
"I can't find words to express my happiness. Here there is no longer anything but God. He is All; He suffices and we live by Him alone." (Letter 91)
" I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!"
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