Blog Post - October 3rd
S. Therese of Lisieux (of the Child Jesus)| Videos about St Therese| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
"I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." These are the words of Therese of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun called the "Little Flower," who lived a cloistered life of obscurity in the convent of Lisieux, France. [In French-speaking areas, she is known as Thérèse of Lisieux.] And her preference for hidden sacrifice did indeed convert souls. Few saints of God are more popular than this young nun. Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, is read and loved throughout the world. Thérèse Martin entered the convent at the age of 15 and died in 1897 at the age of 24. She was canonized in 1925, and two years later she and Francis Xavier (December 3) were declared co-patrons of the missions.
Life in a Carmelite convent is indeed uneventful and consists mainly of prayer and hard domestic work. But Thérèse possessed that holy insight that redeems the time, however dull that time may be. She saw in quiet suffering redemptive suffering, suffering that was indeed her apostolate. Thérèse said she came to the Carmel convent "to save souls and pray for priests." And shortly before she died, she wrote: "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth."
On October 19, 1997, Blessed John Paul II proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church, the third woman to be so recognized in light of her holiness and the influence in the Church of her teaching on spirituality. Her parents, Martin and Zelie (October 1), were beatified in 2008.
Thérèse has much to teach our age of the image, the appearance, the "sell." We have become a dangerously self-conscious people, painfully aware of the need to be fulfilled, yet knowing we are not. Thérèse, like so many saints, sought to serve others, to do something outside herself, to forget herself in quiet acts of love. She is one of the great examples of the gospel paradox that we gain our life by losing it, and that the seed that falls to the ground must die in order to live (John 12).
Preoccupation with self separates modern men and women from God, from their fellow human beings and ultimately from themselves. We must relearn to forget ourselves, to contemplate a God who draws us out of ourselves and to serve others as the ultimate expression of selfhood. These are the insights of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and they are more valid today than ever.
All her life St. Thérèse suffered from illness. As a young girl she underwent a three-month malady characterized by violent crises, extended delirium and prolonged fainting spells. Afterwards she was ever frail and yet she worked hard in the laundry and refectory of the convent. Psychologically, she endured prolonged periods of darkness when the light of faith seemed all but extinguished. The last year of her life she slowly wasted away from tuberculosis. And yet shortly before her death on September 30 she murmured, "I would not suffer less."
Truly she was a valiant woman who did not whimper about her illnesses and anxieties. Here was a person who saw the power of love, that divine alchemy which can change everything, including weakness and illness, into service and redemptive power for others. Is it any wonder that she is patroness of the missions? Who else but those who embrace suffering with their love really convert the world?
Patron Saint of:
Tribute to S. Therese
Our sufferings great and small can wear us down. But each new day offers light for the body and the soul as we recall the fundamental reasons for the hope that is in us.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
(We are) free to be holy.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 276: Seeing Without Accomplishing
Does God get angry with you when you do not accomplish a certain task for His glory? It depends. He may issue forth His holy wrath if the failure is on account of your sin. This wrath is an act of His Mercy calling you to repentance. But at other times your work and service of God may be hindered by things beyond your control. The Lord knows this and sees it. You may wonder at times why God does not “fix” this or that problem. You may wish you had it in your power to move someone to act when they appear to be a hindrance to your work of mercy. But this is not your concern. Your concern must be to do all that is in your power to accomplish the Will of God, leaving the rest to Him. God is pleased by your efforts, not by your successes. He does not measure the objective success; rather, He measures the subjective success. In fact, sometimes God allows many obstacles to arise as a way of purifying your work and sanctifying your soul through patience and deepening resolve. Do your duty and that will suffice for the work of His Mercy our Lord has given you (See Diary #1374).
Think about that which you believe God has given you as a duty to perform. It may be some ordinary activity or it may be something that appears to be grander in nature. Reflect, also, upon apparent obstacles you encounter in fulfilling your duty. Try not to look at these “obstacles” as obstacles at all. Rather, see them as opportunities to deepen your resolve to fulfill the mission of Divine Mercy God has given to you.
Lord, help me to be faithful to You in all that I do. Help me to refrain from focusing on the results of my efforts and, instead, to offer my effort to You for Your glory. I know You are pleased by my total dedication to You, dear Lord. Help me to daily resolve to deepen that dedication so as to become a better instrument of Your Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.