Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas with St Therese

After 'Just for today - Daily readings from St Therese and The Imitation of Christ' compiled by A Benedictine of Stanbrook Worcester

December 25th
(Christ). I am the Lover of purity, and the Giver of all holiness. I seek a pure heart, and there is the place of My rest. Make  ready for Me a large supper room and I will make the pasch with thee (Mark 14:15).

If Thou wilt have Me come to thee, and remain with thee, purge out the old leaven, and make clean the habitation of thy heart; for every lover prepareth the best and fairest room for his dearly beloved; and hereby is known the affection of him that entertaineth his beloved. (Imitation Bk 4, ch 12)

God, the divine Guest of our hearts, knows our poverty; all he asks, and expects to find, is an empty tabernacle. (St Therese 'Letters')

December 26th
Whosoever loveth, knoweth the cry of this voice. A loud cry in the ears of God is the ardent affection of the soul, which saith: O my God, my love, Thou art all mine, and I am all Thine! Give increase to my love, that I may learn to taste with the interior mouth of the heart how sweet it is to love, and to swim, and to be dissolved in love. (Bk 3, ch 5)

I experienced several transports of love; one, during my novitiate, lasted a whole week, during which time I seemed to make use of a borrowed body, and felt far away from this world, which was veiled from my sight. Yet I was not burned by a real flame, and could enjoy these delights without hope of their breaking my hold upon life; whereas if the other experience of which I told you, had been prolonged for a few instants, I would have died...Alas! I came back to earth, and immediately my soul became a prey once more to dryness of spirit. (Story of a Soul)

December 27th
The way of man is not always in his own power; but it belongs to God to give and to comfort when He will, and as much as He will, and to whom He will, and as it shall please Him, and no more.
Some, wanting discretion, have ruined themselves upon occasion of the grace of devotion: because they were desirous of doing more than they could, not weighing well the measure of their own weakness, but following rather the inclination of the heart than the dictates of reason. And because they presumtuously undertook greater things than were pleasing to God, there tehy quickly lost His grace.
They became needy, and were left in a wretched condition, who had built themselves a nest in heaven, to the end that being thus humbled and impoverished, they might learn not to trust to their own wings, but to hide themselves under Mine. (Bk 3, ch 7)

O divine Sun! I am happy to feel so small and weak in Thy presence, and my heart is at peace. I know that all the eagles of Heaven take pity on me and  protect me from the vultures - the fallen angels - whom I do not fear, as I am not destined to become their prey, but that of the divine Eagle.
O Word of God, my Saviour! as an Eagle Thou didst come down upon this land of exile, there to suffer and die, that Thou mightest carry upwith Thee the souls of men into the very bosom of Love, the Blessed Trinity. The Saints have done great things for Thee in the folly of their love, for they were eagles, but I am too little to attempt great things. and my folly is the hope that I shall  become the victim of Thy love; my folly is to count on the intecession of the ANgels and Saints that  may fly up to Thee with Thine own wings...
I cherish the hope that one day Thou wilt swoop down upon me and carry me up until I am lost, a willing victim, in the fiery heart of the furnace of  Love. (Story of a Soul)