Happier Than the Blessed Mother?

From Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux:

Speaking of that Blessed Mother, I must tell you of one of my
simple ways. Sometimes I find myself saying to her: “Dearest
Mother, it seems to me that I am happier than you. I have you for my Mother, and you have no Blessed Virgin to love. . . . It is
true, you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; and He, from the Cross, has given you to be our Mother–thus we are richer than you! Long ago, in your humility, you wished to become the little handmaid of the Mother of God; and I–poor little creature–am not your handmaid but your child! You are the Mother of Jesus, and you are also _mine!”_

Making the Ordinary Holy

From Story of a Soul by St.Therese of Lisieux:

Questioned as to her method of sanctifying meals, she answered:

"In the refectory we have but one thing to do: perform a lowly
action with lofty thoughts. I confess that the sweetest
aspirations of love often come to me in the refectory. Sometimes I
am brought to a standstill by the thought that were Our Lord in my
place He would certainly partake of those same dishes which are
served to me. It is quite probable that during His lifetime He
tasted of similar food--He must have eaten bread and fruit.

"Here are my little rubrics:

"I imagine myself at Nazareth, in the house of the Holy Family.
If, for instance, I am served with salad, cold fish, wine, or
anything pungent in taste, I offer it to St. Joseph. To our
Blessed Lady I offer hot foods and ripe fruit, and to the Infant
Jesus our feast-day fare, especially rice and preserves. Lastly,
when I am served a wretched dinner I say cheerfully: 'To-day, my
little one, it is all for you!'"


Love's Little Way

For those of us who are small at heart, ill equipped for great undertakings, yet desiring to fulfill in perfection the Will of God in our little lives simply to please Him, take heart.  There is a Little Way.

From Story of a Soul by St. Theresa of Lisieux – Manuscript B, Chapter IX – MY VOCATION IS LOVE:

St. Theresa of Lisieux, “I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR.  finally I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for You, O Jesus. I feel within my  the courage of the crusader, the Papal Guard, and I would want to die on the field of battle in defense of the Church………….

At prayer these desires made me suffer a true martydom. I opened the Epistles of St. Paul to seek some relief. The 12th and 13th chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians fell before my eyes. I read, in the first, that not all can be apostles, prophets, and doctors, etc., that the Church is composed of different members, and that the eye cannot also be at the same time the hand.

The answer was clear, but it did not satisfy my desires, it did not give me peace…. Without being discouraged I continued my reading, and this phrase comforted me: “Earnestly desire the more perfect gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31). And the Apostle explains how all gifts, even the most perfect, are nothing without Love… that charity is the excellent way that leads surely to God. At last I had found rest…. Considering the mystical Body of the Church, I had not recognized myself in any of the members described by St. Paul, or rather, I wanted to recognize myself in all… Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church has a body composed of different members, the noblest and most necessary of all the members would not be lacking to her. I understood that the Church has a heart, and that this heart burns with Love. I understood that Love alone makes its members act, that if this Love were to be extinguished, the Apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood… I understood that Love embraces all vocations, that Love is all things, that it embraces all times and all places… in a word, that it is eternal!

Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: “O Jesus, my Love, at last I have found my vocation, my vocation is Love!… Yes, I have found my place in the Church, and it is you, O my God, who have given me this place… in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be Love!…. Thus I shall be all things: thus my dream shall be realized!!!”

I am a child… It is not riches or glory (not even the glory of Heaven) that this child asks for… No, she asks for Love. She knows but one desire: to love you, Jesus. Glorious deeds are forbidden her; she cannot preach the Gospel or shed her blood… But what does that matter, her brothers work in her place, and she, a little child, stays close to the throne of the King and Queen, and loves for her brothers who are in the combat… But how shall she show her love, since love proves itself by deeds? Well! the little child will strew flowers, she will embalm the royal throne with their fragrance, she will sing with a silver voice the canticle of Love.

Yes, my Beloved, I wish to spend my life thus… I have no other means of proving my love except by strewing flowers, that is to say, letting no little sacrifice pass, no look, no word–profiting by the littlest actions, and doing them out of love. I wish to suffer out of love and to rejoice out of love; thus I shall strew flowers before your throne. I shall not find one without scattering its petals before you… and in strewing my flowers I will sing (can one weep in doing so joyous an action?) I will sing, even if my roses must be gathered from among thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns, the sweeter shall be my song.

Begin today with a desire and a prayer, looking not at yourself  but at the generous Heart of Jesus.

Do I hear an, “Amen” ?

Speaking of Dreams

I’ll get to the dream, but here’s how I got to it. I’m on a religious bent this morning.  Always happens after mass.  Something got me thinking of what “Lioness” means to me,during the sermon.  You know how sermons go, you hear the sermon and the Holy Spirit at the same time.  Sometimes the Spirit goes beyond the sermon and so today I ended up recalling a dream.  When I got home and read the Anchoress’ dream appeal from Nice Deb, I thought more about that dream I had years ago. Nothing, by the way, like Nice Deb’s flash-tastic graphic.

By profession, I’m a registered nurse.  Working the wards as a student at night was always a cause for anxiety.  Later on, working sprawling hospital wards as charge nurse also made me feel a bit insecure, too many patients, too many rooms.  IV’s could be running out or someone in trouble.  We didn’t have all the fancy monitors they do nowadays.  At night my anxieties would speak up in dreams.

The dream I remembered today went like this: I was on a hospital ward, and the ward was immense (though in my dream the ward looked more like a castle) and the halls seemed endless.  Suddenly, I was aware of a great lion roaming the passage ways. Now, in my dream, the ward/castle became even bigger, extending to several floors above and below.The lion prowled like a monitor.  His appearance seemed threatening, but instead of fear, I was flooded with a profound sense of security.  End of dream!

In those days my life was in a bit of flux, with husband in  school, me , with two children to care for,  living with my in-laws, and working nights in a newborn intensive care unit. Waking from the dream I wanted to know who the lion was.  I prayed and them opened the bible to a page with the phrase, “Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of my husband the lion” Esther C:  24.  I was ecstatic!  That day, I took it to  mean my husband Jim would take care of us with God’s help.  In other words, “Not to worry.”

Since the Lord speaks on many levels, and with multiple meanings, in this day I think the Lord is saying, “I am your Husband the Lion who guards and protects the passages of your life.  You are my bride, my castle.”

Brothers at War

Ed Morrisey recommends Brothers at War


Jake Rademacher  who made the documentary said of it:

“The honest storytelling of “Brothers At War” has received praise from war fighters, veterans, military families, Hollywood celebrities, and now Medal of Honor recipients. Join them by supporting this film which gives a true depiction of our nation’s warriors and their families.”

Michael Yon says, “Gary Sinise has gotten personally involved in promoting this movie.”

“The film follows Jake’s exploits as he risks everything—including his life—to tell his brothers’ story.  Often humorous, but sometimes downright lethal, BROTHERS AT WAR is a remarkable journey where Jake embeds with four combat units in Iraq. Unprecedented access to U.S. and Iraqi combat units take him behind the camouflage curtain with secret reconnaissance troops on the Syrian border, into sniper “Hide Sites” in the Sunni Triangle, through raging machine gun battles with the Iraqi Army.”

Faith Walk – Hope Eternal

“We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

No one knows that better than Myah who’s been walking the walk with grace and joy.  Now she walks it with Faith, her beautiful babe in arms. Myah writes:

I was told that my baby was only alive because she was attached to me, but that she couldn’t survive on her own. The doctor said that I could continue the pregnancy safely, but that my baby would die shortly after being born. Or I could choose to terminate the pregnancy then, which would mean being induced at 20 weeks and letting my baby die without ever seeing or holding her (I don’t even want to know what they do with babies in this case). Well, to some people this would be a difficult decision, but it wasn’t for me. I knew there was nothing to gain by terminating the pregnancy and I already loved my daughter more than anyone else in the world. Even if she was unconscious like the doctors said and lived for only a few seconds or minutes –even if she was stillborn –it was worth it to me. And so we began our journey…

Pursuing Holiness writes:

Faith has confounded the medical community, helped her mother and other family members rely wholly on God, and she is the recipient of a very great love. And if those things are the extent of her success and achievement in her life, it will have been a life well-lived.

Best to read the whole story. The photos tell a beautiful tale of 32 days of love with more to follow.  Keep Faith and Myah at the top of your prayer list.

Tell the Story!

I’m beginning today with a question: How did the first Christians do it?

In a world of propaganda and hype, of relativism and materialism, I ask myself what do I have that can change darkness into Light?  In truth, I have what Christians have had from the beginning.  I have the Savior of the world. Jesus words after His Resurrection from the dead were:

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Mark16: 15

In effect, go tell My story!

It is more than a story.  It is power.  It is the single most important act in all of human history with eternal consequences.  The world has run after other gods.  I have run after other gods.  That’s not the end of the story though.

Tomorrow begins Lent.  For myself, I’m resolved to tell the story everyday of Lent.  Lent will change me and then the world.  Like the first Christians,  we must begin by telling the story of  Jesus’ death on the Cross and His Resurrection from the dead.  Proclaim it!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of  God.” John3:16–18

Paul told us we don’t need to be polished and eloquent.  To the Corinthian Greeks, Paul writes, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

That is my story.  I’m resolved to tell it today.