Monday, June 11, 2012

Devotion for today: I will sing

 I am on vacation this week and am reposting blogs which readers told me they particularly enjoyed. I hope you re-enjoy them!

Saint Therese of the Little Flower:  Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.  At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!" The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Scripture for meditation: Psalm 149:1-4
Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to Him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory.

Scripture for reflection: Luke 10:21
At that moment, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said," I offer you praise, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest of children."

St. Therese tells us:  How shall I show my love is proved by deeds? Well - the little child will strew flowers...she will embalm the Divine Throne with their fragrance, will sing with silvery voice the canticle of love. Yes, my Beloved, it is thus that my life's brief day shall be spent before Thee. No other means have I of proving my love than to strew flowers; that is, to let no little sacrifice escape me, not a look, not a word, to avail of the very least actions and do them for Love. I wish to suffer for Love's sake and for Love's sake even to rejoice; thus shall I strew flowers. Not one shall I find without shedding its petals for Thee...and then I will sing, I will always sing, even if I must gather my roses in the very midst of thorns - and the longer and sharper the thorns the sweeter shall be my song.   Story of A Soul, Chapter XI

Prayer:     Novena to St. Therese of the Child Jesus
      O Little Therese of the Child 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 today to
      grant the favors I now place with confidence
      in your hands.....
      (Mention specific request)
      St. Therese, help me to always believe as you
      did, in God's great love for me, so that I
      might imitate your "Little Way" each day.

My thoughts:  St. Therese is famous for saying that she would spend her time in heaven doing good on earth. We picture her holding roses, showering them down upon those who turn to her for intercession. St. Therese is a powerful saint to follow.  Her "Little Way" was to always see the love of God in everyone and everything. She strove not to be great, but to be little, so as to be used by God in whatever way He saw fit. She suffered great disappointments, tremendous physical ailments, and ridicule, yet she sang, she always sang, and her heart was always filled with the song of love for her God. Let us sing, always, through our tears and in our joy, thus making our lives "a new song unto the Lord"!

St. Therese, patron saint of the missions, pray for us.
St. Therese's feast day is October 1
Recommended reading: Story of a Soul
Recommended website:

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