Thursday, June 17, 2010

Praying for Priests with St Therese

St Therese founded the apostolate for priests with her novices when she was asked to serve as a spiritual sister for young seminarian, Maurice Belliere, and young priest, Adolphe Roulland. Both priests served Our Lord in dangerous missions, in Algier and China. St Therese in her apostolic zeal consecrated her life for priests, out of love for the souls they were to take care of. The year for priests came to the end, let us pray the beautiful prayer St Therese composed for priests, in particular, for missionaries. 

O my Jesus! I thank you for having fulfilled one of my greatest desires, that of having a brother, a peirst, an apostle...I feel unworthy of this favour. And yet, since you grant your little spouse the grace of working specially for the sanctification of a soul destined for the priesthood, I offer You joyfully all the prayers and sacrifices at my disposal. I ask you, O my God, not to look at what I am but what I should be and want to be, a religious wholly inflamed with Your love. You know, Lord, that my ambition is to make You know and loved. Now my desire will be realized. I can only pray and suffer, but the soul to whom You unite me by the sweet bonds of charity will go and fight in the plain to win hearts for You, while on the mountain of Carmel I will pray that You give him victory. Divine Jesus, hear the prayer I offer You for him who wants to be your Missionary. Keep him safe amid the dangers of the world. Make him feel increasingly the nothingness and vanity of passing things and the happiness of being able to despise them for Your love.  May he carry out his sublime apostolate on those around him. May he be an apostle worthy of Your Sacred Heart...
O Mary! gentle Queen of Carmel, it is to you that I entrust the soul of the future priest whose unworthy little sister I am. Teach him even now how lovingly you handled the Divine Child Jesus and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, so that one day he may go up to the Holy Altar and carry in his hands the King of Heaven.
I ask You also to keep him safe beneath the shadow of Your virginal mantle until the happy day when he leaves this valley of tears and can contemplate Your splendour and enjoy for all eternity the fruits of his glorious apostolate...Therese of Child Jesus, unworthy Carmelite religious.

From the letter of St Therese to Fr Adolphe:
Reverend Father,
I feel unworthy to be associated in a special way with one of the missionaries of our adorable Jesus, but since obedience entrusts me with this sweet task, I am assured my heavenly Spouse will make up for my feeble merits (upon which I in no way rely), and that He will listen to the desires of my soul by rendering fruitful apostolate. I shall be truly happy to work with You for the salvation of souls. it is for this purpose I became Carmelite nun; being unable to be an active missionary,  I wanted to be one through love and penance just like Saint Teresa, my seraphic Mother...I beg you, Reverend Father, ask for me from Jesus, on the day He deigns for the first time to descend from Heaven at your voice, ask Him to set me on fire with His Love so that I may enkindle it in hearts. For a long time I wanted to know an Apostle who would pronounce my name at the Holy Altar on the day of his first Mass....I wanted to prepare for him the sacred linens and the white host destined to veil the King of heaven...The God of Goodness has willed to realize my dream and to show me once again how pleased He is to grant the desires of souls who love Him alone.

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