Friday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Therese of the Child of Jesus (Saint Therese of Lisieux)—(1873-+1897) Carmelite, Virgin, Doctor of the Church, Patron Saint of Missions and Florists
Baruch 1:15-22, Psalm 79:1B-2, 3-5, 8, 9, & Luke 10:13-16
Today's celebration of Saint Therese of Lisieux allows us to study the life of a young woman who was extraordinary in her simplicity and humanness. Her autobiography, Story of a Soul, spans her life from pampered childhood and adored young girl through her death, in 1897, at the age of twenty-four.
Image of St. Therese & Celine Martin, her sister.
There is something quite real about Therese, perhaps because there are photographs of her. How many saints were photographed? Yet, there we can see her as a young girl dressed in velvet and lace, again as a teen with eyes full of life and her hair piled on her head and donning jewelry.
However, deep beneath the clothing of everyday life was a woman who burned with love for Jesus. She entered a convent at age fifteen with the startling desire to "be forgotten." On the days she entered the Carmelite community, she wrote Jesus saying, "May Your will be done in me perfectly." She prayed that she would never be a burden to her community. "May I never seek nor find anything but Yourself alone. May creatures be nothing for me and may I be nothing for them, but may You, Jesus, be everything."
Friends, this kind of enlightenment may be hard to obtain in the hearts and minds of many of us, but it is the kind of love Jesus calls for in today's Gospel passage. Without mincing words, Jesus tells His disciples that those who have heard the message of love from Jesus and have rejected it will be more harshly judged than those who have never heard it. It is an invitation to move beyond a lukewarm and passive connection with God to a living, loving, and deeply personal relationship.
Saint Therese was not afraid of God's powerful love, nor was she hesitant about falling head-over-heels in love with God. It captured the hearts of the saints that we pray to for guidance and inspiration. Love conquers all, especially being in love with God, our Father.
Question of the Day: Are you prepared to fall in love with God with all your heart, soul, and strength?
Prayer: "God our Father, You destined Your Kingdom for Your children who are humble. Help us to imitate the way of Saint Therese so that, by her intercession, we may attain the eternal glory which You promised. Amen." (From Lives of the Saints, Illustrated)