The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Born in France on January 2, 1873, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face enter into the Carmelite order in Lisieux at the early age of 15 after pleading her case to Pope Leo XIII. Upon entering Carmel, she joined two of her older sisters who had joined the order before her. Later on a third sister joined the Carmelites, allowing St. Thérèse the joy of being with her biological sisters as walked out her pledge to Jesus. St. Thérèse died in 1897 of tuberculosis at the age of 24, having spent nine years within Carmel. Six Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, was written in three selections during the last three years of her life at the request of two of her Prioress (i.e. the first nine chapters was written at the request of Mother Agnes while the last two chapters came at the request of Mother Marie de Gonzague). Her biological sister, Mother Agnes, combined St. Thérèse’s writing and published them on the one year anniversary of her death (September 30, 1898). Sixteen years later a cause of Beatification was introduced in Rome with her becoming “Blessed” in 1923. Two years after that St. Thérèse was canonized with a Doctor of the Church declaring coming in 1997. All of these events are very remarkable seeing how St. Thérèse died so young. The autobiography itself is fairly straight forward as it tells the story of St. Thérèse life from her earliest days as a young toddler to the months leading up to her death. Each chapter is focused on a short time period of...
Happy Theophany/Epiphany!

Happy Theophany/Epiphany!

The 12 Days of Christmas are over and a new season of liturgy has begun. To mark this shift, Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters celebrate the feast of Theophany in remembrance of when Jesus as baptized by John the Forerunner. The name Theophany means the “appearance of God” as it was at that baptism that the Trinity appeared clearly to humanity for the first time. God the Father spoke from the heavens while the incarnated God the Son physical stood in the Jordan river with the God the Spirit descending upon him. Among our Roman Catholic and liturgical Protestant family, today is celebration of Epiphany. That is, the day when the magi visited Jesus in Bethlehem, most likely when he was one years of age. The feast’s name, epiphany, means “manifestation” or “revelation” as the magi represented all the non-Jewish people of the world (i.e. the Gentiles) who received the revelation that God had taken on the likeness of humanity to rescue us from darkness. Both feasts have been celebrated by Jesus followers since the fourth century, if not earlier. So, if you are able, lift up a cup and shout: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Revelation...
Pope Francis and the Child

Pope Francis and the Child

When I saw the picture to the right of a child hugging Pope Francis in front of thousands, I, like many others, couldn’t help but smile. I also was very proud of Pope Francis as he did not try to push the child away or yell at him – something a lot of other important folks would do. Instead, he smiled loving down at the child, gently pats his head and continue on with his speech as if nothing was happening. That, my friends, is a picture of Jesus. Children are a blessing from the Most High and, contrary to most of the world today, are not to be ignored or pushed away. They are to hugged and loved. Yes, there are times when a child needs to learn to be still and not interrupt. However, there are other times when we should stop being so stuffy and just enjoy the love of a child. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew...
A Franciscan Blessing

A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. And the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forevermore. Amen. Updated on June 25, 2014: This blessing does NOT have a connection to the Franciscans. It was written by the Benedictine Sister Ruth Fox of Sacred Heart Monastery for a Dickinson State University graduation in...
Pope Francis: Shaking Things Up

Pope Francis: Shaking Things Up

As you all have no doubt heard via the mainline news stations, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina was elected as the 266th pope. His election to the office marks a HUGE shift in the Roman Catholic Church as he is the first pope from the New World. He is also the first Jesuit to be chosen as the pope in the 472 years of the Society of Jesus. The great thing about Pope Francis is that he is a very humble man who chose to walk the streets of Buenos Aires and not to live in the fancy Archbishop residence therein. This choice to live humbly as already caused some difficulties with the Vatican security forces as they are used to popes riding in their bullet proof cars… Pope Francis also decided to change the customary plans of the Vatican for the beginning of Easter. Instead of washing the feet of twelve retired priests in St John Lateran, Pope Francis has moved the mass to a juvenile prison in Rome where he will wash the feet of twelve inmates – included a few ladies, which is a statement in and of itself. I don’t know what is store for the Roman Catholic community across the world – but so far I like this guy. He seems to walking the walk, loving the less-than and side-stepping the trappings of wealth and power. Oh, one last comment before I end this post – the name of “Pope Francis”. Ever since Pope Lando’s reign in 913 AD, the serving pope has always chosen a name used by one of his predecessors....