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St. Therese of Lisieux Novena, Day 3

THE ULTIMATE GOAL

Reading

“Well, it’s better to have several sicknesses together as long as one has to suffer very much and in all parts.  It’s like a journey on which we bear with all sorts of inconveniences, knowing very well that these will end promptly, and that once the goal is attained, we will enjoy ourselves all the more.”

—    The Last Conversations, entry for August 22, 1987

Reflection

Thérèse’s sister, Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus), recorded these words during a period when the Little Flower began to suffer tremendous pains throughout her entire body.  In addition to the persistent and suffocating coughs, she was unable to perform any bodily function without excruciating difficulty.  A month later, she succumbed to her illness and died.

The physical torment notwithstanding, she puts it all into perspective by holding fast to her ultimate goal: eternal life.  Like a good athlete, she recognizes that these “inconveniences” are simply part of attaining the goal.  These very real aches and pains of life have their limit and end, and will ultimately pale before the joy of reaching the finish line, i.e., heaven itself.

Thus as we go about our daily lives, with all of its joys and trials, let us stay focused on our ultimate goal, i.e., eternity in the loving divine life of the Most Holy Trinity.

a moment of silence

Final Prayer

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,
Please pick a rose for me
From the heavenly gardens
And send it to me
As a message of love.
O little flower of Jesus,
Ask God today to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
In your hands.
(Mention your specific requests)
St. Therese,
help me to always believe,
As you did,
In God's great love for me,
So that I might imitate your
"Little Way" each day. Amen

reflections written by Fr. Emiel Abalahin, O.Carm.

As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."