“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” urged the psalmist. St. Thérèse turns to her Guardian Angel as she responds: “With your celestial aid, in peace I await the other life, the joys that will last forever.”
If the psalmist prayed “for God alone my soul waits,” then St. Thérèse repeated that heartfelt cry with greater fervor: “My only peace, my only happiness, my only love is you, Lord!”
St. Thérèse described her sister Céline as someone who found God in all of nature, everywhere. In the poem, “Canticle of Céline”, which Thérèse wrote for her sister, Céline sings, “in Him I found peace forever!”
On the night before He died, Jesus spoke plainly to the disciples. St Thérèse notes that Jesus was “speaking without parable” to them. To the one who keeps God’s word, Jesus says: “We want him to remain, filled with peace, in our Love!”
“Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went,” is one section of St. Joseph’s theme music in the Gospels. St. Thérèse knows how to sing that song, too, in Carmelite style: “Joseph, O tender Father, protect Carmel!”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord,” says St. Paul. St. Thérèse was a model of obedience to her father, St. Louis Martin. Speaking in the third person as she writes about their relationship, Thérèse reminds her father: “it was always your hand that guided her. O Papa! remember…”
“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus said. Thérèse took his advice and wrote, “if I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness. I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.” Her solution to this problem? Living “just for today.”
In this, the 125th anniversary year of the death of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, each day we will share excerpts from her poetry that reveal her eminent doctrine and passionate desire "to love Jesus and to make him loved" as a Discalced Carmelite nun.
For the renewal of vows at the Carmel of Echt in 1940, St. Edith Stein wrote a meditation for the prioress at her request. We share the final section of the meditation where Edith presents a striking response to the age-old complaint that God doesn't hear our prayers. "What right have we to be heard?" Edith asks. Her own answer is decisive: "The day on which God has unrestricted power over our hearts we shall also have unrestricted power over his."
The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne were beatified on 27 May 1906. Now the Holy Father has granted the opening of the Process of Equipollent Canonization. We have the details from the Discalced Carmelite General Curia.
St. Louis Martin wrote to his wife, St. Zélie Martin to describe his happiness when he was able to visit the shrine of Notre-Dame des Victoires on a business trip to Paris: it "is like a little heaven on earth."
St. Teresa is concerned about the health of her nuns, particularly the prioresses in Seville and Malagón. She writes to the prioress in Seville, "God is life, and he can give it. Always keep praying for this..."
Saint Edith Stein writes, "The legend of the Order tells us that the Mother of God would have liked to remain with the hermit brothers on Mount Carmel. We can certainly understand that she felt drawn to the place where she had been venerated through the ages..."
I have not forgotten your business matter, but nothing more can be done now, although I have a great desire to do so. Entrust this earnestly to God and take our Lady and St. Joseph as your advocates in it.
"He made a document, I saw the writing: it is in all languages... A founder!… my heart leaps with gladness. [The Carmel of Nazareth] is endowed!"
I took for my advocate and lord the glorious St. Joseph and earnestly recommended myself to him...It is an amazing thing the great many favors God has granted me through the mediation of this blessed saint, the dangers I was freed from both of body and soul.
Since God ordains things differently from what we may have in mind, we must conform ourselves to his will. They have made me prior of this house in Granada, and it is a place very apt for the service of God. His Majesty does everything for the best.
In the world's great hour of need, Carmelites can follow the example of Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew: "I was seized about midnight with a great fear and I commenced to pray, my arms extended towards heaven."
I am praying fervently for you, for I feel that the Master loves you so much, and I ask Him to take you, to draw you more and more to Himself so that through everything you will enjoy His presence.