The Heart of the Little Flower
“It is now the hour to rise from sleep.” (Rom. 13)
The Fire of the Holy Ghost does not animate our everyday life with Divine Love as it did the early Christians. One can easily see how the enemies of the Church, filled with satanic hatred, are bent upon leading away from Christ the souls, which He has so dearly bought with His own Precious Blood. Amidst the spreading poison of worldliness, souls become pleasure-mad and are drawn down to perdition. A well-trained army of souls is needed to stand by faithful priests and help save souls. We must make haste to do now what will profit us for all eternity. Advance and run the way of God's Commandments with expanded hearts and with unspeakable sweetness of true charity: Let us never depart from His Divine guidance that we may persevere in His doctrine till death. May we, by our patient share in the sufferings of Christ, be found worthy to be …
Co-Heirs of His Kingdom!
Humility secures God's Grace. The first degree of humility is obedience without any delay. We must remain in constant readiness always to obey quickly and cheerfully the Will of God. It is the path to Heaven that will never lead us astray. Our cheerful obedience to lawful authority – be it parent, superior or teacher from a supernatural motive, is truly an apostolic act.
The heart of Saint Therese understood and embraced this sublime way of life completely. It was her goal in life to love Jesus as He had never yet been loved. She could not love Him with as great a love as Mary's but she might love Him with a love distinctive of herself, a love that would charm His Heart. To the Mother love of Mary, she could add the sweet child love of her heart. The fragrance of the perfume of her Little Way now fills the wide spaces of the Church Militant on earth, brings comfort and relief to the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, and is forever giving joy to the Church Triumphant in Heaven.
The secret of the Little Flower can be briefly told. It is not a complicated formula of piety. The Master Himself taught her, and so her way is simplicity and truth itself. To understand it more perfectly, one must be humble. To be transformed into humility, one must have the trust of a child and love with the heart of a child. There is nothing more effective than suffering to teach us that of ourselves we can do nothing. Being incapable of anything, we must with total trust rest in the Arms of God’s paternal Providence. It is the precious gift of suffering borne for the love of Christ and in obedience to His Divine Will that opens the door of our hearts to the secret of Saint Therese.
"It is the Way of Spiritual Childhood …
There is to be nothing extraordinary in her Little Way. Never did she rest in her ambition to win souls for Jesus. No matter how weak, she always LOVED. Her Divine Spouse is longing above all for the souls of priests.
“There is but one thing to be done here below: to love Jesus and to save souls so that He may be all the more loved. We must not let slip even the smallest opportunity of giving Him joy!"
This is the essence of the life of Saint Therese. It is her mission on earth and the one she will fulfill throughout eternity until the last day. Love lives only by sacrifice, thus the more we surrender ourselves to love, the more we must surrender ourselves to suffering. If we could only say with Saint Therese, “I love Jesus so very much that I am always content with what He sends me." What happiness we might possess if we could forget ourselves and think only of others. Even when Therese had nothing, she gave Jesus this nothing. In imitation of Saint Therese, let us …
NOT SEEK JOY but SEEK to GIVE JOY!
The heart of St. Therese was bright and cheerful, boundlessly confident, astonishingly daring; hesitated at nothing, feared no sacrifice, dreaded no suffering and thought of no reward. It was the breath of God that inflamed within her heart a consuming desire to die, at last, a Victim of Love for Him.
“In order that my life be one Act of perfect love, I offer myself as a victim of Holocaust to Thy Merciful Love, imploring Thee to consume me unceasingly and to allow the floods of the infinite tenderness gathered up in Thee to overflow into my soul, so that I may become a very martyr of Thy Love, O my God."
“To live of Love,
It was to Mary, indeed, that Therese had the most tender recourse and, by Mary, she found her way to the Heart of God.
A deep humility was the foundation of Saint Therese's love and it was her very littleness that made God Himself stoop down and take her up in His Arms. Above all, let us be little. “I shall come down and spend my Heaven doing good upon earth. On the battlefield in defense of the Church, I would be a missionary, were it possible, from the beginning of the world till the consummation of time.” It is love that gives life to the Mystical Body of Christ. Were this love to be extinguished, the Apostles would no longer preach the Gospel and the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. St. Therese understood that love embraces all vocations and that it reaches through all ages and to the utmost limits of earth because it is eternal. Her heart was aflame with zeal for souls. She longed not just to love, but to make Jesus loved…
Let us with Saint Theresa make our oblation:
In the Heart of my Mother the Church, I will be Love!