Deliberate Renunciation of the Vanities of the World
From her earliest Youth until her death she kept away from everything that could be a temptation for her senses. She resolutely turned away from false values; she despised all the vanities of the world and kept her attention firmly on Jesus Christ and eternal life. Already as a child she left the games in order to pray. At the age of seven, she told her parents that she did not want any gifts any more. She wanted to become a saint. When she was twelve years old, the desire to become a sister germinated in her soul and she felt the strong need to completely separate from the world: “I incessantly asked God to protect me from the world”. She wants to protect her Daughters from any attack of the world: “You will not find consolation and joy with God as long as you are seeking them in the world”. “You wear the religious habit to show the world that you are dead to it”. “Avoid irrelevant discourses and above all those about matters of the world!” One could multiply the quotations.
The motive of Elizabeth’s desire for suffering was eternal bliss. She said to her Daughters: “Why should we hesitate to embrace the cross, to completely attach ourselves to it for some moments here on earth, when the reward is eternal happiness? As God is much more provident for us than a father is for his children and much more affectionate than a mother, we will never complain when we are visited by sufferings; we will receive them with joy and submission. We will then be sure to enjoy tender peace and to receive great merits for eternity. How gentle and pleasant will be the death of the soul that is constantly united and in communion with its Divine Spouse! Now, my children, everything is hard in the service of God. I know it from experience! But be courageous and often think of your last hour. Through the love for God, the thought of heaven may always support your courage. Is it so painful to mortify ourselves for a few years when we think of the endless joys awaiting the mortified souls in heaven? Now, my children, is the time for us – for battles, for work, and for sacrifices. Let us crucify the old person. This “giving birth” is painful, but what consolations, what glory, will follow it!”
The Servant of God invited to hope, especially those who suffer, who doubt, the poor, the sinners. All the preference of her charity is for them. Many visitors testified that she told them about God’s mercy and goodness with a fervor that deeply touched their hearts. Isn’t the goal of her works to take this supreme hope to the bed of the dying, to tell the afflicted that God looks after them like a father? The Servant of God herself took the first charitable steps at the beginning of her work, and she had such consoling words for all, so that everybody present was won over.
For the Servant of God, the virtue of hope is closely linked to the virtue of faith. They both contribute to giving to the spiritual life of the Servant of God this character of authenticity and fervor, which come from her total abandonment to God. And from faith and hope the Servant of God draws the strength to love God unconditionally.