Thursday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
October 1, 2020
Memorial Feast: Saint Therese of the Child of Jesus (1873-+1897): Virgin and Doctor of the Church, Patron Saint of Missionaries, France and Russia
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
Today the Church celebrates the Memorial Feast of Saint Therese of the Child of Jesus. Most importantly, we remember that she took her Carmelite identity and gave it to the world in a narrative that reveals a depth of commitment to Jesus Christ. For us “ordinary” people, Therese spoke words of life and of holiness that seemed attainable. Thomas Merton admired her everyday kind of faith.
Saint Therese’s life story has been received within many cultures. Her 'Story of A Soul' has been translated into over fifty languages and dialects. Her “little way” appeared to make God accessible to people as a God of love and mercy. Her doctrine of spiritual childhood modeled a paschal mystery. She stressed that, “You must give yourself to life, to people, to tasks and to responsibilities with loving care. In the process you learn much about yourself and others. You experience suffering and hurt, joy and peace. And all the time you are being transformed through faith, hope and love into Christ Jesus.”
As Therese once put it, “Life is a process of transforming nothing into fire.”
Saint Therese saw that, even in her short twenty-four year life, she had a role to play. It is not possible for us to reduce the mission of the church and her ministry to data, techniques or management skills. One who ministers certainly had to work with knowledge of personal and social climates and of people’s needs and ways of communication. However, bringing about the “Kingdom of God” is ultimately God’s work and so mission and ministry are of paramount importance.
Having said that, we can understand how Therese could take her obscure life and give it for the Church. Her steadfast vocational response in Carmel, in prayer and sacrifice and love was offered for the benefit of missionaries, priests and countless others. Therese had a profound awareness that faith, hope and love form a surge that is creative of new life, holiness and peace. She chose to center all in love and for her it made all the difference in the world.
Question of the Day: How will you live a life of faith, hope and love in order to help bring about the Kingdom of God?
Prayer: “O Little Therese of the Child of Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love. O Little Flower of Jesus, ask god to grant the favors I place with confidence in your hands. Saint Therese, help me to always believe as you did in God’s great love for me, so that I might imitate you’re “Little Way” each day. Amen. (Saint Therese Novena Rose Prayer)