Wonder & Whimsy: 2 Teresas, sainthood & how to live in this world

A weekly curation of quotations I come across in my reading life (or on random condiment jars) — from the inspirational to the miscellaneous. Perhaps one inspires you or catches your fancy too…

God appoints your “seasons”…

“All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time.” – St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul

A prayer of surrender…

“Yours I am, O Lord, and born for you. What do you as of me?” – St. Teresa of Avila

Where sainthood begins…

“Good intentions are almost never good enough, but it is difficult to imagine where sainthood would begin if it didn’t begin with the heart. Before anything else, it has to be about falling in love. And love is something that you need to live.” – Tyler Blanski, An Immovable Feast

How to live in this world…

“The great struggle facing you is not to leave the world, to reject your ambitions and aspirations, or to despise money, prestige, or success, but to claim your spiritual truth and to live in the world as someone who doesn’t belong to it.” – Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

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Do Little Things with Great Love

therese_podcast_300px_0-2It’s St. Therese’s feast day on Saturday (Oct. 1), and her words have been on my mind and heart recently as I’ve been praying her Novena. I finished reading her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, last month; and one theme in particular has stayed with me as I go about my daily tasks: we are to do little things with great love.

We learn from this Doctor of the Church, that our path to becoming more like Jesus is really all about how we love. Moreover, it’s all about how we love in the little things. In the little encounters and duties of our daily lives we will discover whether we really have love. The presence of love will be more apparent in the quiet acts of service than in the loud displays of our faith. It is truly revealed in the hidden charities that few see, rather than the public demonstrations.

If the little activities of our days do not reveal much love, then we can see the opportunities we have to redeem. And redeem them we must. As Saint Paul says, “If I have not love, I am nothing;” and “if I have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2-3). Whether we do great things or small things matters not for eternity. What matters for eternity is that we did what God called us to do with great love. Whether you make a meal today, sweep a floor, hold a door, pick up someone else’s trash, pay for someone’s meal, give someone your seat, or clean up yet another potty training accident–do it with great love. We must all get to the place where we can say with conviction of heart, along with St. Therese, “My vocation is LOVE!”

Learning to Meditate, Part 1: Recognizing the Simply Profound

little-prayer-1423905-640x790Developing the habit of mental prayer (Christian meditation) is vital to Catholic or Christian spirituality, but it is also a challenging practice in our fast-paced, modern lives. I personally can say that I have struggled in developing the habit myself. Aside from setting aside the time for mental prayer, there is also the effort it takes for us to push distractions from our mind in the midst of it. We are not alone — most of the great saints of the Church attest to the challenging “work” of mental prayer. We are also not without resources. Aside from the many saints and Doctors of the Church who have taught us about mental prayer, there are many good current formulas and guides to help us develop a rich life of quiet meditation with our Lord. I recently found a wonderfully helpful guide that I am so happy to share: The Practice of Mental Prayer. Continue reading “Learning to Meditate, Part 1: Recognizing the Simply Profound”