Friday, September 30, 2011

Enduring Joy

October 1, 2011

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

Fear not, my children; call out to God!
He who brought this upon you will remember you.
As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
turn now ten times the more to seek him;
For he who has brought disaster upon you
will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy."
Baruch 4:27-29

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
"I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Luke 10:21-22


I greet you, Saint Thérèse Of the Child Jesus, Lily of purity, Ornament and glory Of Christianity! I salute you, great saint, Seraph of Divine Love. I rejoice at the favors Our Blessed Lord Jesus Has liberally bestowed on you. In humility and confidence I entreat you to help me, For I know that God Has given you Charity and pity As well as power. Oh then, behold my distress, My anxiety, my fears. Oh, tell him now my wants. One sigh from you Will crown my success, Will fill me with joy. Remember your promise To do good on earth. Obtain for me from God The graces of our Divine Lord. Amen.


Today we remember the short, holy and inspiring life of The Little Flower, St. Thérèse of Liseaux. She entered into religious life at age 15 and was dead of tuberculosis by age 24. Yet during this brief lifetime, she certainly left her mark on those around her and on the church. She lived in relative obscurity yet her writings caused the masses to (re)discover her shortly after Thérèse died.

At fifteen she was admitted to the Carmelite Convent at Lisieux, where two of her sisters were already admitted. How many of us even knew what we really wanted to do with our lives at twice that age?

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus preferred the anonymity of the cloister. She never went on missions; never founded a religious order, never performed great works. In our world today, so much time and energy is spent on public recognition and accolades. Even if we are not movie stars or athletes, we are conditioned by Madison Avenue to seek out awards, promotions, pay increases, bigger houses and faster cars.

Today, our experiences with sainthood are being fast tracked. Pope John Paul II. Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Despite Vatican protocols, some of the natural waiting periods from the past have been circumvented. Not for the Little Flower who never lost her bloom. It was 28 years after her death -- more than her entire lifetime -- when the public demand was so great that Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus was canonized.


In addition to her spirituality, the certainty of St. Thérèse in knowing to devote her life to the will of God and doing so willingly and constantly are tremendous examples for our modern times.

When we come off a weekend, like the Babe Chicks of the 133rd Cursillo, it is easy to have that certainty. However, as the allure of the real world and the passage of time dim the memory of the mountaintop experience, more than ever we need the support that St. Thérèse got from her communities -- her family, he village, and her Carmelite community.

Make a point of renewing your commitment to the support of Group Reunion and Ultreya to strengthen you on your journey -- and so you may strengthen others.

PS: Please pardon my error from Thursday September 28 when I inadvertently listed Raphael the Archangel twice. He did not have some takeover of the work of Gabriel the true messenger! May Gabriel watch over Your Daily Tripod more closely so that whatever we announce is factually accurate! Gabriel, can make it up to you and my gentle readers who reminded me of the oversight?