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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Holy Trinity and a Foretaste of Heaven

Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity's spiritual mission is to promote mental prayer through devotion to the Holy Trinity. One of her most important spiritual works is a prayer that she wrote just after her novitiate. In this prayer, she makes a personal claim over the Trinity, "My Three", "my All", "my Beatitude." Through learning to pray like this, those who are dedicated to prayer have found a way to deepen their devotion to the indwelling of the Divine Persons of the One God. Saint Elisabeth helps souls move past meditations on the Trinity that are overly abstract and depersonalized. She invites a vision of the Three-in-One and One-in-Three that is at once personal and Biblical. She sees a dynamic unity in the personal relations of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that evokes from the soul a response of praise. The Father contemplates and blesses the truth His Word reveals in us and the Word of the Father yearns that we might know the same glory He himself knows. Through the Holy Spirit, this Great Mystery buries itself in the soul, overshadows it, catches it on fire, captivates it, and establishes it in peace. In this "infinite solitude" and "immensity" of love the soul forgets itself, loses itself, buries itself and becomes pure praise. To allow oneself to be completely captivated by the Holy Trinity is to secure a foretaste of heaven. When the Trinity ceases to be a puzzle and becomes an object of devotion for the heart, the greatness of Christian prayer opens up. The eternal splendor that lives in such a soul is no fantasy or abstract thought—it is, in Saint Elisabeth's own last words, "light, love, life." Such a heavenly in breaking is not in the remote future, but a reality born already in time, making this present moment a kind of sacrament, "eternity begun, and still in progress."

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