Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

St. Therese of Lisieux: Novena Day Nine

This little incident of my childhood is a summary of my whole life; later on when perfection was set before me, I understood that to become a saint one had to suffer much, seek out always the most perfect thing to do, and forget self.  I understood, too, there were many degrees of perfection and each soul was free to respond to the advances of Our Lord, to do little or much for Him, in a word, to choose among the sacrifices He was asking.  Then, as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: “My God ‘I choose all!’  I don’t want to be a saint by halves, I’m not afraid to suffer for You, I fear only one thing: to keep my own will; so take it, for ‘I choose all’ that You will!”

From "Story of a Soul"

Novena here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

St. Therese of Lisieux: Novena Day Eight

And just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to make the humblest daisy bloom on a set day, in the same way, everything works out for the good of each soul.

From "Story of a Soul"

Click for the link to the novena.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

St. Therese of Lisieux: Novena Day Seven

Everything is so big in religion . . . to pick up a pin out of love can convert a soul.  What a mystery!

From "Letters"

Click for the novena link.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

St. Therese of Lisieux: Novena Day Six

Ah!  May Jesus pardon me if I have caused Him any pain, but He knows very well that while I do not have the joy of faith, I am trying to carry out its works at least. 

From "Story of a Soul"

Click here for the novena.

Friday, September 26, 2014

7QT: St. Therese

A pause in the novena reflections for 7 Quick Takes about St. Therese of Lisieux.  Seven brief tidbits about or quotes from The Little Flower.

~  ONE  ~
Even though both of St. Therese’s parents considered religious vocation, her father, Louis, was a watchmaker and her mother, Zelie, made lace.  Read about their cause, here.

~  TWO  ~
Don’t underestimate St. Therese.  She knew what it was to suffer.  This is what she wrote, in The Story of a Soul:

At this time I was enjoying such a living faith, such a clear faith, that the thought of heaven made up all my happiness, and I was unable to believe there were really impious people who had no faith.  I believed they were actually speaking against their own inner convictions when they denied the existence of heaven, that beautiful heaven where God Himself wanted to be their Eternal Reward.  During those very joyful days of the Easter season, Jesus made me feel that there were really souls who have no faith, and who, through the abuse of grace, lost this precious treasure, the source of the only real and pure joys.  He permitted my soul to be invaded by the thickest darkness, and that the thought of heaven, up until then so sweet to me, be no longer anything but the cause of struggle and torment.  This trial was to last not a few days or a few weeks, it was not to be extinguished until the hour set by God Himself and this hour has not yet come.

~  THREE  ~
Therese chose faith and love despite her spiritual darkness and her physical suffering.   When her sister commented on her sickness, Therese said (as shared in Her Last Conversations):

“What a grace it is to have faith!  If I had not had any faith, I would have committed suicide without an instant’s hesitation . . .”

 ~  FOUR  ~
What were the miracles attributed to St. Therese, for her canonization?  I’m glad you asked!  From a link at EWTN:

The first concerned Sister Louise of St. Germain, of the Daughters of the Cross, victim of an organic disease, namely, a grave ulcer in the stomach, of hemorragic nature. On having recourse to the intercession of Thérèse, she was restored to perfect health, as three eminent doctors have unanimously testified at the request of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. The second miracle, somewhat similar to the first, was the cure of the young seminarist, Charles Anne, victim of pulmonary haemoptysis, of the cavitary stage. He confidently invoked the aid of the Servant of God and was perfectly cured. This is clear from the testimony of the three doctors, and from the reasons on which they based their decisions.

This link shares more information about miracles attributed to her intercession.

~  FIVE  ~
There are stories about World War I soldiers seeing visions of a Carmelite nun, attending to men on the battlefield.  (Here’s a site with stories; here’s an illustration.)  Because so many soldiers had a devotion to her before her beatification, the Church made an exception to the rules and permitted the minting of devotional metals of Sister Therese.  The Archives du Carmel de Lisieux has a page (translated into English) of postcards the Carmel received from soldiers who had found comfort from her message and in prayers to her.  Do visit that site; the notes are touching.

~  SIX  ~
From the homily at her Canonization Mass:

If the way of spiritual childhood became general, who does not see how easily would be realized the reformation of human society which We set ourselves to accomplish at the commencement of our Pontificate, and more especially in the promulgation of this Jubilee.1 We, therefore, adopt as our own the prayer of the new St. Thérèse with which she ends her invaluable autobiography: "O Jesus, we beseech Thee to cast Thy glance upon the vast number of little souls, and to choose in this world a legion of little victims worthy of Thy love." Amen.

The entire homily is a nice read.

~  SEVEN  ~
Since I often need reminding to die to self for the sake of others, St. Therese is good to have around.  Here’s a story from Her Last Conversations that puts me in my place as a mother craving some time alone when it just isn’t going to happen.  Sister Therese wanted some time to herself, but some sisters from the community wanted to visit with her:

How they came to disturb me after Communion!  They stared me in the face . . . but in order not to be provoked, I thought of Our Lord, who retreated into solitude and was unable to prevent the people from following Him there.  And He didn’t want to send them away.  I wanted to imitate Him by receiving the Sisters kindly.

St. Therese, pray for me on that one!!!  No, really.  Pray for me!

Welcome, visitors from 7 Quick Takes!  Thank you, Jennifer, for hosting!