Thursday, October 3, 2013

An immense treasure

     On August 9th, Pope Francis' tweet was "We are all jars of clay, fragile and poor, yet we carry within us an immense treasure." 

     On Tueday the Church recognized Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the "Little Flower", or Therese of Lisieux.  An extraordinary powerhouse of the spiritual life, she lived a brief life, dying at the young age of 24 in 1897.  Desiring to become a Carmelite nun, she entered at the age of 15 (against the wishes of the Superior).  She suffered in physical and other ways during her life, and yet her desire to embrace holiness was constant.  Her tuberculosis devastated her body and her sense of unworthiness haunted her spiritually, yet she held on to a simple way of life. 

     Two years before her death, she was commanded by her Superior to write her memoirs under obedience.  She wrote for a year, presented them to her prioress, who did not read them until a year or so after her death.  Her "Little Way" was published, and encourages us to take God at his word and let his love for us wash away our sins and imperfections.  The simplest things in life can be embraced as graced moments and blessed opportunities.

    This fragile and poor vessel of clay carried the love of Christ in her heart and the desire to be one with that love throughout her brief life.  It became an "immense treasure" for Therese as well as for any who follow her "Little Way".  It reminds us that we too are like fragile and imperfect clay pots that the Lord can take and mold into that perfect vessel of grace.  Our weakness is no excuse to accept mediocrity.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels - October 2nd.  In our Regional School, placed under the protection of Mary, the Queen of Angels, the youngsters end the day with the prayer that I remember learning a long time ago:
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God's love
commits me here.
Ever this day
be at my side,
to light, to guard,
to rule and guide.

ps.  I wrote this yesterday but hit save rather than publish.
I've made the necessary date corrections.

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