Monday, January 2, 2023

ST. THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND THE HOLY FACE CENTENARY YEAR

150 years ago today, January 2, 1873, God gave Thérèse Martin to the world.
She was to become  known as His Little Flower, Saint and Doctor of the Church.
This day heralds the beginning of this centenary year celebrating the 
beatification of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, 
Order of Carmel Discalced.

"Who is this Little Flower of God? How could she possibly
touch my daily challenges, my relationship with God, my prayer
life, my fears, my family hurts, my memories, my joys, my
hopes?

How could she, a French nun who lived over 100 years ago,
give meaning to my sufferings today?

We set out together in this short week ahead and we seek to
silently observe some aspects of her life and allow her words to
draw us into astonishing answers to those seemingly impossible
questions we have posed. And we begin with her name which
holds mystical depths.

Therese is often called simply, St. Thérèse of the Child
Jesus. In this abbreviated form of her name, we recognize her
deep love for the innocence, vulnerability, total dependence of our
Savior as Child of Mary. And we are led by St. Thérèse to curl
into the arms of Our Mother to allow her to teach us humility,
smallness, hiddenness, abandonment. 

Thérèse lived these.

But, as Father John Clarke OCD reminds us, a mutilation of her name leads
necessarily to "a mutilation of her message, her entire life...
her devotion to the Passion of Christ and her desire to use the
merits of Christ to bring salvation to others." 

And so we begin our walk of 7 days, one Petal each day with Thérèse.

On this, our first day of meditation, we ask...What's in a name? 
What about your name?"

(Extract from SEVEN PETALS, a seven day retreat into the mysticism and profound spirituality that filled the soul of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.)

She pleaded with Our Lord Jesus to call many to win souls for Him until time ends and so to give Our Father delight: 


"I entreat Thee to let Thy Divine eyes rest upon a vast number
of little souls; I entreat Thee to choose in this world a legion of
little victims of Thy Merciful Love!" - 
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873-1897)


In this little Retreat of the Seven Petals, we may ponder: could I be one of this vast number? 

Could I be a "little victim" offering myself for my hurting loved ones, my friends who are in pain, my family not yet born? … that I too, like St. 
Thérèse, may “desire to use the merits of Christ to bring salvation to others.”

May the Divine Eyes rest upon us that He may call us, like Thérèse, to give Him our unconditional YES.






4 comments:

  1. “Could I be a "little victim" offering myself for my hurting loved ones, my friends who are in pain, my family not yet born? “

    How beautiful that Our Lord would inspire a soul to ask Him this profound question.
    It’s truly overwhelming, and how glorious that Our Lord would impress this upon a heart , inspire it this way.
    Oh my ,
    thank you my dear Carmelite Sister for this beautiful post and inspiring book.

    🌹

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  2. Dear Anna: Happy New Year and a blessed Centenary of our Incredible Little Flower. Thank you as always for your deep and profound reflection which always draws souls more completely into Carmelite mysticism. You always cause me to repeat my Yes and to desire never to leave the sight of our Divine Lord. Thank you! Your sister in Carmel, Clare

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  3. Carmel endlessly reveals depths into how God ceaselessly flows through our prayer because it's His channel for Self-communicating love. We meet in Him, in our prayer, where we may never otherwise meet in this world. So, it is a joy to meet you there, Sister Clare. Happy New Year.

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Thank you and may our tender God continue to bless you with His great Love.
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