Saint Therese of Lisieux, October 1

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We get the saints we need. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) inspired millions by her “little way,” which she described in her autobiography “Story of a Soul.” We can be holy in our ordinary lives, she said. Love transforms everything, however small, into a gift pleasing to God.

As a young Carmelite nun she desired greatness, perhaps even to give her life as a martyr for her faith. Then she realized:

“Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of St Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the 12th and 13th chapters of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.

  “I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others. For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
 ” When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognized myself in none of the members which St Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favorably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love.
“I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realised that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
  “Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.”

” Lord Jesus, I am not an eagle,

All I have are the eyes and heart of one.

In spite of my littleness, I dare to gaze

at the sun of love

and fly to it.

I want to imitate the eagles

but all I can do is flap my small wings.

What shall I do?

With cheerful confidence I shall stay

gazing at the sun till I die.

Nothing will frighten me, neither wind nor rain.

O my beloved Sun, I delight in feeling small

and helpless in your presence;

and my heart is at peace.

3 Comments

Filed under Passionists, Religion

3 responses to “Saint Therese of Lisieux, October 1

  1. Thank you for sharing this…I was meant to read it:-)

  2. Natalie

    A lesson in love but in being humble. “Littleness” “small wings” these words St. Therese uses to describe herself. Yet she is joyful without fear. We should all strive to be in ‘that’ place. A place where we are great because of The Lord, because of Love. Truly a peaceful place. We have much to learn from the little way of St. Therese. It is important to note that as ‘little’ as she might have been on earth, she is a powerful intercessor! Myself a recipient of her promise of a gift of roses, followed by a miracle. She is my favorite saint.

  3. Reblogged this on somebodylovesmeblog and commented:
    The faith and heart of Saint Therese touches my own walk with Jesus in a profound way. We are all blessed with different gifts; Love is the source of all.
    Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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