Oct. 1. ST. THÉRÈSE OF THE CHILD JESUS.
Virgin and Doctor of the Church. Audiovisual summary and text.
Born in France, St. Thérèse (1873-1897) entered the monastery of the Carmelites of Lisieux at an early age by special dispensation from the Pope. She was remarkable for her humility, simplicity, confidence in God which come from a profound and mature interior life in spite of her youthful age. She offered her life for the salvation of souls and for the Church. Before dying, she was given the grace to know that the devotion to her would spread especially in mission territories.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is “the youngest of all the ‘doctors of the Church’, but her ardent spiritual journey shows such maturity, and the insights of faith expressed in her writings are so vast and profound that they deserve a place among the great spiritual masters (St. John Paul II, Homily,Oct. 19, 1997).” She wrote in her “Autobiography” the following words which describe her “place” in the Church:
“Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church had a body composed of different members, the most necessary and most noble of all could not be lacking to it, and so I understood that the Church had a heart and that this heart was burning with love. I understood that it was love alone that made the Church’s members act, that if love were ever extinguished, apostles would not proclaim the Gospel and martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. I understood that love includes all vocations…. Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: “O JESUS, MY LOVE … AT LAST I HAVE FOUND MY VOCATION; MY VOCATION IS LOVE!’”
(Ms B, 3vº).
In spite of her young age, she had such maturity in her interior life, having a profound love, trust and confidence to God and at the same time with a disarming simplicity of a child who knew how to abandon herself as a little child into her Father’s loving arms, in such a way that her path to holiness is called the “little way” or “spiritual childhood”
“It is impossible for me to grow up, so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short and totally new… We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs ….I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched then in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: ‘Whoever is a little one let him come to me.’… THE ELEVATOR WHICH MUST RAISE ME TO HEAVEN IS YOUR ARMS, O JESUS, AND FOR THIS I HAVE NO NEED TO GROW UP, BUT RATHER I HAVE TO REMAIN LITTLE AND BECOME THIS MORE AND MORE (Autobiography)”
Dear friends, let us imitate St. Therese of the Child Jesus in her simplicity, full confidence and trusting abandonment to God. Like her, we are little children in front of God, incapable of carrying out big things, but with God’s grace, our corresponding struggle and putting ourselves in Jesus arms, He Himself will lift us up to the heights of Divine Love and holiness.
“O God, who open your Kingdom to those who are humble and to little ones, lead us to follow trustingly in the little way of Saint Thérèse, so that, through her intercession, we may see your eternal glory revealed (Opening prayer, Mass proper).”
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS Facebook page, website, and Youtube channel. Hope you like our FB page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people. You may also want to subscribe in our website or Youtube channel.
AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring by Steven Dennis Usage Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike in archive.org