From the autobiography of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, virgin
In the heart of the Church I will be love
Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of Saint Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.
I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others. For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognized myself in none of the members which Saint Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favorably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.
Litany of the Little Flower of Jesus
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face
Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us,
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us,
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us,
Holy Mary, Pray for us
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us
Our Lady of Victory, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, servant of God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, victim of the merciful love of God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, spouse of Jesus, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, gift of Heaven, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, remarkable in childhood, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, an example of obedience, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, resigned to the Divine Will of God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of peace, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of patience, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of gentleness, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, heroic in sacrifices, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, generous in forgiving, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, benefactress of the needy, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of Jesus, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, devoted to the Holy Face, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, consumed with Divine love of God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, advocate of extreme cases, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, persevering in prayer, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, a powerful advocate with God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, showering roses, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, doing good upon earth, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, answering all prayers, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of Holy Chastity, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of voluntary poverty, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, lover of obedience, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, burning with zeal for God's glory, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, inflamed with the Spirit of Love, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, child of benediction, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, perfect in simplicity, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, so remarkable for trust in God, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, gifted with unusual intelligence, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, never invoked without some answer, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, teaching us the sure way, Pray for us
Little Thérèse, victim of Divine Love, Pray for us
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O LordLamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Little Flower of Jesus, pray for us.
Let us Pray:
O God, Who didst inflame with Thy Spirit of Love the soul of Thy Servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love Thee and make Thee much loved. Amen.
"Dear children, I, the mother of all of you gathered here and the mother of the entire world, am blessing you with a motherly blessing and call you to set out on the way of humility. That way leads to the coming to know the love of my Son. My Son is almighty, He is in everything. If you, my children, do not become cognizant of this, then darkness/blindness rule in your soul. Only humility can heal you. My children, I always lived humbly, courageously and in hope. I knew, I became cognizant that God is in us and we are in God. I am asking the same of you. I desire for all of you to be with me in eternity, because you are a part of me. I will help you on your way. My love will envelop you like a mantle and make of you apostles of my light - of God's light. With the love that comes forth from humility you will bring light to where darkness/blindness rule. You will be bringing my Son who is the light of the world. I am always alongside your shepherds and I pray that they may always be an example of humility for you. Thank you."
(My audio commentary will be posted later today)
From the book addressed to Autolycus by Saint Theophilus of Antioch, bishop
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God
If you say, “Show me your God,” I will say to you, “Show me what kind of person you are, and I will show you my God.” Show me then whether the eyes of your mind can see, and the ears of your heart hear.
It is like this. Those who can see with the eyes of their bodies are aware of what is happening in this life on earth. They get to know things that are different from each other. They distinguish light and darkness, black and white, ugliness and beauty, elegance and inelegance, proportion and lack of proportion, excess and defect. The same is true of the sounds we hear: high or low or pleasant. So it is with the ears of our heart and the eyes of our mind in their capacity to hear or see God.
God is seen by those who have the capacity to see him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open. All have eyes, but some have eyes that are shrouded in darkness, unable to see the light of the sun. Because the blind cannot see it, it does not follow that the sun does not shine. The blind must trace the cause back to themselves and their eyes. In the same way, you have eyes in your mind that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds.
A person’s soul should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light. If there is rust on the mirror his face cannot be seen in it. In the same way, no one who has sin within him can see God.
But if you will you can be healed. Hand yourself over to the doctor, and he will open the eyes of your mind and heart. Who is to be the doctor? It is God, who heals and gives life through his Word and wisdom. Through his Word and wisdom he created the universe, for by his Word the heavens were established, and by his Spirit all their array. His wisdom is supreme. God by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding he arranged the heavens, by his knowledge the depths broke forth and the clouds poured out the dew.
If you understand this, and live in purity and holiness and justice, you may see God. But, before all, faith and the fear of God must take the first place in your heart, and then you will understand all this. When you have laid aside mortality and been clothed in immortality, then you will see God according to your merits. God raises up your flesh to immortality along with your soul, and then, once made immortal, you will see the immortal One, if you believe in him now. (divineoffice.org)
From a homily by Saint Basil the Great, bishop (330-379)
Boast only of the Lord
The wise man must not boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man of his strength, nor the rich man of his riches. What then is the right kind of boasting? What is the source of man’s greatness? Scripture says: The man who boasts must boast of this, that He knows and understands that I am the Lord. Here is man’s greatness, here is man’s glory and majesty: to know in truth what is great, to hold fast to it, and to seek glory from the Lord of glory. The Apostle tells us: The man who boasts must boast of the Lord.He has just said: Christ was appointed by God to be our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written, a man who boasts must boast of the Lord.
Boasting of God is perfect and complete when we take no pride in our own righteousness but acknowledge that we are utterly lacking in true righteousness and have been made righteous only by faith in Christ.
Paul boasts of the fact that he holds his own righteousness in contempt and seeks the righteousness in faith that comes through Christ and is from God. He wants only to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and to have fellowship with his sufferings by taking on the likeness of his death, in the hope that somehow he may arrive at the resurrection of the dead.
Here we see all overweening pride laid low. Humanity, there is nothing left for you to boast of, for your boasting and hope lie in putting to death all that is your own and seeking the future life that is in Christ. Since we have its first fruits we are already in its midst, living entirely in the grace and gift of God.
It is God who is active within us, giving us both the will and the achievement, in accordance with his good purpose. Through his Spirit, God also reveals his wisdom in the plan he has preordained for our glory.
God gives power and strength in our labors. I have toiled harder than all the others, Paul says, but it is not I but the grace of God, which is with me.
God rescues us from dangers beyond all human expectation. We felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death, so that we might not trust ourselves but in God, who raises the dead; from so great a danger did he deliver us, and does deliver us; we hope in him, for he will deliver us again. (divineoffice.org)
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.
This prayer was found in the fiftienth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall posion take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.
Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail.
From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
The passion of the whole body of Christ
Lord, I have cried to you, hear me. This is a prayer we can all say. This is not my prayer, but that of the whole Christ. Rather, it is said in the name of his body. When Christ was on earth he prayed in his human nature, and prayed to the Father in the name of his body, and when he prayed drops of blood flowed from his whole body. So it is written in the Gospel: Jesus prayed with earnest prayer, and sweated blood. What is this blood streaming from his whole body but the martyrdom of the whole Church?
Lord, I have cried to you, hear me; listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you. Did you imagine that crying was over when you said: I have cried to you? You have cried out, but do not as yet feel free from care. If anguish is at an end, crying is at an end; but if the Church, the body of Christ, must suffer anguish until the end of time, it must not say only: I have cried to you, hear me; it must also say: Listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you.
Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight; let the raising of my hands be an evening sacrifice.
This is generally understood of Christ, the head, as every Christian acknowledges. When day was fading into evening, the Lord laid down his life on the cross, to take it up again; he did not lose his life against his will. Here, too, we are symbolized. What part of him hung on the cross if not the part he had received from us? How could God the Father ever cast off and abandon his only Son, who is indeed one God with him? Yet Christ, nailing our weakness to the cross (where, as the Apostle says: Our old nature was nailed to the cross with him), cried out with the very voice of humanity: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
The evening sacrifice is then the passion of the Lord, the cross of the Lord, the oblation of the victim that brings salvation, the holocaust acceptable to God. In his resurrection he made this evening sacrifice a morning sacrifice. Prayer offered in holiness from a faithful heart rises like incense from a holy altar. Nothing is more fragrant than the fragrance of the Lord. May all who believe share in this fragrance.
Therefore, our old nature, in the words of the Apostle, was nailed to the cross with him, in order, as he says, to destroy our sinful body, so that we may be slaves to sin no longer.
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