The Testimony of Saints

September 8, 2016

Why does the testimony of saints matter? Because the saints are the “serious players” in the spiritual life. The saints got the business of holiness done. The saints especially excelled in uniting their hearts to the Heart of Jesus, which should be our business as well (don’t forget the Heart of Mary in this business of Christian holiness either; her motherly intercession is more powerful than you can imagine in uniting our hearts to the Heart of Jesus).

What then did the saints say about the indwelling of the Trinity in the human heart?

Nothing short of supernatural insights.

Remember that quote from Saint Augustine about how he had searched for God everywhere “on the outside,” that is, in the external world in many of its dimensions, but eventually found the presence of God “on the inside,” with God’s burning presence in the depths of Saint Augustine’s soul? Well that experience of Saint Augustine’s inspired another mega-saint, the Spanish saint, Teresa of Avila, to search for the priceless pearl of God’s presence within her own soul.

This contemplative Carmelite nun found “Heaven” in her soul because she found within the tabernacle of her heart the presence of Jesus, who Saint Teresa would refer to as “His Majesty.” Since “His Majesty” is found within the Christian soul, there too is “Heaven”: “Wherever God is, there is Heaven. No doubt you can believe that in any place where His Majesty is, there is fullness of glory.”

Saint Teresa discovered within the depths of her own heart the “little heaven of my soul, wherein dwells the Maker of heaven and earth.” As Mother Superior, Saint Teresa would instruct the other contemplative sisters to join Jesus inside their souls: “the Lord is within us and we should be there with Him.”

“His Majesty within” became the foundation of Saint Teresa’s entire prayer life, which she then recommends to both ordinary people, as well as to those advanced in prayer who are seeking to become more united to Christ:

In order to speak with God and take delight in Him, [the individual] has no need to go to Heaven or speak to Him in a loud voice. However quietly we speak, He is so near to us that He will hear us…we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.… Those who are able to shut themselves up in this way within this little heaven … may be sure they are walking on an excellent road.

Have you ever tried to make a visit to Jesus in the tabernacle of a church at a desperate moment, only to find, to your dire frustration, the doors of the chapel locked?!

Well, this chapel—your interior chapel—is never locked. You have the key—your free will. And inside your tabernacle is the Trinity—if you have chosen to let Them in through grace and love.

This post is an excerpt from Jesus in You by Mark Miravalle.

Dr. Mark Miravalle

Dr. Mark Miravalle is a husband, permanent deacon, and father of eight. He has been teaching at the Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1986. He runs the Marian site more...