Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
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. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 25, 1984.
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.
Her name, “Elizabeth,” which literally means “House of God,” captured her strong belief in the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, which is found in the silence of contemplative prayer and transforms the one who prays into a “Praise of Glory” (Eph. 1:6, 12). Her unique spirituality is reflected is reflected in her writings.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“I have found heaven on earth, since heaven is God, and God is in my soul. My mission in heaven will be to draw souls, helping them to go out of themselves to cling to God, with a spontaneous, love-filled action, and to keep them in that great interior silence which enables God to make his mark on them, to transform them into himself.”(Letter 122)
“A soul united to Jesus is a living smile that radiates Him and gives Him.”
“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)