Thursday, October 1, 2015

St. Therese of Lisieux

I believe it is fitting on this Feast Day of St. Therese not to over think what Jesus expects of us, how we are to act and to react, what we are to do and how we are to live. "To live out of love means to banish all fear, every memory of past faults. I see no mark of my sins, in a moment love burnt everything." St. Therese makes us think about simple acts of love. She makes us contemplate true acts of Mercy. She lived love.

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us to go out, "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way." I have to think that He is speaking directly to us on the heels of the messages of Pope Francis, at the nearing of the Year of Mercy, on the Feast Day of St. Therese, reminding us all to simply love one another. Each day, we are asked to go out. Each day we are asked to carry nothing from the day before, to start fresh and new, to hold no grudges, to be reminded of no bitterness, no anger. Each day we are asked not simply to greet people, not simply to keep passing them by with hardly an acknowledgement. Each day we are to have an encounter. We are to look into the eyes of those we have worked with for years and see them. We are to be open to a conversation. We are to see inside the panhandler, the cranky secretary, the obnoxious partner, the overbearing spouse, the annoying sibling. Every day, just as St. Therese in her own community, we are to be love to those in our family and in our community and in our workplace. Some will accept love and some will not. Some days we may feel like we could get eaten alive by the harshness of this world. Jesus tells us to shake it off and keep moving. He tells us not to bounce around from one to another but to stay focused. Love. Each day. Banish fear. Erase the past. Be Merciful. May we all strive to be the Body of Christ, the work of His hands and the love of Heart.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mother Teresa - "I Thirst"

This painting in my office by my mother, Jean Dortch, reminds me to go to Jesus, to quench His thirst for us to visit Him, to take time in the Chapel, to spend time with others, to care for those who cannot care for themselves. His Mother, our Mother, heard him speak these words from the cross and she brings us, day after day, to those in need, whether in our own families or in our workplace or as we walk down the street. He thirsts for us to act. Show Mercy.
I am once again blessed to be in a book group reading and participating in the "33 Days to Morning Glory" in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael Gaitley. In it he shares Mother Teresa's letters to her congregation, one from March 25th on "I thirst":
...(Our Lady) was the first person to hear Jesus' cry "I Thirst" with St. John, and I am sure Mary Magdalen. Because Our Lady was there on Calvary, she knows how real, how deep is His longing for you and for the poor. Do we know? Do we feel as she? Ask her to teach... Her role is to bring you face to face, as John and Magdalen, with the love in the Heart of Jesus crucified. Before it was Our Lady pleading with Mother, now it is Mother in her name pleading with you - "listen to Jesus' thirst." 33 Days to Morning Glory

This image also reminds me of Mother Teresa's Humility List:

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
3. Avoid curiosity.
4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
8. Give in to the will of others.
9. Accept insults and injuries.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
15. Choose always the more difficult task.

 "Genuine sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the Holy One and Sanctifier." —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2502
"Lord, as we look upon the beautiful images of your Son, of Our Lady, and of the saints, help us to see beyond the images and receive the messages you speak through them. Help us to take the time to receive the gifts you promise." Amazing Graces