The Littlest Flower in Heaven… the greatest Saint of modern time!

1 October 2014

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: “My God, I love You!”

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”. She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood.” She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.” Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God’s love affair with us. She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.
“My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death,” she said. “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.” Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese’s signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her “little way.” She has been acclaimed “the greatest saint of modern times.” In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church – the only Doctor of his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and her “Little Way” is a spirituality that the modern world can embrace and with it, find our way to Heaven. When we look at this young woman from a time long ago, we might doubt it, but take a moment, learn about her spirituality that allowed her to become a Doctor of the Church. I think you will be very surprised that she was indeed, “the greatest Saint of modern time”. (Pope Pius XII)


A letter to Heaven: My dearest Saint Therese….

1 October 2014

My dearest Saint Therese,

Happy Feast Day my sweet sister Therese! I know you are looking down from Heaven releasing a bucket of roses for us. Great thing about being a Trad Catholic is that I use the Traditional Calendar also, soooo….. I get to celebrate you today and on the third of October! Tuesday AND Thursday I will be attending the Extraordinary Form and the Masses will be all yours!

Thank you for allowing me to have you in my heart from age five. As you already know, my mom gave me a children’s book about you and your life and a statue for my nightstand that October to celebrate your Feast Day. It wasn’t until years later did I realize how special Feast Days are and how they are celebrated in Religious Life bigger and better than birthdays!

I want the world to still know and love you as they did shortly after your death when your “Story of a Soul” was published for the secular world to read. Oh, how the world took to you!!! You have stood the test of time, but now it’s time for kids to find out about you.

Those of us who have read and re-read “Story of a Soul” like a Jane Austen novel know the truth about you. The sanitized, sugary sweet life most people think you had we both know was not the case. There isn’t a 12-15 yr old out there particularly in America who wouldn’t identify with your struggles, particularly the emotional ones.

So, my darling Carmelite sister in Christ, it’s time to hawk your book again. I promise you, this is my task. You have always answered my pleas for help when I prayed to you. Now it’s my turn to say thank you.

I care for a sweet young lady who went through much troubles as a child. She reminds me of you so much. I read your story to her at a young age and she reads it again and again to this day. She became close to you and you never left her. Today she is a devout young Catholic of 20 who bears your name from Confirmation. Thank you for that also.

See, I owe you much. We all do. Your hardest times brought you your greatest holiness. This is the lesson and the legacy you have given us. Your “Little Way” to Heaven, so simple, yet so profound it brought you the title of Doctor of the Church. Well, know this: this Carmelite here prayed like crazy for that beautiful day when you joined Holy Mother Teresa of Avila as the SECOND Carmelite in that exclusive club. (also only the third woman)

Perhaps the most interesting thing about you though is that people of all faiths have a devotion and relationship with you. Imagine my surprise when attending a wake of a Methodist woman who had your holy card with her words thanking you on the back for staying with her during her suffering before she died. I came home with that card and still use it to mark a page in my breviary as it reminds me of your draw to ALL SOULS!

I know it’s because your vocation was to become “Love itself”… Well, you have succeeded. A job well done, sister!

 

With all my love and devotion,

Sofia

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Saint Therese is the patroness of AlwaysCatholicBlog along with Saint Joseph. We ask that you pray to each of them asking that we do God’s Will here at this little blog. God love you!

Some Saint Therese “Eye Candy” Photos of our “Greatest Saint of Modern times”

For a complete bio, click here from Carmel.net Therese


The Essential Happiness of Heaven

26 September 2014

Heaven pic

The Essential Happiness of Heaven

We shall see Him as He is. (1 St. John iii. 2.)

The one central source of Heaven’s happiness will be the Vision of God. We shall see Him face to face in all His Divine beauty; everything will be swallowed up in the absorbing delight of gazing on the majesty of the Most High. From this fount of joy all other joys will spring. This will in itself be Heaven. If the lost in Hell could see God for a single instant. Hell would at once become Heaven to them.

Why is this? Because in God are united every perfection and every beauty and every joy and every delight that exist or can exist, and all in an infinite degree. Every other joy is but a shadow as compared with the substance, a grain of dust compared with the loftiest mountains, a drop of water compared with the ocean. O my God, help me to despise the passing joys of earth when I think of the joy of seeing Thee!

The Beatific Vision will not convey the same degree of happiness to all who gaze upon it. It will depend upon our union with God on earth, on our faithfulness to grace, on our personal sanctity. One star differs from another star in glory. All will be happy in Heaven, but the happiness of some will be incomparably greater than that of others. What folly then if we let slip any of the eternal reward for the sake of some perishable trifle or miss any opportunity of adding to our of heavenly delight!

Pray that you may appreciate your heavenly treasure and strive continually to add to it.

Source: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com

Who Am I To Judge? Read this if you dare.

24 September 2014

Editor’s Note:
The explanation of “Who am I to judge?” is explained in the proper context by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the context of his office at the time in the Sunday Angelus. Quite different then sparring with atheistic “journalists” who want to twist everything said coming out of a Pope. In my very humble opinion, I think Pope Francis is figuring out that you have to explain the whole thing and not just spar in repartee with people who really want to destroy what you believe in. Now, I said it. Come on Catholics, make sure you chastise me for daring to suggest that perhaps Pope Francis made a human mistake by not preparing his remarks in advance.

Someone smarter than me said to me recently,”Pope Francis is trying to change the Papacy but he doesn’t yet understand the Papacy changes YOU”. Anyone can comment in my combox, it doesn’t mean I will approve it. After all, I pay for every expense on this blog so I consider myself the owner and I alone have the right to decide who and what is said in my combox. Sorry for the attitude, just a little beat up lately.

Read below if you truly want to learn something:

benedict with candle

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The biblical Readings of Mass this Sunday converge on the theme of brotherly love in the community of believers whose source lies in the communion of the Trinity. The Apostle Paul says that the whole Law of God finds fullness in love, so that in our relationships with others the Ten Commandments and every other precept are summed up in these words: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (cf. Rom 13:8-10).

The Gospel text from chapter 18 of Matthew on the life of the Christian community tells us that brotherly love also involves a sense of mutual responsibility. For this reason if my brother commits a sin against me I must treat him charitably and first of all, speak to him privately, pointing out that what he has said or done is wrong. This approach is known as “fraternal correction”: it is not a reaction to the offence suffered but is motivated by love for one’s brethren.

St Augustine comments: “Whoever has offended you, in offending you, has inflicted a serious injury upon himself; and would you not care for a brother’s injury?… You must forget the offence you have received but not the injury of one of your brethren (Discourse 82, 7).

And what if my brother does not listen to me? In today’s Gospel Jesus points to a gradual approach: first, speak to him again with two or three others, the better to help him realize what he has done; if, in spite of this, he still refuses to listen, it is necessary to tell the community; and if he refuses to listen even to the community, he must be made to perceive that he has cut himself off by separating himself from the communion of the Church.

All this demonstrates that we are responsible for each other in the journey of Christian life; each person, aware of his own limitations and shortcomings, is called to accept fraternal correction and to help others with this specific service.

Another fruit of love in the community is unanimous prayer. Jesus said: “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:19-20). Personal prayer is of course important, indeed indispensable, but the Lord guarantees his presence to the community — even if it is very small — which is united and in agreement, because this reflects the very reality of the Triune God, perfect communion of love. Origen says “we should practise this symphony” (Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew, 14,1), in other words this harmony within the Christian community. We should practise both fraternal correction — which demands deep humility and simplicity of heart — and prayer so that it may rise to God from a community truly united in Christ.

Let us ask all this through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church and of St Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor, whom we commemorated in the liturgy yesterday.


The Kraken Unleashed: Are We Ready to Fight the Beast? by Fr. Richard Heilman

21 September 2014

Crossposted from the new blog, One Peter Five, a must read for faithful Catholics.

Kraken-1-1024x490

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it? – Revelation 13:1-10

In the 2010 film, Clash of the Titans, there is a scene in which Zeus, angry with the humans, is persuaded by Hades to visit vengeance upon the mortals in the form of the Kraken, a giant monster from the depths of the sea. The visual of this great evil being unleashed is something to behold:

If this scene is evocative, perhaps it is because it’s familiar. Like a Kraken released, we have a colossal problem in our world today. There are few who are not stunned by the growing specter of evil; a darkness more profound and spreading more quickly across the globe than any civilized human being could have ever imagined. Many of those I speak with have admitted that they now abstain completely from watching the news: “It’s just too much,” they say. “It’s just so horrifying!”

For the past two years I have been confiding to close friends my own growing sense that something is happening, that something unholy is stirring. I have spoken with others who have admitted the same suspicion. The way I have tried to describe it in the past is like the rumblings felt just before a volcano explodes.

Now, I find myself wondering if the eruption is upon us.

Who could ever conceive of atrocities like those we are seeing executed in the name of religion? Where once we might see coverage of a tragic conflict far away, we now face an evil that is not confined to some distant corner of the planet. With the always-on, near-instant spread of information in our digital age, your next door neighbor can be radicalized from the comfort of their living room.

What we are facing is, first and foremost, a form of spiritual warfare. In a time where violence is rampant and the innocent are threatened, it is true that we must be ready to physically engage the malefactors. But if we deny the spiritual nature of this surge of evil we are facing, we will have no hope of victory.

For the rest of the post, please click HERE!
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fr HeilmanFr. Richard M. Heilman is a priest of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular guest host on Relevant Radio’s The Inner Life, and is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, which is an apostolate for Catholic men’s faith formation. He is the author of the Church Militant Field Manual and companion website, Churchmilitant.com, dedicated to helping Catholics understand and train for their role in the mission of combating evil and rescuing the souls of our loved ones who have lost the precious gift of faith.


AlwaysCatholic wishes “Ad Multos Annos” to Our Shepherd, Bishop Robert Morlino

21 September 2014

21 September 2014 A.D.

For many years I have not had the luxury of a Bishop who was clear about Catholic Teaching, cared about his flock and had a backbone. I know this may sound a little on the snarky side but Truth is Truth. Finally a few years ago I had an opportunity to move to the great state of Wisconsin.

The reasons I decided to move here were varied but the deciding factor was the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, WI. Not a stranger to criticism from the secular world and of course, Catholics who think they know more than the Church Herself, His Escellency Robert C. Morlino is the type of Bishop all Roman Catholics really need.

I have had the pleasure of meeting our Bishop quite spontaneously on several occasions, and he took the time to have a wonderful conversation with me. He is like an Uncle or a family friend who truly enjoys your company. A great listener, he never acts like he doesn’t have time to speak to the least of us.

The portrayal of this kind and generous man in the press is as if they are speaking about someone else. That is because he will not back down on teaching the Truth as he always does in Charity.

He calls himself a teacher and that is exactly what he has done here in Madison. Madison, Wisconsin probably battles San Francisco as the most progressive city in the country. The wisdom of Holy Mother Church provided, as we have one of the most orthodox Catholic Bishops in the world here, where he is needed most.

The thing I truly love about Bishop Morlino is how he is not afraid to teach us Truth and also how that in itself that IS love. His Jesuit training has not been a source of pride as with many Jesuits I have known, but is the source of his humility. Truly a son of Ignatius of Loyola in the truest sense.

His love of the understanding of aesthetics is what makes him him truly understand the sacredness of beauty in the Church and in particular, the Holy Mass. His love of the Extraordinary Form wrankles those who don’t allow their minds to this understanding.

A bishop like Robert Morlino will be persecuted because he is a man of Truth and of courage. His fearlessness ironically brings out fear in others. There are those whom either don’t believe in God, in Truth or take a simplistic view of God and a democratic notion of what the Church is supposed to do. Moral relativists cringe at the thought of a man, a priest, a bishop like ours. Their only answer is to personally attack.

morlino offering Latin MassHere is where Bishop Morlino truly serves God and his flock. He never personally attacks. He never speaks in negatives. He battles on in joy and in love. He is the father some of us wished we have had. He is the type of man, who is a spiritual head of his family, like most wives wished their husbands were. He is the family member we all would be proud to call family. By Our Lord calling him to a priestly vocation, Bishop Morlino can love all of us altruistically and lead us (if we are willing) to our place among the Saints.

This is a vocation fully lived. This is what doing God’s Will means. No excuses, full of joy. Fearless.

Someone once said to me about the priesthood and Religious Life concerning chastity and celibacy this statement,
“You know, all that Catholic celibacy and chastity stuff is not natural.” I said, “You are correct, it isn’t.” Shocked, the person looked at me quizzically and I responded, “It’s supernatural, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s love at its’ truest form, fraternal love. The giving of one life for others.” The person shook their head and walked away.

His Excellency understands what I am saying, for sure.

God love you Your Excellency, on this great day of your Anniversary. Ad Multos Annos!


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