Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Feast day of Therese of Lisieux

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saint_therese_web(We are called to embrace the somber reality of our world)

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
― Therese de Lisieux

Many people do with St. Therese of Lisieux what is often done with St. Francis of Assisi. Then can be dipped into a vat of sentimentality making both of them harmless and non-threatening. When in fact both in their own way presented the Gospel in all of its beauty and power needed at the time they lived and still needed in today’s world. Both have touched the collective soul of the church deeply and will continue to do so into the far future.

“The Little Way” is at the heart of the Gospel as presented to us in Jesus Christ. To become truly what we are before God but often forgotten… and what is that? We are ‘children’ before God and when we forget that we can get into serious trouble, as is seen in the world today.

“The Will to Power”, is a strong driving force in the world and has caused in the past and continues to do so today, to spread suffering, hatred and despair in the world. As adults we devise better weapons to ‘protect’ ourselves from our enemies, forgetting that we are called to something much more. Yet we can’t get there it seems. We struggle, try and fall, and often do not get back up. The world is littered with long dead cultures often destroyed either by the enemy without (warfare) or the enemy within (self destructive ways of living).

The human heart longs for love, to be seen and accepted. However the human heart is also afraid of being betrayed, which often happens. In the ‘Little Way” we are called to see Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of all of our deepest longings. In Christ dwells the fullness of divinity and in prayer we do lift up our hearts and mind to God. In that we learn to trust in God’s love and providence no matter what it is we are called to do or to endure. We are all called to ‘bear in our bodies the sufferings lacking in Christ Jesus”.

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you,
and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard
to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body,
which is the church.—Col 1:24

The deeper we dive into this mystery, the more we learn what the “Little Way’ is all about. It is about trust, about not looking to ourselves but to Christ Jesus for all of our needs and in our suffering we unite ourselves to his holy will. Trust is not easy, for when we trust, we trust in good times as well as bad. We are grounded and in that we are secure in God’s love and grace as shown us in Jesus Christ. It is not sentimentality but realty... God’s love in a hard world filled with joy as well as suffering is our hope. We are called to embrace the somber reality of our world and to grow in the love of God as well as others.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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