Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we celebrate St. Thérèse, popularly venerated as The Little Flower. She propagated a spirituality that has become known as “The Little Way”.
Rev. John F. Russell, O.Carm. describes the Little Way like this:
The Little Way is an image that tries to capture St. Thérèse’s understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday.
Saint Therese based her “little way” on two fundamental convictions:
- God shows love by mercy and forgiveness
- She could not be perfect in following the Lord.
Both our readings today also talk about a “way”.
Zechariah has a vision of all nations following the way to a New Jerusalem.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
In those days ten men of every nationality,
speaking different tongues, shall take hold,
yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say,
“Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
In our Gospel, Jesus begins his way on his final journey. He knows now that the way will be through suffering and death yet, He dared…
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem…
Grace makes a way in our lives too. As with Thérèse, the ancient Jews, and Jesus, our particular way will unfold before us through prayer and a listening heart. It is the way of love that leads away from selfishness to God and God-in-Others.
Rumi’s poem captures it:
The way of love is not
a subtle argument.
The door there
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling,
they’re given wings.
(In a later post today, I will share a poem by Amy Lowell which I feel could describe “the journey “ — Christ’s, mine, yours… and perhaps offer further food for prayer.)
Today, we pray for the courage and freedom to follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Music: from the musical Godspell – By My Side
The song conveys the desire of Jesus’s disciples, all but Judas, to accompany him on his Way. They were not perfect – but they dared. As we consider our lives, have we dared? What “pebbles” have we willingly “put in our shoes” to follow Jesus?