Getting Started

Let me respectfully remind you:
Life and Death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost..
Each of us should strive to awaken.
Awaken! Take heed!
Do not squander your life.

— traditional Zen Evening Gatha

The Third Kind of Humility is the most perfect kind. It consists in this. If I suppose the first and second kind attained, then whenever the praise and glory of the Divine Majesty would be equally served, in order to imitate and be in reality more like Christ our Lord, I desire and choose poverty with Christ poor rather than riches; contempt with Christ laden with it rather than honors. Even further, I desire to be regarded as a useless fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as a wise and prudent person in this world. So Christ was treated before me.

— Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises, paragraph 167

In a footnote to the above text from St. Ignatius, editor George Ganss, S.J. writes: “A person whose attitude is that of the third way of being humble (1) has indifference and (2) is speaking in the language of love. His or her attitude is, “I love Christ and want to be as like to him as possible, no matter what the cost.” ….Lovers are willing and sometimes even desire to labor or suffer for the beloved, because by such labor or suffering they manifest their love, or increase it, or prove it. They choose the suffering, not as if it were a good or end in itself, but as a means to a higher good.”

Please pay attention to the dates — things changed after December 30, 2020.

A Prayer

I have a particular devotion to Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, who died at age 26 in 1906. She is quite well known for the prayer “O My God, Trinity Whom I Adore.” The prayer posted here is not that prayer. Rather it is a prayer attributed to Elizabeth through a vision experienced by Adrienne von Speyr and recorded by Hans Urs von Balthazar, I will write more at another time of Saint Elizabeth, von Speyr and von Balthazar. But for now, here is the prayer. It seems to me to faithfully reflect St. Elizabeth’s relationship with the Trinity (and my own aspiration).

Triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit! If we, Father, are permitted to call you Father, then we thank your Son, who has humbled himself and has come to us as a man in order to bring us the Spirit. And you, Father and Son, have created a relationship before us for yourselves, which corresponds in a certain way to human relationships. But you have shown it to us in such a way that no earthly relationship between father and son would ever be adequate to what you have revealed to us. For we are sinners. Father, let us forget that we are sinners, and let us draw our sustenance from the fact of being permitted to be with you, of being permitted to adore in our contemplation all the mysteries of your threeness, your eternal threeness, your constant becoming three. In your threeness you show us that there is no beginning and no end in your life; through the three among you, you show us that everything in you is all or nothing. There is no beginning and no end, because in fact everything is a beginning and in fact everything is an end, an end so that the beginning may ever be new, a beginning, so that the end may be visible. and there is no rest in this not-being-the-center, which you disclose to us, no rest, because everywhere there is the same challenging love, the same self-giving love, the same receiving love. Father, we say “love”, and we have learned this word from the Son, but we are using an expression we do not understand, which we are unable to fulfill, which only arrives at its proper meaning in the Triunity of heaven. For only what lasts eternally has meaning. Father, if we contemplate your eternal being next to your love, then we are carried away by something that overflows us at every point, something that would completely submerge and drown us if your saving, triune love did not come to our aid in order to draw us into the participation in the triune worship in heaven. And every worship on earth is a foretaste of the heavenly worship. Father, I beg you, allow me, allow our entire cloister, allow everyone who is bound to us, to participate in your heavenly adoration, now or when we arrive in heaven, but do not push anyone away, for all our followers belong to you, and whenever we say “ours”, may you allow us instead to say “yours”. Amen