Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lent, Holy Week and Easter with St Therese and Carmelite Saints

Gratitude is the one thing which disposes God to grant his blessings. If we thank Him for His graces, He is grateful and showers us with ten more graces...My gratitude is limitless for all he has given me and I show it to Him in a thousand ways (Advice and Memories 72). There are certain souls who require regular payment. For me, I take my chances at the bank of Love...I go for the big win. If I lose, I will know. I don't concern myself with the ups and downs, Jesus takes care of them for me. I do not know if I am rich or poor but I will know this later (Advice and Memories 71)

"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and they will fast" (Mt 9:15)
Blessed Husband of our souls! If we had the love from all the hearts, all that love would be for you...Give us this love and quench your thirst through your humble brides. (Prayers 12)

"I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Lk 5:32)
When you are angry with someone, the way to find peace is to pray for that person (Advice and Memories 150)

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil" (Mt 4:10).
The more you press forward, the less you have to fight, or rather you win because you see the good side of things. It is then that your soul rises above the humans. It is incredible how, in the end, everything anyone tells me doesn't even graze my soul because I have understood the weakness of human judgement. (Advice and Memories 186)

Jesus said to his disciples: «In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.(Mat 6:7-15)
Outside the Divine Office which I am very unworthy to recite, I do not have the courage to force myself to search out beautiful prayers in books. There are so many of them it really gives me a headache! and each prayer is more beautiful than the others...However, I would not want you to believe, dear Mother, that I recite without devotion the prayers said in common in the choir or the hermitages. On the contrary, I love very much these prayers in common, for Jesus has promised to be in the midst of those who gather together in His name. (Mt 18:19-20).  I feel then that the fervor of my Sisters makes up for my lack of fervor; but when alone (I am ashamed to admit it) the recitation of the rosary is more difficult for me than the wearing of an instrument of penance. I feel I have said this so poorly! I force myself in vain to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary; I don't succeed in fixing my mind on them. For a long time I was desolate about this lack of devotion which astonished me, for I love the Blessed Virgin so much that it should be easy for me to recite in her honor prayers which are so pleasing to her. Now I am less desolate; I think that the Queen of Heaven, since she is my Mother, must see my good will and she is satisfied with it. Sometimes when my mind is in such a great aridity that it is impossible to draw forth one single thought to unite me with God, I very slowly recite an "Our Father" and then the angelic salutation; then these prayers give me great delight; they nourish my soul much more than if I had recited them precipitately a hundred times.(Autobiography)

'Later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became dazzling white. (Mt 17:1-2)
'Oh Holy Face, more beautiful than the lilies and spring roses! You are not hidden from us! The tears which come from your Divine Face are like diamonds...of infinite value. We want to gather them so we can buy back the souls of our brothers and sisters. (Prayers 12)

"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."  (Mat 20:17)
  Jesus declared himself to be head of the mystical Body of which we are the members. He is the vine, we the branches (Jn 15:5). He stretched himself out on the winepress and began to tread it. Thus he gave us the wine by which we might, by drinking, live his life and share his sufferings. 'If anyone wishes to do my will, let him take up his cross daily. Whoever follows me has the light of life. I am the Way. I have given you an example that you also might do what I have done for you' (Lk 9:23; Jn 8:12; 14:6; 13:15). And as his disciples themselves did not understand that his way was to be a way of suffering, he explained it to them, saying: 'Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and so enter into his glory?' (Lk 24:26). Then the disciples' hearts burned within them (v.32). God's Word inflamed them. And when the Holy Spirit came down like a divine flame upon them to set them on fire (Acts 2), then they were happy to suffer scorn and persecution (Acts 5:41) since in this way they would become like him who had gone before them on the path of suffering. The prophets had already foretold this path of Christ's suffering and the disciples finally understood that he had not avoided it. From the crib to his agony on the cross, poverty and incomprehension had been his lot. He had spent his life teaching that God's view of suffering, poverty and human incomprehension is different to the world's foolish wisdom (1Cor 1:20)... In the cross is salvation. In the cross is victory. This is how God wanted it to be. (Bl Titus Brandsma 'The Mysticism of Suffering')

No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day...Whoever believes has eternal life. (Jn 6:44-47)
To live in charity is to give without seeking return here on earth;... being sure that when we love, we do not measure. Divine Heart, overflowing with tenderness, I gave you my all! I run unburdened. I have nothing but my humble treasure which is to live in love . (St Therese, Poetry, 17)

It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life (Jn 6:63)
Some of the thoughts of the soul can't be translated into human language without losing their heavenly and intimate meaning. They are like this white stone which will be given to the victor, upon which is written the name no one knows, except the person who receives it. (The story of a soul)

Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture (Jn 10:7,9)
I also feel the desire to love the Lord alone and to find joy only in Him (The Story of a soul) 

Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen my Father...I am in the Father and the Father is in me (Jn 14:9-11).

Yes, the Face of Jesus shines. If we consider it beautiful in spite of its wounds and tears, what will it be when we see it in heaven?...Yes, just to have the chance to see the Face of Jesus and contemplate the eternal beauty of Jesus, the poor grain of sand is willing to be scorned on earth (St Therese, Letters 95)

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Juat as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (Jn 13:34-35)

I understand that love encompasses all vocations and that love is everything. Love encompasses all times and places. In a word, it is eternal! Then, in the overabundance of my extraordinary love, I exclaimed "Oh Jesus, my vocation, I finally found my vocation"...(The Story of a Soul)

"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you - that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures (Lk 24:44-45).

Beloved Sister, how happy we are to understand the intimate secrets of our Divine Spouse! If you would write down all you know of them, we would have some brautiful pages to read. However, you prefer to keep "the secrets of the King" deep within your heart (The Story of a Soul) 

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (Jn 13:1)

At the Last Supper, when Jesus knew his disciples' hearts burned with devoted love after he had just given himself to them through the unfathomable mystery of the Eucharist, this gentle Saviour gave them a new commandment. (...)Love one another just as I have loved you .(The story of a soul) 

When Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the Scripture), "I am thirsty."...When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (Jn 19:28, 30).

The cry of the Lord on the Cross, "I am thirsty" sounded continually in my heart...I wanted to give my Beloved a drink, and felt myself devoured by the thirst of all souls...It was not the souls of priests that attracted me, but those of the big sinners. I burned with the desire to pull them from the eternal flames. (The Story of a Soul) 

There was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid....They laid Jesus there (Jn 19:41-42)

When I saw the blood running from the wounds of Jesus, the thirst of all souls entered my heart.(....) Oh, each day since this special blessing [Pranzini conversion], my desire to save these souls grew, I felt I heard Jesus tell me, "give me something to drink!" (The Story of a Soul)

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen" (Lk 24:5)

Celebrations! Even if the most important feasts do not come very often, my heart is brought to celebrate one every Sunday...That is God's feast, the feast of rest...The whole family goes to Mass (The Story of a Soul). 

"Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent" (Lk 24)
Rejoice, O my soul...and since the Lord finds His delights in you, may all things on earth not suffice to make you cease to delight in Him and rejoice in the greatness of your God. (St Teresa of Avila, Exclamation of the Soul to God)

Picture at the top represents Crucifixion of Christ by Lucas Cranach and engraving is by Gustave Dore.
Some citationd adopted from 'Through the Year with St Therese'

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