Tuesday, May 24, 2016


When I was younger in religious life I had great admiration for ELIZABETH of the TRINITY, who is soon to be canonized.  While she was a Carmelite, who closely followed in the footsteps of the great St. Therese of Lisieux, she is a good example for Contemplatives of any order, or anyone desiring to be holy.

Elizabeth Catez was born on July 18, 1880 in a military camp near Bourges in France. She was the first of two children, both daughters, born to Joseph and Marie Catez. As a child Elizabeth  was lively and beautiful, but had a ferocious temper and a strength of will that would tax her mother to the limit. Elizabeth"s dark eyes blazed when she flew into a rage. Marguerite, her younger sister later recalled that Elizabeth was quite terrible when she went into one of her rages; "she was a real devil".

With her younger sister "Guite"
At seven years of age, Elizabeth  made her first Confession. The Sacrament affected her profoundly and she gradually learned to overcome her temper tantrums. Her father suffered a fatal heart attack in 1887, at the age of fifty-five. Marie Catez and her two daughters then moved to Dijon. "Sabeth" - as she was affectionately known - was a bright, intelligent girl, full of natural charm and spontaneity. 

She made friends easily and fully entered into the social life of Dijon. She loved music, dancing and travel. Following the Paris fashions she made her own clothes and fantastic hats. An active member of her Parish, Elizabeth ran a youth club for working-class children and was loved by them. She also taught catechism.

She entered the Carmel of Dijon in 1901, receiving the name "Elizabeth of the Trinity." After a few years of apparently uneventful religious life she died of Addison"s disease in 1906, leaving behind her a spiritual message which has intensified with time.

The Presence of God filled Elizabeth’s life. Immersing herself in the Scriptures, especially St. John and St. Paul, she discovered her vocation: to be the "Praise of Glory" of the Trinity. She saw the total transformation of the Christian in Christ as the logical development of the grace of Baptism and she longed to communicate this truth to others. In her own words:

"Let us live with God as with a Friend. Let us make our faith a living thing so as to remain in communion with Him through everything. That is how saints are made. We carry our heaven within us God is giving Himself to us in faith and mystery... It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth since heaven is God and God is within my soul."

"I confide to you a secret which has made my life on earth an anticipated Heaven: the belief that a Being Whose name is Love is dwelling within us at every moment of the day and night, and that He asks us to live in His company."


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