Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Today in the Extraordinary Form we celebrated the feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. In the Ordinary Form, her feast was on October 1st. One of the advantages of celebrating both forms is that we are able to celebrate her feast twice!

I must give a public thanksgiving and attribution to Saint Therese for my conversion to the Catholic Faith and for my vocation as a monastic and a priest.

From a very early age I was attracted to her. This may sound strange, but when I was first introduced to Catholicism at the age of ten, I found out about Saint Therese, read everything I could find about her, and over the years was influenced and formed by her "Little Way".

She has seemed to adopt me as her own child. Even in the years of difficulty and darkness, she has been with me.

Her "Story of a Soul" has been my spiritual "food and drink"; she has acted, in a sense, as my "Novice Mistress", teaching me to love God in every moment of every day, seeing that difficulties and obstacles are the means to union with God, that "external" religious practices must always be filled with the interior desire to love Jesus, and Jesus alone.

Her "dark night" that preceded her most excruciating death by tuberculosis, when even making an act of faith was a heroic effort, is a great consolation to me, and is a sign of her relevance in this world where so much unbelief, blasphemy, hatred of God and His Church are rife.

She wanted to "eat at the table of sinners"; she was in complete solidarity with those who our society considers "lost": the prostitute, the apostate, the forgotten ones.

This, in my opinion, is the true greatness of the soul of Therese Martin, the "Little Flower", who as one author has put it, is "as strong as steel".

May Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face pray for us; may she bring us to the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of the Church, where we find the peace, joy, and charity that so inflamed her heart!


Terry Nelson said...

I love her too - she is close to us you know.

Father, I meant to tell you - Andrew Poole of Loome Booksellers may be contacting the Institute to see if you or Sr. Petra would be able to sell your art through a shop he intends to open in November - it will be part of the Theological bookstore. I gave him the Institute's website information.

If he has contacted you or Sr. yet - maybe one of you would like to give him a call. God bless.

TraciC. said...

Amen to what you wrote. She was my confirmation patron, but I didn't get to really know her until you introduced her to me again and now she is a crucial part of my life. Everyday she is teaching me her "Little Way." I would be lost on my journey without her. We will all also be forever greatful to her for bringing you to our beautiful faith! God Bless you Father and thank you St. Therese!

nazareth priest said...

Thanks for your referral of us to Loome's, Terry.
Sister Petra has been in touch.
We are very excited about this development! Appreciate your help.