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BLESSED ELIZABETH
OF THE TRINITY
1880 - 1906
    Update 9 (10th April 2005)

PRAISE OF GLORY -  Part I

Preliminary Notes scope, limitations, disclaimers.
Introduction The Beatitudes are considered a useful foundation for the later consideration of what it means to be a 'Praise of Glory.
Beatitudes
- prior to Carmel
Examples are given showing how both Elizabeth and her sister lived the Beatitudes in their daily lives.
Beatitudes
- in Carmel
The examples are now culled from Sr Elizabeth's letters in Carmel.
Beatitudes
- her sister
The examples are necessarily limited to Guite's observance of the Beatitudes in relation to her Mother, her sister, and the Carmel.
Beatitudes
comment
Any comment would be superfluous.
Giving Glory to God
- initial thoughts
Everyone is able to do this by simply being 'themselves'.
How does a 'Praise of Glory' differ?
- an analogy Based on an example in the 'Way of Perfection'
- aim of these updates General overview
- summary including a time-line illustrating the 3 expressions.
Giving Glory to God A more in-depth look at this expression.


















‘PRAISE OF GLORY’ ... (Part I)

“May our lives be consecrated to His Greater Glory” [1].

NOTES

1. Anyone even slightly familiar with Sr Elizabeth’s letters, will know that these were a mix: both of the natural and the supernatural [2]; and that she could switch from one to the other with consummate ease and without warning. In this regard, it is helpful to remember that she frequently, and often tacitly, made use of her motto: ‘God in me and I in Him’ [3].
2. Although the phrase Praise of Glory, referred to in these notes, is taken from St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians: specifically (v.1:12); this update is neither about the theology of St Paul nor His Epistles.
3. Where reference is made to quotations from Holy Scripture, any interpretation given in these notes, is that understood to have been intended by Sr Elizabeth.
4. In these notes, the phrases Praise of Glory, Praise of His Glory and Praises of Glory are treated as equivalent, apart from the obvious differences.
5 The opinions expressed are those of the site owner and as such may not be assumed to reflect or to represent the official teaching of Holy Mother Church at any time past or present, neither are those opinions intended in any way as criticism by the site owner of Holy Mother Church or her pastors.


INTRODUCTION

The Beatitudes
Although the first mention in a letter, of giving Glory to God, is dated June 1902, fairly obviously this had been seeded early in Elizabeth’s life. Throughout this study emphasis has been placed on the part the Mother played in her daughter’s religious and social upbringing. Neither should one forget the influence of her sister: devotion personified. Attention has been given to the life and times in which the family lived. A brief look now at incidents in Elizabeth’s life, classified according to the Beatitudes is a helpful foundation study for an examination of her later role as Praise of Glory and Laudem Gloriae. Discussion of this is not necessary, as a listing confirms the expected conclusion. Some references are appended, but neither these nor the list are intended to be exhaustive. It is accepted that the division of the incidents between the different Beatitudes is inevitably personal.

The Beatitudes - prior to Carmel
1. Since Elizabeth and Guite spent so much time together, this list also serves to give some idea of the background of Guite: Sr Elizabeth’s intended successor as a Praise of Glory.
2. The sisters came from an army family, so most of their friends would have an army connection. Hence they would be used to company and sharing/helping out.
3. In many areas one can help a neighbour, without having specialist knowledge; but for some activities that knowledge is essential, if one is to be of real help.
4. The Beatitudes are not mutually exclusive. Different aspects of a social activity could come under one or more of the Beatitudes.
5. If we love God and therefore give ourselves to Him; then the Beatitudes are a measure of our fidelity: a measure of seeing ourselves, and our neighbour, through Him.
6. In the Mission of 1899, discussion of: Zeal for souls
[4]; Charity – love of neighbour [5]; Rash judgement and resentment [6]; detachment [7]; scandal [8]; and Humility [9]; were included in the talks.

Happy are the poor in spirit
1. Although engaged in long family holidays with family and friends in S. of France, she grieved to be near Carmel.
2. Took an active part in social life of Dijon, but always ‘with God’ [10].
3. Asceticism [11].
4. Making her own clothes [12].

Happy are the gentle
1. Embraced the Will of God from an early age.
2. Patient in waiting for entry into Carmel, trusting in Our Lady.
3. Gentle with her Mother, in the sense that she was prepared to give up entering Carmel in order to look after her.
4. As a youngster had a fiery temperament – had to be controlled – letters re: having been a handful to her Mother [13]. Still a hidden problem [14].
5. After confirmation Elizabeth was about keeping a balance between passion and tenderness [15].
6. Self-control – sensitive to the needs of others.

Happy are they that mourn
1. Compassion on visiting the poor [16].
2. Wept for souls lost to God. Zeal for souls [4][bis].
3. Weeping for her own sins during the mission.
4. Compassion for her Mother’s ill-health, and for the suffering her Mother and sister were put through by Elizabeth’s determination to enter Carmel.
5. Natural compassion for her Mother at a very early age for her temper tantrums.

Happy the merciful
1. Her prayer life, catechism class, helping first Communicants.
2. Choir [10],[bis] (singing and helping with).
3. Good works – club for children [17].
4. Didn’t speak ill of anyone or exaggerate [18].
5. Looking after her Mother [19].
6. Not always able to forgive neighbour [20].
7. One may assume that she put her musical talent to good use in the Carmel chapel as she did at Carlipa.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for right
1. Offering herself as a victim for sinners [21].
2. Love of suffering for Jesus, winning souls [22].

Happy the pure in heart
1. Prayed before going to parties.
2. Dedicated her purity to the BVM.
3. Enjoyed the French countryside [23] this showed in her early poems.
4. Her expression in prayer and after Holy Communion – radiant [24].

Happy the peacemakers
1. Effect of First Communion [25] – calm, self-control.
2. Obeyed her mother – after ban [10][bis], after fasting [26] / [27]/ change of confessor [14][bis].
3. Looked after her Mother [19][bis].
4. Prayed for young pianist friend [28].
5. Obeyed Mother Marie as an extra-muros.
6. Helping the extern sisters in the Carmel.

Happy are they who are persecuted
1. Pre-Carmel, must have known about religious persecution.
2. Supported the Church by attending missions, churchgoing, singing with Guite in choir.

The Beatitudes - in Carmel
While Carmel curtailed Elizabeth’s former activities, it did not affect her lively interest in the activities of her new sisters in Carmel and her former friends in the world. Obviously, Sr Elizabeth had to react in prayer, more than by her actions. The classification pre-Carmel, is continued using her letters, and the incidents may relate to more than 1 Beatitude. Her letters have not been subjected to detailed analysis when drawing up the classification. She was always able to suit her words to the occasion. Even so, any 2 people are likely to assess a letter differently with regard to the Beatitudes, because of the overlap and differing interpretations.

Any comment on Sr Elizabeth’s observance of the Beatitudes in Carmel would be invidious, as very few instances were recorded. (e.g., nun in next cell, and eyes down in recollection).

Happy are the poor in spirit
Thanks for gift
[29].
- for feast day/good wishes [30].
Loan of music [31].
Abandonment [32].
Poor Carmelite [33].

Happy are the gentle
Love God for sister [34].
Sister (babies) [35].
Mother [36].
Mtr Germaine [37].
Mme M.L.Ambry (babies) [38].

Happy are they that mourn (all compassion)
Mother [39].
M. Chappuis [40].
Sister [41].
Francoise [42].
Mme de Sourdon [43].
Mme Angles [44].
Mme Bobet [45].
Mme d’Avout [46].
Mme Farat [47].
Loss of baby [48].
Not finding husband [49].
Y. de Rostang [50].
Mme Hallo [51].
Canon Angles [52].
GdeG [53].
Mme d'Anthes [54].

Happy the merciful
Prayers for operation [55].
First Communicant [56].
Carmel request for clothing [57].

Happy those who hunger and thirst for right
Angles [58].
Joy at clothing [59].
Grief over Framboise [60].
Sacrifice in leaving Mother and sister [61].
Religious wishes [62].
GdeG [63].
Mme M.L.Ambry [64].
Abbe Chevignard [65].
Abbe Beaubis [66].
Mme Angles][67].
Pere Vallee [68].
Conversion of souls (Hallo) [69].
Canon Angles [70].

Happy the pure in heart
Beautiful country [71].
Doing the washing [72].
Religion and sister [73].
Angles (general) [74].
Feast Day wishes [75].
Sister marriage [76].
Mother [77].
Abbe Jaillet [78].
Mme Lignon [79].

Happy the peacemakers (peace with ….)
Herself [80].
- prayers asked for [81].
Mother [82].
Sister [83].
Mme de Sourdon [84].
Framboise [85].
Rolland aunts [86].
M.L.Hallo [87].
Mme Hallo [88].
GdeG [89].
Habit sister [90].
Sr Therese of J [91].
Mme Angles [92].
Other religious [93].

Happy are they who are persecuted
Religious troubles in France [94].

Observance of Beatitudes by Guite – Sr Elizabeth now in Carmel
Guite had always told her sister, that nothing was too much trouble, as when she and her husband organised the music as a feast day surprise for Sr Elizabeth
[95]. Incidents not categorised.

Looking after their Mother, until her death, as she promised Elizabeth.
Playing harmonium as a feast day surprise [95][bis].
Asked to sing for feast [96].
Getting copies of music for the Carmel [97].
Getting material [98].
Photographs and a note [99].
Benediction singing [99][bis].
Russian salad [100].
Obtaining a raincoat [101].
Ask for anything [102].
brioche [103].
vestments [104].
inkwell [105].

Comment
Any comment on the activities would be superfluous; but it is in order to ‘wax enthusiastic’ about the quality of the foundation on which the Praise of Glory was built.



INITIAL THOUGHTS ON GIVING GLORY TO GOD

Introduction
Elizabeth entered Carmel in August 1901, and she was Professed in January 1903; so it is not unreasonable for another 6 months to elapse before Sr Elizabeth referred to giving glory to God in a letter
[106]. A memorable letter in which she declared that she had found her Heaven on earth. It was to be yet another 6 month’s before she referred to Praise of Glory in a letter [107]. Over that 6 months she wrote 70 letters, but in only 6 of these, did she refer to giving glory to God. What did Sr Elizabeth understand by the 2 phrases and what, if anything was the difference in meaning?

Picture a familiar scene, only imagine it to be taking place a century ago, on Holy Saturday Night in any church. The appearance of desolation, statues covered, Cross covered, Tabernacle empty, darkness everywhere, and not a sound. Yet the pews were occupied by people in silent prayer, prayer of restrained expectation. Then the Church’s Liturgy of Holy Saturday Night began in the church in semi –darkness, soon the lector read that First Lesson from Genesis about how God created heaven and earth and how He ‘found it good’. The Liturgy proceeded through the Baptismal Promises, each with a resounding affirmative, and the Litanies, to the ‘Mass of the Easter Vigil’.

The ‘expectation’ was at last realised with the intoning of the first words of the Gloria: bells were rung, statues unveiled, and the Gloria was taken up by the choir singing “Laudamus Te, Benedicimus Te, Adoramus Te, Glorificamus Te …” The Easter Preface began “ It is … right … to praise Thee, Lord”, instead of the usual “to give thanks to Thee, Lord”. Nearing the end of the Holy Mass, the Communion and ablutions were followed by Lauds: the singing of those ‘alleluia’s’ [108]; Ps 150, the great psalm of praise; and finally the repeat of the ‘alleluia’s’. The night of heartache, had given way to an early morning of unalloyed joy: Praise Him, Bless Him, Adore Him, Glorify Him. The Easter Celebration Praised the Glory of God by confessing His Goodness; everyone present gave Glory to Him, some Praised His Glory: but God did not differentiate, as He loved all of the worshippers equally! Elizabeth did not use the words ‘worship(per)’ in any of her letters from Carmel, and only once at the very end of ‘Heaven in Faith’.

Elizabeth was no stranger to the ceremonies of Holy Saturday Night and to the sheer joy attendant on celebrating the Resurrection of Our Divine Saviour. In Carmel, she wished to give ever-increasing expression to that joy in all that she did [109]. Her Prayer to the Trinity is just one example of joy simply bursting forth: “Fain would I cover Thee with Glory”. Yes indeed, “Cover my Christ with Glory! This ardent desire of every apostolic heart is in the very framework of the Carmelite vocation: Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum.[110].; as is Mount Carmel, with its summit where “Only the honour and Glory of God dwells”[111]. The reading, on Holy Saturday Night, from Genesis reveals how God created all things for His Glory.

Everyone, Carmelite or not, is called to Glorify God – to the Praise of Glory [112]. “It is so simple” [113] - one may ‘cover Him with Glory’ by prayer, spiritual reading, work, suffering, and so on. “He so thirsts to associate us with all that He is, to transform us in Himself” [114]: transformed in Him in accordance with the measure of our love and the extent to which we willingly share His Cross. What is the measure of that love; to what extent does one strive to ‘see’ His Love, with the eyes of faith, in all one’s activities? “A soul which thus permits the Divine Being to satisfy within it His craving to communicate all that he is, and has, is truly the Praise of Glory of all his gifts.” [115]. “In us, God is His own Glory, in the measure by which He communicates Himself, and according as He Himself is ours, and we, through Him, are His.” [116]. Mother Aimee of Jesus was a perfect example. She was so completely transformed in Him, that only the appearances of her personality remained; and would be to Him no more than a simple veil, beneath which – even while remaining hidden – He revealed His Presence in a thousand ways.

A Praise of Glory is a soul, docile to the Holy Spirit, and passionate about the Glory of its God [117]. Its passion is dynamic: “May I penetrate more deeply every moment into the depths of Thy mystery” [118]. In Carmel, Sr Elizabeth would naturally seek to glorify God and, yes, she was passionate about it [119]. “Sometimes I used to hesitate before doing what was more perfect lest it might annoy any of my sisters. Now such fears are powerless to stop me; I am ready to pass through fire to perform the Will of God more perfectly” [120]. She was not content to be simply a Praise of Glory, she sought to be Praise of Glory (Laudem Gloriae): the Praise of Gloryto a superlative degree in accordance with the Will of God for her; not through any sense of vainglory, but through a desire to be utterly docile to the Holy Spirit [121]. As is obvious from the listing of the Beatitudes above; Elizabeth in her every action was a Praise of Glory before she entered Carmel, so in what special manner did she feel called upon by the Holy Spirit [122]. to be known as Praise of Glory? It is worth emphasizing that giving Glory to God, or Praising His Glory is a response to the action of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Love – at a Supernatural level. One can do nothing without the Holy Spirit, and therefore is nothing.

Whatever God does, He does for His own Glory: He made man for His Glory. Man’s happiness is not His primary concern, but the pure happiness of man glorifies Him, because that happiness is concomitant with His creation of man. What God has created gives Glory to Him by simply fulfilling the purpose for which God created it: the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, the untapped power of a mighty natural waterfall, are examples. In the same way, Man gives Glory to God by simply being himself: being present (say) at those Easter Celebrations; but unlike those previous examples, man is a rational being and the use of his God-given powers: again, in the way intended; gives glory to God at the natural level. In fact, man does not need to know about God, to do this without realising it. For God is in everything and He glorifies Himself in His creation.

Man may be unaware of God; but God is not unaware of the intrinsic goodness of His creation, and where God is, there also is His Love: ”God loved us first” (1 Jn 4:10). The Christian acknowledges this by loving God, and his neighbour through God, with His Love [123]. Loving Him by keeping His Commandments and observing the Beatitudes. Jesus gave new meaning to our social obligations, but additionally He revealed a reward attached to each Beatitude which is incredible. Yes, it is of faith that the Holy Trinity dwells in our souls, and that we have a foretaste of eternity here on earth. Can our joy at this be any less than that of Elizabeth a century ago? That is not all, if we ‘behave’ as ‘sons of God’ and offer our love in and with Jesus Crucified then we participate as ‘Praises of Glory’: of ourselves, we cannot praise or glorify God, because only God can glorify Himself. Nevertheless, in and with The Crucified in love, even the smallest action can be sanctified [124]. Sr Elizabeth was led by Christ into an even deeper union of spiritual marriage and towards the end of her life felt inspired to use the phrase Laudem Gloriae.

An Analogy – here-below
It may be helpful to think of the 3 phrases in terms of our Holy Mother’s analogy of the soldiers of the King
[125]. Many of His untrained soldiers had proved themselves to be good fighters {giving Glory to the King, (praising His Glory)}, and the King selected a small group for on-going training that they might give more credit to Him both on and off the battlefield {Praise of His Glory}. Some of these either didn’t take up his offer or fell by the wayside. The King then chose one soldier from his elite group as a standard bearer for a forthcoming battle {(Praise of his Glory), Laudem Gloriae}. As St Teresa remarked: in so doing, the King confers a special favour, while the soldier has to undertake a heavy responsibility [126]. When the battle was over, the standard bearer returned to normal duties and training {Praise of His Glory}, and was not treated any different from the other trained soldiers.

Aim of These Updates on ‘Praise of Glory'.
The aim, then, of Part I of these updates is to introduce Sr Elizabeth’s understanding of the phrase Praise of Glory, as an epithet applied principally to herself; and to examine her use of ‘giving Glory to God’. This is extended in Part II to the use of Praise of Glory and Laudem Gloriae; and the Spiritual Treatise ‘Heaven in Faith’, is introduced. The Treatise has dictated the principal end-point of these notes as early-August 1906, but for completeness, a brief overview has been included of the remaining letters which include one or more of the phrases. The notes are based on the occurrence of the phrases Glory to God, Praise of Glory and Laudem Gloriae, (and the stem glor*), in her letters, personal notes and poems. Reference is made to her spiritual treatises, as occasion demands; but no more than that: it is not intended to look in detail at ‘Heaven in Faith’. Part III begins a detailed analysis of the 4 propositions for a Praise of Glory given at the end of ‘Heaven in Faith’.

Sr Elizabeth intended ‘Heaven in Faith’ for her sister Guite, that the latter might take over from her, as Laudem Gloriae, at her death. Her sister was a married woman, with children, and, by implication, ‘Heaven in Faith’ could apply to anyone living in the world
[127]. It is worth mentioning yet again, that anyone, by intention, can be a Praise of Glory. It is not ‘all or nothing’, but a ‘Love/love’ relationship, the depth of which depends on one’s response to the Holy Spirit: “Behold, I stand at the gate and knock”. (Apoc.3:20)

In some of her letters, Sr Elizabeth may appear to have used the word ‘vocation’ loosely. Her aim was to flesh-out for the benefit of her recipients how the vocation, which is common to us all: to love the Lord, our God; might be achieved.
Referring to her own vocation and to the charism of prayer and penance, her understanding was progressively widened by the Holy Spirit. At first her ‘vocation’ lay in her name (Elizabeth - House of God) [128]; in the Novitiate and thereafter “let me ‘live by love’ it is my vocation” [129]; and finally to be (- / the) Praise of Glory of God [130] or the Praise of Glory of the Holy Trinity [131].
“My vocation is love” actually appears at the head of several letters in June/July 1906. In reading her letters, it is important to realise that her underlying vocation of love, as a Carmelite, never changed. “I do all by love; I suffer all with love, then the soul is so filled, so absorbed, and protected by love that it finds the secret of growing by love wherever it may be. Even in its intercourse with the world and amid the cares of this life, it can truly affirm: my sole occupation is love.” [132].

A second point, worth mentioning here, is the difficulty which can arise in the translation of the definite article ‘la’ from the French original: French being a more formal language in this regard than English. It could appear in some letters that Sr Elizabeth is referring to herself as The Praise of Glory with emphasis on the article: implying ‘the one and only’. This, quite naturally, would be the very last thing that Sr Elizabeth would wish to convey. In these notes, therefore, the use of ‘the’, ‘a’, or ‘ – ‘ is determined principally by sentence construction.

Summary
Sr Elizabeth’s comments in her letters on the Praise of the Divine Glory, showed both the importance which she attached to the ‘on-going’ Christian duty of praise
[133], and her understanding that it was through Our Saviour Jesus Christ that this “sacrifice of praise” rose unceasingly to God [134]. Although conjecture, it is very likely that she may have heard the phrase “sacrifice of praise” as an extra-muros from Mother Marie of Jesus, almost 3 years before she ‘discovered’ it in St Paul’s Epistles. For Mother Marie’s instruction on the holy Office was, “The holy Office is a sacrifice of praise. God’s praise has to be a sacrifice on earth. This sacrifice rests on our Lord’s sacrifice, offered on the altar, for the Glory of the Father. We make one praise of Glory, one living praise together with our Lord, who lifts us up in His own act of deep adoration.” [135].

Her comments appeared in approximately 44 of her letters (extant) from Carmel and, as always, she had selected her recipients with care. Before her attention was drawn to the phrase Praise of Glory she simply wrote about giving Glory to God and, even later on, continued with this practice with some of her recipients. There seemed to be a certain reluctance, in print, to refer to a person performing an action which gave Him Glory, as praising His Glory. Strictly, she was quite correct for only God knows this. Equally, she did not apply the term Praise of (His) Glory without a ‘definite article’, to anyone other than herself. The phrase was not used in her letters, while she was developing her doctrine: for example, it was almost a year later that she wrote to her childhood confidante, “I am going to tell you a very personal secret .. “ [136]. One can understand a reluctance about sharing the secret of her ‘new name’ Laudem Gloriae; although not about sharing this with anyone other than a Priest or Nun. A very special exception here was her sister Guite, and Sr Elizabeth signed GV with Laudem Gloriae.

A time line showing the first mention of the 3 phrases is given below. Note that 2 of the phrases could appear in the same letter and that Laudem Gloriae was often used simply as an epithet.

Aug 1901 Entry into Carmel
Dec   Novitiate
Jun 1902 First mention of Glory
Jan 1903 Profession
Nov   L185 to Abbe Chevignard
Jan 1904 First mention of Praise of Glory
Nov   Prayer to Trinity
Nov 1905 First mention of Laudem Gloriae
Mar 1906 Entry into Infirmary
Aug   Spiritual Treatises HF and LR
Sep   Spiritual Treatise GV
Nov   Death of Sr Elizabeth


GIVING GLORY TO GOD

Praise and thanksgiving evoke joy. “We were created for joy. … True joy is found in the perfect willing of what we were made to will” [137]. Joy was a favourite word of Sr Elizabeth and she used it in a variety of situations. When she applied it to herself, the context was almost invariably associated with God and unambiguous [138]. She was giving joy and, in turn, was experiencing joy because by conforming her will to the Will of the Master, she was giving Glory to God. For example, in a letter [139] prior to clothing, Sr Elizabeth referred to giving joy to her Master’s Heart by giving herself completely to Him. Similar letters preceded her Profession [140]. Not every use of the word joy was so unambiguous, and these examples are not considered further in these notes.

Sr Elizabeth began referring specifically to the practice of giving Glory to God, after she had been in the Novitiate for 6 months. There is nothing unusual, or unexpected, about her remarks; but there is a definite feeling of joy being kept in check [141] - “I wish to be a saint, that I may glorify my divine Master”. In 5 letters written over the next 3 months [142] she was really addressing the wondrous gift of faith: that the God in whom we believe in, lives in us and we live in Him (1Jn 4:16b); and that God unites our souls in Him to His Glory [143]. Now since Heaven is God, Heaven is also the Glory of God, and the Glory of God is in each soul through sanctifying grace. “The Praise of Glory is the reception of God’s Glory by the creature, as the sunlight in a translucent crystal, so that the Praise of Glory is in fact no less than the Divine Glory itself manifest in a human spirit” [144]. Since each one of us is united to God, we must be united to each other, and to the Saints. The difference is that “the One (we) adore in faith … the glorified contemplate face-to-face” [145], “ in the light of vision” [146].
How the Prayer to the Trinity enlarges on this ineffable mystery! “O my God, Trinity Whom I adore! … that I may bury myself in Thee, … May nothing draw me out of Thee, … may I at every moment penetrate more deeply… Give peace to my soul; make it Thy heaven, Thy cherished dwelling place, … Let me never leave Thee there alone, but keep me there, in living faith … O my Christ, fain would I cover Thee with Glory and love Thee … Immerse me in Thyself; … O my beloved Star! so hold me that I cannot wander from Thy light! O my ‘Three’, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity wherein I lose myself! Bury Thyself in me that I may be buried in Thee … “

It is all too easy to take this gift of faith for granted: all too easy to lose one’s faith; but not when that faith is a ‘living’ faith [146][bis]. “Faith makes future blessings so certain and so present to us that they are evolved in our soul and subsist there before we actually enjoy them” [147]. Sr Elizabeth suggested we achieve a ‘living faith’ by conforming to His Will in everything [148], thus giving Him Glory. His response is to deepen our faith which means, in effect, that we become more filled with Him: “The super-eminent power of God is flowing into your soul to transform and divinise it” [149]. Sr Elizabeth wrote: “I want to work for the Glory of God, and for that I must be wholly filled with Him; … “ [150]. She illustrated the all-embracing nature of the word ‘work’ in a very compassionate letter to a Third Order Franciscan lady who had experienced, and was still experiencing, suffering in her life [151]. “There is no wood like that of the Cross for lighting the fire of love in a soul. … And Jesus so needs to be loved … He is always with you, be always with Him, in your sufferings remain in His sight, see Him present, living in your soul.” [152]. She ended her letter triumphantly, “Dear Madame, let us meet in Him who is Love, and may our lives be consecrated to His greater Glory[152][bis]! In her poem, “In the bosom of the Three” [153], she referred to immolating oneself for the Glory of God. She repeated this a month later in another poem, “The Carmelite” [154].

The next letter to this lady contained the phrase Praise of His Glory. Only the second time that it had been used in a letter, since her attention had been drawn to it almost one year earlier! There were 4 letters in all; addressing the question of how this lady could Praise His Glory, through offering her suffering to God. Not unnaturally, here was some repetition.

If one looks on every trial, and every joy, as coming from Him [155], then He must be continually giving Himself in Love, simply because He is in all things. With each trial one is invited to be more united with Him: to “return love for Love” [156]. Every action giving Glory to God, every prayer, every forsaking of self, creates an aching void in the soul, which God fills with his Love; thereby transforming the soul more-and-more in Him. At some point, one is almost bound to ask, “Can I really believe this in faith?” In her letters Sr Elizabeth gave many quotations directed toward a ‘Yes’ answer. To list but a few: “We are already a temple of God” (1 Cor 3:16); “The Son has power from the Father to give eternal life” (Jn 17:2);” We are predestined to be conformed to His image” (Rom. 8:29); “I have not come to judge but to save” (Jn 12:47).

The protest that one is too wretched, or sinful, can be countered by asking, “Did He say that?” Sr Elizabeth’s counter was also unassailable: “We will be purified, not by looking at this wretchedness, but by looking at Him who is all purity and holiness” [157]; or again, “He dwells in us to save us, to purify us, and transform us into Himself” [158]. So one abandons one’s self to Him, and trusts in Him completely. One jumps into His arms [159] and knows the peace and joy that comes with His Love. If one has any difficulty in doing this, then, like the Good Shepherd that He is, He is there bending over, only too happy to lift one up in His arms to safety. One is Glorifying Him and giving Him joy. Put another way, the problems of one’s life have been handed over to Him, and one is left with nothing to do except to be a Praise of His Glory [160]. The approach to suffering in these letters has been covered in previous updates.



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Next Update: May 22nd 2005

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