Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy Feast Day of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus! =)))

Never be discouraged!

It's the most blessed and happy feast day of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (more affectionately known as: The Little Flower). She's my name saint! And so today, it's just like my birthday! :D when it is my patron saint's birthday in heaven! :D

I strongly recommend her autobiography, "The Story of a Soul".

In a tribute to my dearest patron saint who has taught me so much, so much and who has guided me so much, so much, here is a post, dedicated specially to her, written almost entirely in her own words:

When she was a child, when her mother asked her a question, "Where dwelleth God, think you?" She replied,

"O, everywhere in all the world,

Then in the heaven so blue."

When I first read her autobiography as a teenager growing up, this struck me:

I often asked myself why God had preferences, why all souls did not receive an equal measure of grace. I was filled with wonder when I saw extraordinary favours showered on great sinners like St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Mary Magdalen, and many others, whom He forced, so to speak, to receive His grace. In reading the lives of the Saints I was surprised to see that there were certain privileged souls, whom Our Lord favoured from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their path which might keep them from mounting towards Him, permitting no sin to soil the spotless brightness of their baptismal robe. And again it puzzled me why so many poor savages should die without having even heard the name of God.

Our Lord has deigned to explain this mystery to me. He showed me the book of nature, and I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtide beauty, and the fields would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our Lord's living garden. He has been pleased to create great Saints who may be compared to the lily and the rose, but He has also created lesser ones, who must be content to be daisies or simple violets flowering at His Feet, and whose mission it is to gladden His Divine Eyes when He deigns to look down on them. And the more gladly they do His Will the greater is their perfection.

I understood this also, that God's Love is made manifest as well in a simple soul which does not resist His grace as in one more highly endowed. In fact, the characteristic of love being self-abasement, if all souls resembled the holy Doctors who have illuminated the Church, it seems that God in coming to them would not stoop low enough. But He has created the little child, who knows nothing and can but utter feeble cries, and the poor savage who has only the natural law to guide him, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. These are the field flowers whose simplicity charms Him; and by His condescension to them Our Saviour shows His infinite greatness. As the sun shines both on the cedar and on the floweret, so the Divine Sun illumines every soul, great and small, and all correspond to His care—just as in nature the seasons are so disposed that on the appointed day the humblest daisy shall unfold its petals.

I finally understood a great many things. Of her simplicity in her approach to the spiritual life, of her great trust and love in our Lord Jesus and of course, of his dearest Mother, Our Mother Mary. And because of what she understood, she called herself, "The Little Flower", a nickname how apt and how not so apt! (oh the irony!) Her "Little Flower" way of Spiritual Childhood:

The Way of Spiritual Childhood stresses again that love & not great
outward achievement is the fulfilling of the law...Beneath St
Therese's childlike phrasing the saint has portrayed a life which calls
for an unflagging generousity & courage which, united with the
humility & confidence of a little child, is heroic indeed. Benedict XV
has called her way "the secret of sanctity."

To me, one of the most beautiful things she has said and written about is this:

"Our Lord does not come down from Heaven everyday to lie in a golden ciborium. He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to Him - the heaven of our souls, created in His Image, the living temples of the Adorable Trinity."

I juxtaposed this quote of hers to another I heard, on the 16th Sunday After Pentecost 2011 (also the feast day of The Holy Guardian Angels):

That there are 2 kinds of graces, (1) Sanctifying grace: grace that makes ordinary actions HOLY and (2) Actual Grace: grace that God gives to help us in all our needs.

(1) Sanctifying grace makes us saints, brings us closer to God. When you are in a state of grace (or sanctifying grace), all your ordinary actions become holy, you are in a state of habitual grace or permanent grace: and so it says in Holy Scripture, precious, very precious words of Jesus:

John 14: 23

Christ's discourse after the Last Supper:

[21] He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. [22] Judas saith to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it, that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world?[23] Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father's who sent me. [25] These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you.

And who is this "we", that Jesus speaks about?

It is none other than the Most Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost!


I want to end off with this quote from a friend:

Admittedly, many a time, the limits of our fallen human nature have

caused me unfortunately to fall , time and time again. However, I

know that St Therese will patiently guide this little sister of hers

towards the rock of eternal life, to Jesus , through His Holy Mother

Mary. For my part, I will strive to imitate her as best as I can, in my

state of life.

And a prayer, a most beautiful prayer to St Therese, asking her help to implore our dearest Jesus to help us:

St Therese the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favour I thee implore and tell God that I will love Him, always, more and more.


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