Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart…
--St. Therese of Lisieux
On Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her great energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love.
We know her as the “Little Flower” who was content to be a little flower among many in God’s garden. Her “little way of spiritual childhood” teaches trust in and faithfulness to God by attending to everyone and everything and every moment with love. She found her vocation to be “love in the heart of the Church.”
Desire was at the heart of Therese’s spirituality. It expressed her longing for God that was evident throughout her short life. Our desires are not a sign of our love for God but rather His invitation to accept His love for us. Our desires draw us closer to God, even when He seems absent.
Therese always had a deep desire to receive Jesus in holy communion. She heard Jesus say to her as He did to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Give me to drink.” She sought to give Him souls, especially priests and those who are lost or estranged from Him. The Eucharist became the meeting place of her and Jesus’ desires. Communion and sacrifice became closely tied. In the sacrifice of the Mass, Therese shows how to live out the sacrifice of Calvary in our daily lives, in all the little things we do each day when done with love and humility.
That is what Secular Carmelites are also called to do: sacrifice ourselves each day as we come and go in our daily duties to our families, our work, and our Church. Ask the Lord to fulfill your desires according to His will, pray without ceasing, and love your neighbor.
The Church celebrates her Feast Day on October 1.
“Jesus, Holy and Sacred Vine,O my Divine King, You know I am a cluster of golden grapes which must disappear for you. Under the wine press of suffering, I shall prove my love for you. I want no other joy than to sacrifice myself each day.”