Model of total devotion to God’s plan for the good of the whole world
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus [Lisieux] (October 1, 2019): IS 66:10-14; PS 131: 1,2,3; MT 18:1-4
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
“I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.” Those beautiful words of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus still inspire people today.
Yet they are only possible because of the good she did while she lived among us. She revealed tremendous humility, fervor and a desire to serve God and His people. She was greatly influenced by the deep spiritually of her parents, SS. Louis and Zelie Martin, the only married couple to be canonized together by the Church. Thérèse was the youngest of five daughters to grow up in the middleclass household in Alençon, France, four of whom entered the Carmelite convent at Lisieux. She entrusted herself completely to the care of her dear Savior, and sought to do only and always what He asked of her. The idea of doing every single thing with love for the sake of God’s love, guided Thérèse’s life. At the direction of her religious superiors, she wrote her autobiography while she was dying a painful death from tuberculosis. She is known for her “Little Way” of spiritual life that she described in this work that has touched countless. St. Thérèse died in 1897 when she was only 24 years old.
In the memorial Mass for her feast day, we hear the memorable quote from the Psalms, “O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; I busy myself not with great things, nor with things too sublime for me. Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:1-2). This is surely a wonderful way of envisioning Thérèse who willingly and joyfully gave herself to God. This patroness of the Missions and missionaries, and Doctor of the Church remains a beautiful example of a committed relationship with our loving Lord for women, men, and young people everywhere.
Suggested missionary action: As we begin this Extraordinary Missionary Month of October, let us ask the Little Flower, patroness of the Missions and missionaries, to help us share the Good News. By the way we live our faith daily, we can express our love for Christ and all His children.