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St. Therese of Lisieux Novena, Day 5

BELIEVING FOR THE UNBELIEVER

Reading

“Your child, however, O Lord, has understood Your divine light, and she begs pardon for her brothers.  She is resigned to eat the bread of sorrow as long as You desire it; she does not with to rise up from this table filled with bitterness at which poor sinners are eating until the day set by You. 

Can she not say in her name and in the name o her brothers “Have pity on us, O Lord, for we are poor sinners!”  Oh!  Lord, send us away justified.  May all those who were not enlightened by the bright flame of faith one day see it shine.”

— from Story of a Soul, Manuscript C, Chapter X

Reflection

Thérèse was graced with a particularly intimate rapport with the Lord.  She could find him in prayer and worship, in the midst of family and community, and in the beauty of nature.  With the onset of illness, however, she underwent a great trial of faith, a seeming absence of the Lord that endured throughout the last years of her life.  Whereas once she enjoyed a sense of the Lord’s nearness, she now experienced a “great darkness.”  While she was given the grace not to offend God during this time of aridity, she was also granted the insight through God’s merciful love to understand those who lacked faith, and as such, to minister to them as a companion in the spiritual darkness.  Her experience echoed the words of psalm 51: “Restore to me the gladness of your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit.  I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.” 

In recognizing and becoming familiar with our own struggles, weaknesses, and limits, we can also see in them opportunities for being compassionate companions for those in similar circumstances.  Moreover, as the beloved of the Lord, we can entrust them and ourselves to His great truth, love, justice, and mercy.

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."