In the past couple of days the presentations and prayer guides are beginning to come in for our 3-hour virtual retreat led by Sr Martha and myself, following the guidance of St Elizabeth of the Trinity. This is the first of our Tabernacle of the Heart retreats. (The second will be on grieving through the lens of another woman mystic: Catherine of Siena.)
So I thought I’d just give you a sense of what’s to come, hoping you’d like to join us. The retreat will be next Saturday, November 14. We will hold the retreat twice on that day, once in the morning and once in the evening so people can choose the time best for them. Can’t come on that day but still interested. We’ll be sending everyone files for the retreat: video, audio, and text. So if you come, you’ll have them to go through again at your own pace. If you can’t be there in person, you can make a private retreat on a day of your choice. Now, to some of the wonderful things filling my inbox for the retreat!
Excerpted from one of Sr Martha’s talks:
Your own personal story is where God wants to be this Fall day in 2020…no where else. God is committed to you. Are YOU committed to you? The insights and the graces I need to move forward in life’s journey, those that you need TODAY, will unfold today. The other insights and graces you need down the line, will unfold at that time. Back to the gardener analogy…no gardener in her right mind would dump a swimming pool of water on a seed, walk away and say, OK, I’ve given it all that it needs for this year to grow! God doesn’t do that with us either. He is in a dynamic, active relationship with each one of us….and his grace, some call grace “his loving us,” will guide me on the journey as I come to that next step.
Each of us here has what she needs to make the journey of CHRIST alive in me today. We can be sure of it, because God is a good gardener and will not let His lilies, roses and violets go unwatered and unfertilized. No way…
Excerpted from one of the presentations of Jeannette de Beavuoir:
What Elizabeth longed for with all her soul was to seek the Trinity dwelling in the deepest sanctuary of her heart, to listen to that Mystery, the very essence of which is Divine Silence. For that she entered the cloister of Carmel, entered the exterior cloister of the walls. Once inside, she entered more deeply into the inner cloister of her heart to seek the indwelling Trinity which had invaded her soul from the first moment of baptism. She declared: “I am Elizabeth of the Trinity, that is, Elizabeth who disappears, who is lost, who lets herself be invaded by the Three.” One of her favorite Carmelite mottos was this one: “Alone with the great Alone.”
The ultimate goal of a Carmelite nun is not different from that of other Christians; it is the perfection of charity. It is, however—thanks to a special grace of God her specific vocation–as fully understood, the unique excellence of this end, of the greatness, purity, and tenderness of God, whom St Francis loved to call “the Beautiful.” She has known “the great love” of Ephesians 2:4 with which the Father has loved her freely, and understood that such love should be preferred to everyone else, love without measure until the total gift of self. A Carmelite could not imagine even for a moment that she no longer loved the one who has loved her so much that he gave himself for her; however, she also desires to respond with a greater love, with the gift of her life. The enclosure is therefore a choice of love, of the supreme love of a creature for her Creator.
Elizabeth was no doubt a saint of the cloister. But she is perhaps even more a saint for those of us who live outside of it….
Excerpted from the video by Sr. Kathryn:
Since your baptism the Trinity has dwelt within you. Your soul is a little heaven on earth. God never leaves you alone. Just as he waits for someone to visit him in the Eucharist, he waits for us to visit him within our own heart. “You will always find Him there, longing to do you good.”
So the question is, how do you enter your own heart.
I had been a person lost in my head…in my thoughts and rationalizations and plans for the future and stories about what was happening in the present. So much so that I lived many years ago with perpetual headaches.
The past and future exist only in our minds and thoughts. They are now in the hands of God, not in ours. When we are lost in them, we let slip through our fingers the only moments we can actually intentionally seize for the glory of God and the care of others and our own soul.
So the question is, how do we enter our heart? How do we stay in the present…
That’s just a taste… We’ll be bringing together the retreat this week and praying for all the retreatants in a very special way. If you feel St Elizabeth of the Trinity saying to you that she wishes to be your sister in the spiritual life, learn more about the retreat by clicking here. I hope we see you there!