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St. Therese of Lisieux Novena, Day 8

SACRIFICE

Reading

 “If you knew, darling Sister, how we pray for you!...and above all how we offer sacrifices, I think you would be very much touched...Since we have learned of your trials our fervour is very great, I assure you all our thoughts and our prayers are for you.  I have the strongest confidence that my

dear little Visitandine will emerge victorious from all her great trials and that one day she will be a model religious.”

—    from letter CL to her sister, Léonie Martin

Reflection

Thérèse composed this letter in October 1894, during Léonie’s second attempt at religious life, this time with the Visitandines.  The Little Flower wrote to her unhappy, struggling sister to encourage her, assuring her that she was not only thought of and prayed for, but also greatly loved through the sacrifices the sisters were making on her behalf.  Léonie left the congregation in 1895, but thankfully, re-entered once again definitively in 1899, taking the name Françoise-Thérèse in honor of her sister.

When one hears the word “sacrifice” in the context of redemption, the notion of “reparation for sin” usually comes to mind.  Yet in looking at Christ’s interactions with others, one recognizes that he also lovingly encourages.  He dedicates his entire life to saving us from the effects of sin, and also to edifying us, to make of us realize our identity as children of the Father.  We see this same perspective in Thérèse’s interaction with those around her.

Let us also make loving sacrifices according to the Little Way that encourage and build up all those around us, especially the marginalized and the vulnerable, recognizing that they are our sisters and brothers in Christ.

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."