On Living a Perfect Life
Therese reached out and said, "I'll take everything."
You know the only reason we are unhappy, my good people, is because we are not striving enough to be holy as she was, wanting everything. We are like trapeze artists. We just let go of one trapeze, and we're still in mid-air, and we haven't caught hold of the other... and we're not sure we will. But when there is a resolute will to do everything and bear everything for God's sake, then life becomes happy on the inside.
Now you've got a good start for perfecting your life, so pray now to the Little Flower to not be ordinary! You know, what is killing the world today is ordinariness. Flatness. Dullness. Want of fire. We can't be happy unless we are in love, and when we have perfect love, which is the love of God, then we are supremely happy. You already have this love in great measure.
So then picture St. Therese again on her lawn reaching out for the basket of dolls saying, "I want everything." And you say you want everything. You want perfect life. That's what you want, and not for a few more years. You want truth, not just the truths of literature to the exclusion of science. You want love, not a love that knows satiety or fed-up-ness. You want perfect life and perfect truth and perfect love, and that's God.
|St. Therese playing St. Joan of Arc|
in a play at Carmel
So if you want to know where you start to be a saint, start right where you are now. Only, want to be perfect, saying to God, "I want everything. I want You." That's love. That's happiness.
On Her Holy Death
One of the priests who was taking care of (St. Therese) at her death said, "Are you resigned to dying?"
It was that simple. What then was her judgment like? Do you think she went to purgatory? No. She said she wouldn't go to purgatory. That's confidence, isn't it? That was not pride. She said, "What is there in purgatory to burn?"
She said, "I have been a victim of Divine Love. I've burned myself out for Him and, therefore, there will be nothing to burn in me for purgatory."
Her Intercession In Heaven
Now we come to her intercessory power in heaven. And this is a point where I believe we need deep instruction -- intercession. We do not mention it enough perhaps, in our sermons and in our teaching, but intercession means pleading for others. Now let me read you some of the last words of the Little Flower about her intercession:
You see, she didn't think that heaven was a place of total repose. She says, "I'm going to work in heaven."
In another place she says, "Because I withdraw from the battlefield, I'm not going to be at rest."
To continue her words:
In other words, she said, "When I go to heaven, I do not lose my interest in this world, I keep it." Therefore, she became very confident that she would be our advocate and our attorney in the Kingdom of Heaven. And continuing her thought:
Just now a few notes of distant music fall upon my ear and set me thinking that very soon I shall hear melodies beyond compare. Yet this thought cannot give me but a moment's gladness. Only one expectation makes my heart throb. It is the love that I shall receive and the love that I shall be able to give. I feel that my mission is now to begin. My mission is to make others love the good God as I love Him, to give to souls my little way. I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth...Prayers for the Feast Day and Every Day
Morning Prayer of St. Therese
O glorious St. Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and cousel mankind, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. So powerful are you in obtaining every need of body and soul that our Holy Mother Church proclaims you a "Prodigy of Miracles... The Greatest Saint of Modern Times." Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (describe your petition here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good on earth... of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Henceforth, dear Little Flower, I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere," and I will never cease to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen.
Ways to Observe the Feast of The Little Flower
* Coloring Pages for St. Therese's Feast Day from wonderful Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda -- and her personal St. Therese story to enjoy, as well!
* Scads of ideas for cooking on St. Therese's day over at Catholic Cuisine!
* A treasure trove of celebration ideas can be found over at Shower of Roses!
* The autobiography of St. Therese, The Story of a Soul, is free, online, here... And starting at $4.79 here for a hardbound copy.
*And St. Therese: A Treasured Love Story, by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen can be found here.