One delight amongst others of attending Mass at Carmel is to celebrate the feasts of their Order's saints, and thereby to be edified. I was doubly delighted this morning, since a very good preacher indeed, Fr Gregory, a Dominican whom I knew when I lived in Melbourne, is down to visit the good nuns, and blessed us all with well-chosen words. It was a special day also for Mother Elizabeth, the Prioress, whose name-day it is: pray for her, that she have all needed graces.
Every saint is a gift of God to the Church, pointing us heavenward (to try and paraphrase somewhat of what he spoke); in Bl Elizabeth we see the mystery of Divine election in particular – the mystery whereby, for no merit of our own, God chose her, chooses you, chooses me, and invites us to respond to His inexpressible gift by living as we must if we are to fulfil this call, this vocation, and fulfil it evermore in eternity, in heaven.
As is most fitting, given her great devotion to these words of St Paul, the Epistle was taken from that of his to the Ephesians, the first chapter, verses 3 to 14, which I subjoin in the Douay version:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ: as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will: unto the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he hath graced us in his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence, that he might make known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in him, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him. In whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will. That we may be unto the praise of his glory, we who before hoped Christ: in whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth, (the gospel of your salvation;) in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory.
Meditate on these glorious words!