A Lay Missionary of Charity friend sent me the following letter written by Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala MC., in anticipation of the upcoming Feast of St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face on October 1st. It is an "unfinished" homily. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe after reading you will receive some spiritual roses!
L S F
Today as we know is the feast day of St. Jerome - a friend and a lover of the Bible....who said: "One who is ignorant of the Bible is ignorant of God and of Christ". Today he invites us all to reread the Word of God, to treasure them in our heart, ponder over them as did our Blessed Mother, and then live the Word of God. We pray earnestly to St. Jerome to help us to love the Bible.
I ask pardon of St. Jerome for leaving him behind this day as we are forced to, since we have decided to celebrate the feast of another saint who too in her own way knew God's Word, loved it and lived it with great simplicity, clarity and originality. While St. Jerome with his incredible knowledge and intelligence translated the Bible into Latin, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus translated God's Word into life and made it easily readable. Her way was that of simplicity and total abandonment to God's merciful love......in total surrender, in childlike trust. She cried out in Spirit to God from the closed walls of the Lisieux Convent that the secret to our life is "Love", that she wished so much to be love. "In the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be love". She no longer desired anything except to love until she died of love. But she died, and disappeared from the visible horizons of this world of tears, pain and sorrow, but her love did not die, nor her Spirit of total trust. Her way of doing ordinary things with extraordinary love did not end with her earthly departure for heaven.
Thousands and thousands have been inflamed by her Spirit of simplicity, humility and charity, and took the same "elevator" to heaven - her short but sure way; her happy but difficult way; her secure but painful way.......yes the way of love is the way of suffering........but that is the best way to peace and joy.......Today she tells us all to have the same evangelical Spirit of the Gospel that we heard, namely "unless you become like little children....."(Mt. 18:1-4) - let us approach God as she did, let us accept the cross like a lover. Her way was short, hard, difficult and demanding - but she persevered......nothing and nobody could separate her from the love of her Lord......On the other hand suffering increased her fidelity, strengthened her convictions and she saw it as a means to save souls; and this is exactly what she did. Is not the reason why we celebrate her feast today - is not the reason why we find her in every Church - to remind the world that God is "Love", and His love never dies.......that whoever is in contact with that undefeatable love of God will live for all eternity with God!
Love is dynamic; love is creative, love never gives up........love is our interior force. It is like an engine. And God is love.
Today we see how this incredible love has become a living reality in Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The secret to her life is the same. Through her God makes the world realise that there is God ; and He is a God of love; He loves us all, and especially He loves the poor........He is the friend of the friends of the poor. He loves especially those who love the poor.
God opened through Mother Teresa the eyes of many and showed not only the existence and the reality of the poor but that they too are God's children.
This is an unfinished homily; it is up to each of the readers to complete it.
St. Therèse took three resolutions at the age of eleven while she was preparing herself for her first Holy Communion: 1. "I will recite a 'Memorare' everyday", 2. "I will humiliate myself", 3. "I will never allow myself to be discouraged":