Monday, October 1, 2012

Reflection: Saint Thèrése of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Matthew 18:1-4

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

In a complex world, filled with doubts and fears, how often do we long to have the simple faith of a little child? In her “Little Way”, Saint Thèrése of the Child Jesus describes her own journey toward that ideal and invites others to follow. Even her humility in bringing this spirituality to others demonstrates the virtue that makes her great and small at the same time.

As we think about her example we are reminded of a homily once given by Fr. Arockia Selvam. Speaking about a time in his native India when there was a tremendous drought, he related that a Christian congregation had decided they would gather and pray to God that the drought would end and that rains would come. They gathered 5,000 strong on a dusty plain and began to pray. Lo and behold, clouds darkened and it began to rain. In all that great throng, there was only a five year old girl who brought an umbrella.

The great message of Saint Thèrése of the Child Jesus is same as the Gospel, we must shed our adult cynicism, our fear and mistrust and offer ourselves to the Lord. Our faith must become simple and pure. Just as the Lord was vulnerable, not choosing to protect himself from those he loves, we also must shed the armor life has caused us to build and offer ourselves to Jesus.

We ask St. Thèrése to pray for us on this, her feast day; that we might find the strength of faith to become like the little girl who believed that if she prayed for rain, God would send it.

From the Memorial Bench blog

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