Thursday 1 October 2015

Ste Therese of Lisieux: "love drove...the Church...if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer"

Rightly did St. Pope John Paul II proclaim the glorious virgin, Ste Therese of the Infant Jesus, a Doctor of the Church. From today's Office of Readings we learn from her the secret force of the Church: the ability, or inability of the members of the Mystical Body to love, to manifest Christ's Love. The degree and power of the members' love will animate the Body for good or bad. When that love is burning, the Church will manifest tremendous spiritual power and force; when that love has turned cold the local branches of the Church will wither and die. 

Ste. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us. Also, dear friends, please do not fail to pray for the two Carmelite Monasteries in southern Ontario: the Carmel of St. Joseph and the Carmel of the Infant Jesus. 

When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognised myself in none of the members which St Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favourably 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 realised 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.

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