The love of the Trinity and my saint best friend

My first year as a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, I was gifted a book called “Divine Intimacy.” This devotional follows the old liturgical calendar, giving reflections on the Christian life throughout the year inspired by the various seasons of the Church.

As I worked my way through the passages, one frequently quoted saint (a blessed at the time) continued to strike me, repeatedly emphasizing what she called “the indwelling of the Trinity.” You might have heard St. Elizabeth of the Trinity talked about in recent years, but at the time she was totally new to me. But my interest was piqued — she had caught my attention.

A saintly friendship

You see, I had heard people talk about the saints, not in some distant and far-off sense, but in an earthly friendship kind of way that makes it seem like they are closer to us than we could ever begin to fathom. “My saint best friend” or “my saint stalker” — saints that just won’t leave you alone, that keep popping up in your life in the most meaningful of moments. Many have reported finding roses in specific colors and numbers at the end of a St. Thérèse novena, and just the other day I swore St. Anthony plopped a lost item in plain sight when I wasn’t looking.

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Well, it seemed as though this new-to-me blessed was really trying to pursue me in heavenly friendship. I was so captivated by her emphasis on this very intimate and sacred closeness we have with the Holy Trinity, God dwelling in our souls. “[My God,] What a joyous mystery is your presence within me,” she wrote, “in that intimate sanctuary of my soul where I can always find you, even when I do not feel your presence.”

God dwells in me. At all moments, at all times, the most Holy Trinity, my God, is present in me. He is closer to me than my family, my dearest friends, my spouse, my children in my womb. I house him — he chooses to be housed — in my soul, and he is with me at all moments.

But the idea that spoke to me most came when I read this quote from her. She said, “It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, because my heaven is you, my God, and you are in my soul. You in me, and I in you — may this be my motto.” No matter how near or far I felt to God, he was in me, and in this Heaven on Earth, I could rest.

A deepening relationship

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity decided she would make a show of this continuing pursuit of me. We had a lot in common, sharing a name (my first name is Elizabeth), an inclination towards sensitivity and experiencing the loss of our fathers at a young age.

The man I was dating at the time — my now-husband — was told by his spiritual director to read a book about her as I was growing interested in her. When we began dating, I asked him if we could wait to talk about marriage and our future until we had dated for six months, to which he graciously agreed. Well, that day, Nov. 8, also happened to be the feast day of then-blessed, now saint, Elizabeth of the Trinity.

When he proposed, my now-husband had inscribed in my ring the name St. Elizabeth of the Trinity called herself and what she most desired to be, a “Praise of Glory.” We chose to get married on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Little did we know that the prescribed second reading for this feast, an excerpt from Ephesians, was the same reading from which her name, “Praise of Glory,” was inspired. Upon writing this article, I also discovered that Dec. 8, 1901, was the day she received her habit and religious name. The surprises just keep coming.

Knowledge of God through the saints

Now, could we claim this all to be coincidence? Not with the eyes of faith, I’d argue, the lens of the Spirit through which God invites us to see the world. He wants us to know his love in the most tangible and human of ways, and he makes his love clear and evident if only we have the eyes to see and ears to hear. God used this humble saint and her teachings to draw me closer to him. Through her friendship, I have come to know God ever more intimately.

For a moment, put on a new set of glasses, if you will. Ask the Spirit to enliven your senses to be able to see and hear a saint who might be trying to get your attention. Not only will it be a wonderful, sometimes comical, story to tell, but it will also be a new way in which God wants to lavishly pour out his love on you. And this upcoming Trinity Sunday, let St. Elizabeth of the Trinity’s profound insights draw you more deeply into the loving Trinity’s home in your soul.

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