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Posts Tagged ‘Divine Indwelling’

I have recently been reading Time for God by Fr. Jacques Philippe, a book on mental prayer which I’ve found helpful.   In one chapter, he speaks of the importance of recollecting God’s presence in our hearts, and how recollection profoundly transformed the prayer life of St. Teresa of Avila.  He quotes St. Teresa’s Way of Perfection:

It is clear to me that if I had understood, as I do today, that in this tiny palace of my soul, such a great King is living, I would not have left him alone so often, I would have gone to seek him out from time to time, and I would have taken steps to ensure that the palace was less dirty.  How admirable it is, then, to think that he whose greatness would fill a thousand worlds and much more, shuts himself into such a little thing! In truth, since he is the Master, he is free and since he loves us, he reduces himself to the measure of our smallness.

Fr. Phillipe gives this advice:  “When we don’t know how to pray, the simplest thing to do is recollect ourselves, keep silence, and enter into our own heart, go down into ourselves and, by faith, rejoin the presence of Jesus who dwells within us, and stay peacefully with him. Don’t leave him alone, keep him company.  Someone who perseveres in doing this will soon discover the reality of what Easter Christians call the “place of the heart” –the “inner cell,” as St. Catherine of Siena called it.  This is the center of our being, where God has taken up his abode and we can always be with him.  Yet many men and women do not know about this inner space of communion with God because they have never gone there, never visited this garden to gather its fruits.  Happy are they who make the discover of the Kingdom of God within themselves.  It will change their lives.”  (Phillipe, Time for God pp. 63-64)

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elizabeth

The Carmelite Order celebrates the feast of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity on November 8th. Elizabeth was a beautiful soul who has tasted the delights of contemplating God in the depths of her soul and invites us to do the same.
She was born July 18, 1880 in a military camp of Avor in the district of Farges-en-Septaine, France to a military family. Her father, Joseph Catez, was a captain of the 8th Squadron of the Equipment and Maintenance Corps. Her mother, Marie Rolland, was the daughter of a retired Commandant. The couple was blessed with two lovely daughters, Elizabeth and Marguerite. The family moved to Dijon in 1882. As a child, Elizabeth was described to possess a terrible temper. She was inclined to bouts of tantrums and her early photos show her flashing eyes. It was said that a Canon close to the family exclaimed after being a witness to these outburst, “this child will either grow up to be a devil or an angel.” She is described to be quick-tempered and unable to manage her anger well. This character flaw will be foremost in Elizabeth’s mind as she strove to grow deeper in the spiritual life.
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