Monday, October 01, 2007

Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Today is the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of our parish. It's a special day too, in that I credit the intercession of St. Thérèse with my first discovering the woman who would eventually become my wife. Through the grace of God, St. Thérèse has become a dear friend to us. Thanks be to God.

And there was quite a celebration tonight! Beginning with the rosary, and then a procession into the church building for mass, followed by a very well attended reception. And tonight, my pastor offered the Eucharistic Prayer in Latin... And, lo, I did not see anyone squirming in the pews! Could this be something we will see again soon? ;)

From today's Office of Readings:
From the autobiography of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin:

Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of St. Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.

I persevered in the reading and did let not my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: "Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will now show you the way which surpasses all others." For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.

When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognized myself in none of the members which Saint Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favorably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.

Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my proper place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.

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