Saturday, October 10, 2009

Feast of St Therese

Beautiful reflections from St Therese on her beloved Church - text after the "Story of the Soul".

I understand that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understand it was Love alone that made this Church's member act, that if Love ever became extinct, apostles would not preach the Gospel and martyrs would not shed their blood. I understand that LOVE COMPRISED ALL VOCATIONS, THAT LOVE WAS EVERYTHING, THAT IT EMBRACED ALL TIMES AND PLACES....IN A WORD, THAT IT WAS ETERNAL!
Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my vocation, at last I have found it...My VOCATION IS LOVE!
Yes, I have found my place in the Church and it is You, O my God who have given me this place; in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall love. Thus I shall be everything, and thus my dream will be realized.
What speak of a delirious joy? No, this expression is not exact, for it was rather the calm and serene peace of the navigator perceiving the beacon which must lead him to the port...O luminous Beacon of Love, I know how to reach You, I have found the secret of possessing Your flame.
I am only a child, powerless and weak, and yet it is my weakness that gives me the boldness of offering myself as VICTIM of Your love, O Jesus!
O Jesus, I know it, love is repaid by love alone, and so I searched and I found the way to solace my heart by giving You Love for Love...I presented myself before the angels and saints and I said to them: "I am the smallest of creatures; I know my misery and my feebleness, but I know also how much noble and generous hearts love to do good. I beg you to ADOPT ME AS YOUR CHILD. To You alone will be the glory which You will make me merit, but deign to answer my prayer. It is bold, I know; however, I dare to ask You to obtain for me YOUR TWOFOLD SPIRIT. 
Jesus, I cannot fathom the depths of my request; I would be afraid to find myself overwhelmed under the weight of my bold desires...Well, I am the Child of the Church and the Church is a Queen since she is Your Spouse, O divine King of kings...What this child asks for is Love. She knows only one thing: to love You, O Jesus. Astounding works are forbidden to her; she cannot preach the Gospel, shed her blood; but what does it matter since her brethren work in her stead and she, a little child, stays very close to the throne of the King and Queen. She loves in her brothers' place while they do the fighting. But how will she prove her love since love is proved by works? Well, the little child will strew flowers, she will perfume the royal throne with their sweet scents, and she will sing in her silvery tones the canticle of Love.
Yes, my Beloved, this is how my life will be consumed. I have no other means of proving my love for You other than that of strewing flowers, that is, not allowing one little sacrifice to escape, not one look, one word, profiting by all the smallest things and doing them through love; and in this way I shall strew flowers before Your throne. I shall not come upon one without unpetalling it for You. While I am strewing my flowers, I shall sing, for could one cry while doing such a joyous action? I shall sing even when I must gather my flowers in the midst of thorns, and my song will be all the more melofious in proportion to the length and the sharpness of the thorns. 
O Jesus, of what use will my flowers be to You? Ah! I know very well that this fragrant shower, these fragile, worthless petals, these songs of love from the littlest  of hearts will charm You. Yes, these nothings will please You. They will bring a smile to the Church Triumphant. She will gather up my flowers, unpetalled through love and have them pass through Your divine hands, O Jesus. And this Church in heaven, desirous of playing with her little child, will cast these flowers, which are now infinitely valuable because of Your divine touch, upon the Church Suffering in order to extinguish its flames and upon the Church Militant in order to gain the victory for it!
O my Jesus!  I love You! I love the Church, my Mother! I recall that "the smallest act of PURE LOVE is of more value to her than all other works together." But is PURE LOVE in my heart? Are my measureless desires only but a dream, a folly?Ah! If this be so, Jesus, then enlighten  me, for You know I am seeking only the truth, If my desires are rash, then make them disappear, for these desires are the greatest martyrdom to me. however, I feel, O Jesus, that after having aspired to the most lofty heights of Love, if one day I am not to attain them, I feel that I shall have taste on the bosom of the joy of the Fatherland, unless You take away the memory of these earthly hopes through a miracle. Allow me to taste the sweet bitterness of my martyrdom.

More to follow