Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Flower of Youth

"Youth is not made for pleasure. Youth is made for heroism." --Paul Claudel

Today is the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux. Of her First Holy Communion she wrote, "It was a kiss of love, I felt myself loved, and I replied 'I love You, and I give myself to You forever.'" Though she lived in a Carmelite convent, she was not out of touch with the lives of those in the world. She wrote, "God does not despise these hidden struggles with ourselves, so much richer in merit because they are unseen: "The patient man is better than the valiant and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh cities. (Prov. xvi.32.)'" Of Our Lord, Saint Therese had this to say: "My way is all confidence and love. I do not understand souls who fear a Friend so tender."

She endured the sufferings of a long battle with tuberculosis, which eventually led to her agonizing death; during that time she also persevered through numerous spiritual trials. Through it all, she remained constant in her love for God and for His Church. She renounced the pleasures of her youth for the heroism of self-sacrifice. And Love rewarded her with Himself, for Eternity.

Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Love, pray for us!

(For more of the spirituality of Saint Therese, I recommend the beautiful book entitled I Believe in Love by Father Jean C. J. d'Elbee; it is published by Sophia Institute Press.)