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Monday, 13 July 2015

Framing Prayer 16 Gratitude

"When I read in the Gospel that "Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea," to perform her loving service to her cousin Elizabeth, I imagine her passing by, so beautiful, so calm and so majestic, so absorbed in recollection of the Word of God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always this: "Ecce. Here I am." Who? "The servant of the Lord," the lowliest of His creatures: she, His Mother! Her humility was so real, for she was always forgetful of self, free from all anxiety. And she could sing,"The Almighty has done great things for me; henceforth all people will call me blessed."

Gratitude is the mark of this young saint. More than many other holy people, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity expressed gratitude over and over in her prayers, meditations, comments. She knew she was a grateful person and taught others to be grateful.

So many lay people complain, and some do so almost constantly. The prayer of gratitude never crosses their lips, except, perhaps, in the prayer before meals.

Gratitude indicates humility. One must know one has received something and not because one is worthy, but because one is needy.

Look at the simplicity of her gratitude here. We can all learn this lesson. I thank God almost daily for water, for baths or showers, for clothes, for housing....all is from Him. I thank Him for being able to write, to think, to read, to meditate. I thank God for my bed, my bedding, and my books...most of all, I thank God for my friends and for His care, especially in the sacraments.

I thank God for my very life.

"I sleep deeply on my straw mattress, something I never experienced before. The first night I did not feel very secure and I thought that before morning i would roll out of one side or the other, but nothing happened, and now my bed seems delightful to me. If you only knew how quickly time passes in Carmel, and yet it seems to me that I have always lived in this dear house. I can't find words to express my happiness. Here, there is no longer anything but Him. He is All. He suffices and we live by Him alone. 

I find Him everywhere, while doing the wash as well as while praying. Just picture to yourself Elizabeth in her little cell which is so dear to her; it is our sanctuary, just for HIM and for me... "

And, she wrote to a friend:"If you walk rooted in Christ, strengthened in your faith, you will live in thanksgiving, the love of the sons of God"

This thanksgiving bubbles over from the grace to accept either suffering or consolation equally.

Pray like this, dear lay readers. A prayer of Elizabeth of the Trinity....

"O Eternal Word, Word of my God. I want to spend my life in listening to you, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on you always and remain in your great light . . . O my Three, my all, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to you as your prey. Bury yourself in me that I may bury myself in you until I depart to contemplate in your light the abyss of your greatness."