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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

ST THERESE OF LISIEUX AND HER LITTLE WAY


Compare the teaching of St Therese with her Little Way and that of St John Maximovich

St. Thérèse and her Little Way


Rev. John F. Russell, O.Carm.
Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. 07079

What is the meaning of “the little way” of St Therese? It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday. St Therese based “her little way” on two fundamental convictions: (1) God shows love by mercy and forgiveness, and (2) she could not be “perfect” in following the Lord. St Therese believed that the people of her time lived in too great a fear of God's judgment. The fear was stifling and did not allow people to experience the freedom of the children of God. St Therese knew from her life that God is merciful love; many scripture passages in the Old and New Testaments bore out that truth. She loved the maternal images for God in the Old Testament and the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. In fact, St Therese once wrote that she could not understand how anyone could be afraid of a God who became a child. She also knew that she would never be perfect. Therefore, she went to God as a child approaches a parent . . . with open arms and a profound trust.

St Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. Above all, she tried to show a love for all the nuns in the community. She played no favourites; she gave of herself even to the difficult members. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a loving commitment that knew no breakdown. It is called a “little way” precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.

In living out her life of faith she sensed that everything that she was able to accomplish came from the generous love of God in her life. She was convinced that at the end of her life she would go to God with empty hands. Why? Because all was accomplished in union with God.

Catholics and other Christians have been attracted to St Therese's style. Her “little way” seems to put holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people. Live out your days with confidence in God's love for you. Recognize that each day is a gift in which your life can make a difference by the way you choose to live it. Put hope in a future in which God will be all and love will consume your spirit. Choose life, not the darkness of pettiness and greed. St Therese knew the difference love makes by allowing love to be the statement she made each day of her life.










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