A Retreat with St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Discussion in 'On prayer itself' started by Mario, Apr 21, 2022.

  1. Mario

    Mario Powers

    The Below verse from Day 8:

    Ephesians 3:17 ...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    In the midst of hustle and bustle, how important little acts of faith are. They are like keys which open the treasure vault of love, so that each of us may comprehend (not so much understand, but rather, perceive and experience) the love of Christ in my heart and/or life, or even in the lives of others. Of course, the context in which Elizabeth is speaking includes prayer.

    Dr. Lilles reminds me that...the deepest truth reveals not that I am a failure (though I do stumble), but that I am loved.
     
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  2. Mario

    Mario Powers

    A number of times on MOG I have mentioned this, but it is even more powerful for me as a deacon: kneeling next to Father during Holy Mass. Two occasions: 1) uniting and offering my lifeblood with Jesus at the Elevation of the chalice during the Consecration. The other occasion occurs at the beginning of the Agnus Dei which I can always witness, but those at a Novus Ordo Mass can also see since the priest faces the congregation: Father takes the large Sacred Host breaks it in two; but then from one-half he breaks off a tiny morsel and drops it in the Precious Blood. Whereas the separate consecrations of bread and wine re-present the Death of the Lord, the fracturing re-presents the reunion of the Body and Blood in the Resurrection. In the latter, I personally renew my life of service to our King.

    I believe contemplation is similar in that one lets Jesus take the reins of prayer (death to self-direction) to give (life in the Spirit); the keys are the faith and love, as expressed in Eph 3:17.

    At least I always bring hope to the table; but it is all up to the Lord, He lovingly decides how to gift me in the "reward" of my faith.

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
     
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  3. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Day 9:

    “Be holy for I am holy.” 126 Who then is this who can give such a command? . . . He Himself has revealed His name, the name proper to Him, which He alone can bear: “I am Who Am,” 127 He said to Moses, the only living One, the principle of all the other beings. “In Him,” the Apostle says, “we live and move and have our being.” 128 “Be holy for I am holy!” It seems to me that this is the very same wish expressed on the day of creation when God said: “Let us make man in Our image and likeness.” 129 It is always the desire of the Creator to identify and to associate His creature with Himself! St. Peter says “that we have been made sharers in the divine nature”; 130 St. Paul recommends that we hold on to “this beginning of His existence” 131 which He has given us; and the disciple of love tells us: “Now we are the children of God, and we have not yet seen what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him makes himself holy, just as He Himself is holy.” 132 To be holy as God is holy, such is, it seems, the measure of the children of His love! Did not the Master say: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”?

    I usually don't print out the available text of St. Elizabeth in full, but it is so rich. If I were to share this retreat with an evangelical (questionable), I would have him listen to Day 9 first, simply because Elizabeth points to (and Dr. Lilles expands upon) this familiar theme of personal relationship. Elizabeth reveals the depth at which such a relationship can be lived. If Jesus commands us to be holy as God is, then it is not only necessary, but possible through grace. This grace initiated on this side of the grave is borne through death and into the glory of heaven, where there is only growth from one glory to another.

    Who am I , O Lord, and who are we, that you invite us into so intimate a friendship? Praised be your Name forever and ever!:love:
     
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  4. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Session 8
    Mario I so want to keep up with you, in this retreat, mainly so we can see where we are being lead. Alas I lag behind.

    I listened to session 8 about 2 days ago and wrote notes but haven't replied as yet as there is so many trials at present (I know your life is also strewn with trials as well; your fortitude is amazing!) additionally my prayer life has stepped up a notch and I feel an internal urgency, that rouses me both day and night to constant prayer.

    Praise God that He has provided me with the graces and time to be faithful to the prayers the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart over the years and to His mothers call for the daily rosary over many years and the seven sorrows rosary over the last 3 years. This inner call to prayer has become almost all consuming over the last two years and now it is my food, my drink and my rest, a call that not only pulls at my heart but also at my body, yet I woefully remain wretched. However in Our Lords great mercy, I think He may be indicating, with my current prayer life instruction, that a future painful, decisive or unprecedented event is eminent. May God Have Mercy on us all.

    The little infant Jesus 'The infant of Prague', has figured foremost in my devotion over the last 3 months. I have never really had a great devotion to the infancy or childhood of Jesus, except in His birth at Bethlehem or at the age of 12 when he was lost and found after 3 days, because I usually see Jesus as the adult, the teacher, the healer and the crucified redeemer.

    But over the last 3 months or so, the little Jesus has been manifesting himself to my soul, my spirit, my thoughts and my imagination. He is so Beautiful and Regal! He is full of Love and Innocence, and He has made me know that He really Loves me and all that I care about (even with all my flaws). Its hard to explain, the Little Jesus does not take anything away from His adult Perfections and Innocence but in some mystical way, I believe Jesus is allowing me to have a greater intimacy to His personhood!

    As a by the way, my eldest son Adam visited Prague a few years ago and got me a tiny statue of the Infant of Prague (It stands about 8 inches) He is adorned in a golden robe, I kept it safe in its box until about six months ago when I decided to display it on my altar under the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Amazingly, about six to eight weeks ago after the death of my uncle (May he rest in peace, Amen) I was singularly blessed to receive my Nans statue of the Infant of Prague, which stands about 14 inches and He is robed in a red cloak, this item as well as other were still there inside the home of my grandparents where my uncle resided. This statue now adorns the altar beneath a large 4 foot statue of the Immaculate Conception.

    To get back to the retreat in hand

    In Session 8 St Elizabeth exclaims, that God has pitched a tent for the sun/son (psalm 18) I believe that this is the mountain summit, which St Elizabeth has previously spoken of!

    She states....The soul that tells of Gods Glory who has said yes to His interior commands, yes to suffering and yes to its weaknesses, Tell of the Glory of God, in both night and day of the soul. It seems we need not worry so much about our weaknesses.

    St Elizabeth continues... He is the sun , He is the Word, He is the Bridegroom and if He finds a soul empty of everything, save His Love and His Glory, than He chooses it, to be His bridal chamber, and He rushes in like a giant racing triumphantly on His course, and the soul cannot escape His heat. He is the consuming fire and each seem to be the other the two are but one. A praise of Glory for the Father!
    Therefore everything that Christ is belongs to the soul and everything that the soul is belongs to Christ!


    The above sentiments of St Elizabeth are a beautiful analogy for the virginal consecrated soul!

    In my experience, I suppose as a mother, and because the Lord is revealing Himself to me, at the moment, as the little King through the Infant of Prague,

    I see this Little King .......who is the sun, who is the word, who is the purest child and if He finds a soul empty of everything save His Love and His Glory, than He chooses it, to be The arms of His consolation and He rushes in like innocence personified racing triumphantly to embrace the object of His comfort, and the soul cannot escape His heat. He is the consuming fire and so too each seem to be the other the two are but one. A praise of Glory for the Father!
    Therefore everything that Christ is belongs to the soul and everything that the soul is belongs to Christ!
     
  5. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Please don't try to keep pace. I treasure your insights, especially how you find connections with the other spiritual gifts in your life. God is so pleased with your perseverance in the midst of ups and downs. It appears the ups and downs in my life aren't as bumpy as yours, so I await your posts knowing I'll see another wonderful perspective.

    Yes, we need to be aware of the culture, but I love the phrase in the final book of the Narnia Chronicles: "further in and further up". If that is our goal, then what we share and how we live will help bring others to the Lord!

    I see this Little King .......who is the sun, who is the word, who is the purest child and if He finds a soul empty of everything save His Love and His Glory, than He chooses it, to be The arms of His consolation and He rushes in like innocence personified racing triumphantly to embrace the object of His comfort, and the soul cannot escape His heat. He is the consuming fire and so too each seem to be the other the two are but one. A praise of Glory for the Father!
    Therefore everything that Christ is belongs to the soul and everything that the soul is belongs to Christ!


    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
     
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  6. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Session 9
    We are called to Adore!
    To not just pray, or fast, or do penance or offer suffering but our main call is to adoration! This is what St Elizabeth reveals in this ninth session, I believe.

    Why does she stress adoration?

    I believe Adoration is the culmination of all existence! of all creatures because this is what creation was created for! With our eyes fixed on Him, (neither night nor day) consolation or darkness matter! as all is grounded and rooted in Love!
    To praise and Glorify the only one who deserves praise and Glory. Amen

    The poor plants and animals can not adore God in any way other than by being what they are. And we can imitate them in this, and be pleasing to God by existing rightfully but we are created for greater things than this we are created in Gods image and are called to adore God perfectly! If we mankind Adore God then the rest of creation (who are waiting on us to do this) will also be able to adore Him perfectly and be in a concert of adoration to Him who Is, who Was and who Always Will Be.

    St Elizabeth states that the Blessed in Heaven constantly call out Holy, Holy, Holy and bow before Him, throwing down their crowns, saying Glory and Praise to You God Most High, in both day and night!

    Adoration is therefore a simple thanks for this unspeakable Joy of existence! this understanding of the root cause, this knowledge of Love in both day and night of the soul producing not only Love in the creature but also giving a sublime rest to the creature.

    This unspeakable Love of the Triune God is manifest is the cross of Christ, which is the Magnificent sacrifice of the Eternal Father and the Climatic Love of the Holy Spirit, showered upon mankind to make us partakers of Gods unspeakable Joy! This then calls forth a movement of adoration within our souls . Which is the only response acceptable to such a great gift.

    Oh Mary Conceived without sin, and who suffered for us, Pray for us who have recourse to Thee. Amen.
     
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  7. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Day 9 part 2: 141 “If you live according to the flesh,” the Apostle also says, “you will die, but if you put to death in the spirit the works of the flesh, you will live.” 142 This is the death that God asks for and of which it is said: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

    In this section of the retreat, the focus is as above: putting to death the works of the flesh. Here on the forum I like to join discussions that focus on the spiritual life, but this area is often where my flesh gets in the way. In sharing my insights or scriptural verses, I'm always in danger of seeking kudos and feeding my pride. They mention the Prayer of Humility on this day which doesn't come from Elizabeth, but which I think is a good battering ram to weaken pride. So I attempt to share insights without feeding my veiled pride. As Elizabeth writes on behalf of the Lord:

    O soul... look at Me and you will forget yourself! (
    eyes on Jesus and the little way).

    Therese, keep my eyes focused on the Lord.
     
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  8. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Day 10:

    Dr. Lilles describes Elizabeth's experience of the Father's Love as uncreated solitude (what!?). But his next statement helps me to understand. The Son took upon Himself the full brunt of evil. In a certain sense, on the Cross Christ exhausted evil in a way that allows only the invincible Love of the Father to remain. Contemplatives rest in this resulting uncreated solitude (the Father's Love).

    This afternoon, I watched some youtube clips that focused on self-destructing Democrats paving the way for certain Republican victory in the 2022 election. There was a certain sense of gloating by commentators, of the wind now being at our backs. One might be pleased, hoping to see a new direction on the horizon. But I realize that this activity is on a human level, part of the fragile ups and downs of history, which might provide only a partial pause to the insanity of our days. It can never fully achieve its goal.

    Christ exhausted evil in a definitive way- this allows the experience of the invincible Love of the Father to remain within our reach. The extinguished noise of evil in my own soul can occur when I forfeit time and allow Jesus to yoke me to Himself, away from noise into silence.

    Could this be why Mary's Heart remained forever Immaculate in this life: the piercing swords in her Heart failed to disturb the Love of the Father within. I cannot fully avoid the piercing swords of life, but will ask Mary to protect the uncreated solitude within.

    Conclusion: I should not be overly concerned with techniques of prayer, but by the grace of Christ forfeit the noise to be quiet in the Father's loving presence.

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
     
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  9. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Session 10- part 2 of day 8.

    St Elizabeth draws us closer to understanding what adoration is and what happens in the soul when adoration occurs. I believe many of us, who are allowing God to lead us, get glimpses of this without understanding what's happening.

    We hear that adoration is a symphony of Silence. The silence is the praise, the peace, the union and the space for God to manifest His Love. This silence is baptised in meanings that are so deep, no words can be spoken. (Beautiful words of Dr Lilles)

    I think the reason the soul becomes silent, is because it is confronted with its inability to truly Adore God, as it would like. The soul realises the deepest truth; that everything the soul has, its successes, talents, abilities and achievements were all gifts that came first from God. The soul falls down in humility allowing it to plunge itself so low that it can't be found.

    Plunged into the abyss of it's nothingness, the soul looses itself and its only delight is the river of faith that flows from God. The soul is aching to adore God worthily. But what the soul possesses is nothing, but a bucket of misery!

    It is a painful place to go. The soul can no longer speak, for it is too painful to articulate. In this Silence the soul becomes vulnerable before God, trusting God and giving this bucket of misery to God; the soul is finally free to enter into adoration where nothing can disturb it. It is in this place, this silence where God manifests His Love.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
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  10. josephite

    josephite Powers

    This sounds so beautiful. I can't wait to listen.
     
  11. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Before I continue to the next session, I just want to comment on these, images of Adoration that St Elizabeth and Dr Lilles are presenting and explaining.
    They are invoking memories of Benedictions I attended as a child.

    Oh how I wish we had Benediction as we did in the 60's.
    Benediction took my soul to heaven, I remember experiencing unexplainable stirrings in my soul, as we the congregation sang the most beautiful hymns, prayed the most sublime prayers and adored in the moments of silence before the exposed Lord.

    When my children were small in the 1980's and 90's, Father O'Hallaran (may he rest in peace) used to occasionally give us the joy of benediction after Mass in Holy week and I think at other times, these benedictions, were beautiful and powerful but I know some devotional hymns and prayers were missing and I felt sorry for my children and the youth, not being able to experience Benediction as we adults did as children.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
  12. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Session 11; which is actually part 1 of day 9!
    Oh my,
    I finally realised that I am to listen to the other sessions of the day before I comment, (the penny has dropped):cool:
    I have only now realised this :D.

    Listen to all parts/sessions of each day before comment, that way we can understand each other!
    Up until now, I have listening to the 30 minute sessions which comprise only part of a day, for some of the days, and I have commented on them individually!

    So I have not reached Day 10 and cannot comment on this wonderful revelation you speak of above!

    I realise now, that I should listen to all the 30 minute sessions that comprise the one day before comment, rather than just comment on the individual 30 minute sessions, as I have been doing.

    The 17 day retreat has 30 minute sessions, which comprise of 24 individual sessions (which is what I have been mistakenly following) this means I am not even half way and wonder why I am not receiving the same understanding as yourself regarding the words of St Elizabeth. Where as you and others Mario, following the retreat are probably wondering what I am babbling about! :rolleyes:

    Please forgive me; from now on I will not comment on the individual sessions but will, complete all sessions for the particular day, before I comment.
    As a by the way thank you and all following the retreat for putting up with my probably incomprehensible ramblings.:confused:

    I will listen to the other session of day 9 before I comment on part 1 of day 9. This makes sense.
     
  13. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Thank you for what is emboldened above.:)
     
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  14. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Yes, remember the full display of vestments, the Monstrance processed under the awning, lots of incense!:D

    Lord of Lords and King of Kings, we adore You!
     
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  15. Mario

    Mario Powers

    :giggle::giggle::giggle: Ah Josephite, you are not suppose to receive the same understanding I do. On retreats like this, God speaks to the individual heart, not some sort of group identity! If something I say helps you, fine, but the Two Hearts are our retreat masters and they lead us individually! :love:
     
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  16. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Day 10, Part 2: In the spiritual Life no one satisfies but God alone in silence! And how many times have I entered into the chamber (very, very few)!

    Bible verses which express my desire:

    The Lord to my soul:

    Psalm 45:10 Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; 11 and the king will desire your beauty.

    Song of Songs 2:14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the recesses of the cliff, show me thy face, let your voice sound in my ears, for your voice is sweet, and thy face is lovely.

    My soul to the Lord:

    Song of Songs 1:7 Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who wanders beside the flocks of thy companions?

    Song of Songs 3:1 Upon my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth; I sought him, but found him not; 2 “I will arise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the broad ways, I will seek him whom my soul loveth. I sought him, but found him not." 3 The watchmen who keep the city found me. “Have you seen him whom my soul loveth?” 4 Scarcely had I passed them by, when I found him whom my soul loveth. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him to my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her who bore me.

    Psalm 26:8 O Lord, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

    Psalm 42:1 As the deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
     
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  17. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Truly God was adored with these outwards signs of piety.
    The faithful participated in the adoration of the Most Holy Lord, together through Benediction, like the Blessed in Heaven, who bow before Him, throwing down their crowns, crying out in unison Holy, Holy, Holy!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  18. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Day 9
    Session 11

    St Elizabeth speaks of Gods invitation to holiness, and she presents this call of God by gathering and weaving together old and new testament scripture passages quoting Abraham, Moses, St Peter, St Paul and St John.

    Be Holy as I am Holy!
    Walk in my presence and be perfect.

    She asks who can command this?
    She answers again with scripture passages gathered and weaved together , It is He, the only Living one. The one in whom we live and move and have our being, God has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world that we might be Holy and Immaculate in His presence, sharers of the Divine nature and children of God, everyone who has this hope in Him has the promise to be Holy as He is Holy.

    Session 12

    Here St Elizabeth informs us that Holiness requires death to self, not only humility in our nothingness but complete trust to journey alone with the alone!

    In this trust we are lead by His strength and His protection, having no fear of the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the evil that stalks in darkness, nor attacks of the noon day devil for we are stripped of self and nothing in the day (in consolation) or night (desolation) has any power to remove our soul from our hands, for now we are dead to self and our soul resides in the Masters hands!

    Oh death says the Lord I will be your death!
    I believe on the cross our Lord emptied Himself of His Divinity, to not only identify with humanity, but also to swallow death
    And He invites us to...
    Come die in me that I may live in you.
     
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  19. Mario

    Mario Powers

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Josephite,

    Back in post # 49 you said the following:

    Plunged into the abyss of it's nothingness, the soul looses itself and its only delight is the river of faith that flows from God. The soul is aching to adore God worthily. But what the soul possesses is nothing, but a bucket of misery!

    It is a painful place to go. The soul can no longer speak, for it is too painful to articulate. In this Silence the soul becomes vulnerable before God, trusting God and giving this bucket of misery to God; the soul is finally free to enter into adoration where nothing can disturb it. It is in this place, this silence where God manifests His Love.


    Previously (not sure where in this thread) I mentioned an issue in my life that has come to the fore. It is like your bucket of misery that weighs me down, but one which falls within the scope of God's Will. But one thing I am able to do is place it in the hands of Jesus since we are yoked together and He can offer it to the Father. In other words, this cross doesn't have to be removed. This Abyss of Pain can be transformed by the Abyss of God's Mercy. Not removed, but transformed! Then...

    the soul is finally free to enter into adoration where nothing can disturb it.

    I brought this up simply because at this stage of the retreat Dr. Lilles is speaking about our inner brokenness that must be repeatedly surrendered to Christ, who then offers it to the Father, so that our hearts may be stilled.

    Wow! St. Elizabeth is taking me down a different path this time!

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
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