Lessons from St. Therese

I have said Jesus does not wish me to ask again for what is my own. This ought to seem quite easy, for, in reality, nothing is mine. I ought, then, to be glad when an occasion arise which brings home to me the poverty to which I am vowed. I used to think myself completely detached, but since Our Lord’s words have become clear, I see that I am indeed very imperfect. 

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It is therefore not enough for me to give to whoever asks—I ought to anticipate the wish, and show myself glad to be of service; but if anything of mine be taken away, I should show myself glad to be rid of it.

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Verily, the reward is great even here on earth. In this path it is only the first step which cots. To lend without hope of being repaid seems hard; one would rather give outright, for what you give is no longer yours.

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The Divine precepts run contrary to our natural inclinations, and without the help of grace it would be impossible to understand them, far less to put them in practice. 

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trust, one day at a time

I do not know how to describe this extraordinary illness. …I seemed nearly always to be delirious;… . But if God allowed the devil to approach me in this open way, Angels too were sent to console and strengthen me. –St Therese of Liseux

one day at a time

My thought today is about illness. Two of my family members have serious illnesses – very serious. One just got out of the hospital and if she doesn’t take of herself, she may end up back there. The other is undergoing various procedures before having to endure a long term treatment process. This is all very hard on my little family. There aren’t many of us and there’s almost too much pressure for the rest of us to carry. But carry, we will.

St Therese seemed to believe that it was the devil who brought her an illness. I don’t believe in the devil – but I’m not writing about that now. What I am writing about – and praying about – is how to help my family members should they begin to blame God for these trials. Or should I even concern myself with that? After all, God is God and He can handle their blame.

I don’t think God is to blame here; there is no blame. It just is. Illness occurs and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. Rather than blaming God for the horrors and sadness of our lives wouldn’t it be better to thank Him? Not for the illness, of course, but for the strength and fortitude to endure it. Believing in an Unseen God is hard enough and when we pile on anger and blame, it gets even harder to believe – to trust.

Taking a page from the lyrics of Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus, one day at a time.”

 

The Greatness and Power of God

When I was six or seven years old I saw the sea for the first time. The sight made a deep impression on me, I could not take my eyes off it. Its majesty, and the roar of the waves, all spoke to my soul of the greatness and power of God.  – St. Therese of Lisieux

When I was five or six I was burning foam rubber under the house (I just wanted to see it melt). I heard my name being called. I ignored it and kept on lighting matches. I heard my name again. Figuring it must be mom I buried everything in the dirt and ran into the kitchen – asking mom what she wanted. She looked at me and said she hadn’t called me. I told her I heard her call my name. She said she hadn’t. I stood there as she turned back to finish dinner (or lunch or whatever) and a warm feeling washed over me. I knew it had been God who had called my name. A clear, strong Voice I heard in my heart but not in my ears was loud enough for me to stop doing that dangerous thing I was doing.  It “spoke to my soul of the greatness and power of God.”