01 Oct – Memorial for St. Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin, doctor
St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) was born to a middle-class French family. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, her mother, who died of cancer when Therese was four, was a lace-maker, and both have been declared Venerable by the Church. Therese was cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin smiled at her. She became a Carmelite nun at the age of 15.
She defined her path to God and holiness as “The Little Way”, which consisted of love and trust in God. At the direction of her spiritual director, and against her wishes, she dictated her famed autobiography “Story of a Soul”. Many miracles have been attributed to her. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
“You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
– Patron Saint Index
The word of the Lord of hosts was addressed to me as follows:
“The Lord of hosts says this.
I am burning with jealousy for Zion,
with great anger for her sake.
“The Lord of hosts says this:
I am coming back to Zion
and shall dwell in the middle of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will be called Faithful City
and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.
“The Lord of hosts says this.
Old men and old women will again sit down
in the squares of Jerusalem;
every one of them staff in hand
because of their great age.
And the squares of the city will be full
of boys and girls
playing in the squares.
“The Lord of hosts says this.
If this seems like a miracle
to the remnant of this people (in those days),
will it seem one to me?
It is the Lord of hosts who speaks.
The Lord of hosts says this.
Now I am going to save my people
from the countries of the East
and from the countries of the West.
I will bring them back
to live inside Jerusalem.
They shall be my people
and I will be their God
in faithfulness and integrity.”
An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, “Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.”
John spoke up. “Master,” he said, “we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.” But Jesus said to him, “You must not stop him; anyone who is not against you is for you.”
Someone passed to me a book called “Mental Illness or Demonisation? Similarities and Differences” to read. It is written by a Christian psychiatrist and endorsed by a number of pastors in Singapore. I was originally skeptical about reading a non-Catholic book about the topic, but after reading a few chapters, I thought it was quite good. Today’s readings affirmed that even though it is not a Catholic book, it is not something that is bad, because these pastors are also casting out demons in Jesus’ name.
Anyway, that’s not really the theme for today’s reflection. That’s just something that’s been happening in my life. Today’s theme of reflection focuses on the little ones. Today, we celebrate the memorial for St. Therese of Lisieux. Do you know that our Singapore Church of St. Teresa is named after this saint? Many people think that the church is named after St. Teresa of Avila, which is not so.
The parish was named after St. Therese of Lisieux because it was founded by the MEP priests who are foreign missionaries. Since St. Therese of Lisieux was canonized and made patron saint of missions in 1925, so the MEP priests on mission in Singapore decided to name the new parish after her in 1929. What’s significant today is that this parish is next to a very important community of religious. This community is quite possibly the most important religious community in Singapore today. Do you know what it is?
It is the community of Carmelite nuns who live and pray in their cloistered monastery on Bukit Teresa. Every day, they are praying for the church in Singapore, and it is because of their prayers that we all can continue doing the good work that we are doing today.
Today we remember all the people who have devoted much time and effort to praying for us, and our efforts. We remember these people that we often overlook and forget about. How many well-intentioned groups have started and crumbled quickly because despite of the good work and intentions they have, they have forgotten to pray?
In order for any group to survive long in the church, each member of the group needs to become a prayerful person. Each member of the group must welcome, in their own lives and as part of the group, all children and those young in the faith. These people have much to offer us, and probably more than we have to offer them.
Dear Lord, help us to become like little children after St. Therese of Lisieux. Help us to remember that for those of us who are not able to do great deeds of love, we can prove our love by doing little things with love. Amen.
Give Thanks to the Lord for: The little way.
Tue, 2 Oct – Exodus 23:20-23; Matthew 18:1-5, 10; Memorial for the Guardian Angels
Wed, 3 Oct – Nehemiah 2:1-8; Luke 9:57-62
Thu, 4 Oct – Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12; Luke 10:1-12; Memorial for St. Francis of Assisi, religious
Fri, 5 Oct – Baruch 1:15-22; Luke 10:13-16
Sat, 6 Oct – Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29; Luke 10:17-24; Memorial for St. Bruno, priest, hermit, religious founder
Sun, 7 Oct – Hebrews 1:2-3, 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10; Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.