Saints of the Divine Indwelling
63rd Anniversary of Our Lady of America’s First Apparition
September 26, 2019
 
Sister Mildred, the mystic of the devotion to Our Lady of America, wrote that on the evening of August 5, 1957, “Our Lady spoke to me about the Divine Indwelling. It was her life and she lived it perfectly always conscious of His presence, never forgetting that all her greatness came from within, from Him who dwelt there, working, loving, and doing good through her. This is what Our Lady means when she speaks of reformation, renewal. It is this about which she is so concerned, namely sanctification from within. . . . She seemed anxious to impress me with some idea of the greatness of this gift of God to us, namely, His Divine Presence within our souls through sanctifying grace.”
 
This is the sixth and last article on the Practice of the Divine Indwelling.

           
The Divine Indwelling was recognized by Carmelite saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. A thousand years before them, St. Augustine said, “I found Thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking Thee without who were within.”  St. John of the Cross recognized this and later said, “God then is hidden within the soul, and there the good contemplative must seek Him with love.”
           
St. Teresa sought Him there with love. She wrote in her Way of Perfection,
Remember how Saint Augustine tells us about his seeking God in many places and eventually finding Him within himself.  Do you suppose it is of little importance that a soul which is often distracted should come to understand this truth and to find that, in order to speak to its Eternal Father and to take its delight in Him, it has no need to go to Heaven? . . . We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.
St. John of the Cross wrote of this mystery in the beginning of his Spiritual Canticle,
Come, then, thou soul, most beautiful of all creatures, that so greatly desirest to know the place where thy Beloved is, in order to seek Him and be united with Him; . . . thou thyself art the lodging wherein He dwells, and the chamber and hiding-place wherein He is hidden. . . .What more desirest thou, O soul, and what more seekest thou without thyself, since within thyself thou hast thy riches, thy delight, thy satisfaction, thy fullness and thy kingdom, which is thy Beloved, Whom thy soul desires and seeks?  Rejoice thou and be glad in thy inward recollection with Him, since thou hast Him so near.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was a modern witness of the Divine Indwelling. She contemplated the beauty of this mystery and wrote to a friend, “It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, for heaven is God, and God is in my soul. . . . May He make of your soul a little heaven in which He can rest happily. Remove from it all that could offend His divine gaze. Live with Him. Remain constantly with Him. Enter into the interior of your soul; you will always find Him there, longing to do great things for you.”
           
St. Elizabeth wrote to her mother, “Oh, may the Master reveal to you His divine presence, it is so pleasant and sweet, it gives so much strength to the soul; to believe that God loves us to the point of living in us, to become the Companion of our exile, our Confidant, our Friend at every moment.”
          
Shortly before her death in 1906, she wrote to a friend: “My beloved Antoinette, I leave you my faith in the presence of God, of the God who is all Love dwelling in our souls. I confide to you: it is this intimacy with Him ‘within’ that has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life, making it already an anticipated Heaven: it is what sustains me today in my suffering.” 
           
St. Elizabeth is known as “the saint of the Divine Indwelling.” She lived the Divine Indwelling and composed a prayer to It:
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.
                 
This prayer is quoted verbatim in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (CCC 260).
On November 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II beatified Elizabeth of the Trinity. In his homily at the beatification, the Pope presented her to the Church as one “who led a life ‘hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3),” and as “a brilliant witness to the joy of being 'rooted and grounded in love.’ ” (Ephesians 3:17).
          
Let us too be witnesses to the joy of being rooted and grounded in love by recognizing and living daily the Divine Indwelling and practicing the presence of the Most Holy Trinity. In His last prayer, Jesus recognized the Divine Indwelling and prayed that we would be one in the Holy Trinity. He prayed, “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:20-21).
          
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that our ultimate unity in the Holy Trinity begins now with the Divine Indwelling. “The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God's creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity. But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: ‘If a man loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.’ ” (CCC  260). Our Lady of America confirms this teaching of the ultimate unity. She said, “It is my special work as Co-Redemptrix of the human race to help souls reach the sanctity of the Father in eternal union by showing them how to put on Christ, to imbibe His Spirit, and thus become one with Him.”
           
In the temple of the living God with the Divine Indwelling, we praise, honor, adore, glorify and bless God as did the Jews in the Jerusalem temple and as a foretaste of the saints’ prayers in heaven. In the ultimate end of the whole divine economy, those living with the Divine Indwelling will join the saints in heaven and “stand before God’s throne and worship Him day and night in His temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17).
 
Like St. Elizabeth, you too may have your soul touched by God by reading the prior articles in this series. You may read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here. Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.


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