Monday, September 13, 2010

Greater Perfection

I have been taken by the words of Servant of God Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich from the order of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey. Born in 1901, Sister Miriam Teresa entered the Sisters of Charity in 1925. Noting her exceptional intelligence and deep faith, her spiritual director asked her to write the Spiritual Conferences for her order while she was still a novice, and it is these same conferences that comprise the book "Greater Perfection." It wasn't until after her death in 1927 that her spiritual director made it known that Sister Miriam Teresa was the author of the conferences. Although "Greater Perfection" was written for the religious, the profound words contained in this work are also applicable for lay people who are seeking to grow in holiness. Here is one of my favorite sections from the book, it is from the chapter "Reception of, and Thanksgiving After, Holy Communion."

"My sanctification. For this He comes. For this He holds audience with me. Of this we shall speak, He, my Guest, talking, and I, His host, listening. The quiet He desires is undisturbed. He has led me into solitude, the solitude of His heart; and my heart is beating now in unison with His. "Speak, Lord, for thy servant is listening." Now he utters things, unspeakable things, heretofore hidden from me-not words, no, but in the palpable silence of peace, the sweetness of His own dear presence. It is the golden wisdom of understanding that is now mine. The light that streams from the Godhead is penetrating the darkness of my intellect, dispelling the clouds of blindness and uncertainty, illuminating truths previously obscure. Looking at Him I love, and yielding without resistance to the ardor of His embrace, I begin to fathom little by little something of His incomprehensible Majesty. I begin to yearn with vehement longing to lose my nothingness in His immensity, to find my real self in Him, the immutable center toward which my soul naturally gravitates."

To learn more about Sister Miriam Teresa, visit here.


  1. OK, I'm sold. I'm placing an order for the book with my Catholic bookstore today. I want to read more about this woman, and her prayer life.

    Thanks, Anne.

  2. This book sounds wonderful. I've never heard of Sister Miriam Teresa or this book but her words on the Blessed Sacrament are beautiful!

  3. What a beautiful passage on presence. I wrote in my blog today about words. But this passage reminds me that there is more meaning in God's peaceful silence then mortal words could ever conjure.

  4. Oh my goodness! You are familiar with Sister! She has connections to my hometown in NJ :-) BTW, one of my friends, a priest from NJ knew her brother and he was telling us some entertaining stories.

  5. I would like very much to get this book. Can you post where it's available? Thank you!

  6. @anonymous-I ordered this book through our local Seminary's library system, and even through them it was a long wait before it came in. If you would like to own it, I would suggest looking at They can find nearly everything! I see that there are two copies here:

    All the best to you in your search!