©2009, Randall A. Beeler
At last the most wonderful day of my life arrived, and I can remember every tiny detail of those heavenly hours … I would not tell you everything, even if I could, for there are certain things which lose their fragrance in the open air, certain thoughts so intimate that they cannot be translated into earthly language without losing at once their deep and heavenly meaning. How lovely it was, that first kiss of Jesus in my heart—it was truly a kiss of love. I knew that I was loved and said, "I love You, and I give myself to You forever."—Saint Therese of Lisieux, on her First Communion
O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is oil poured out; therefore the maidens love you. Draw me after you, let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you.—Song of Solomon 1:2-4, RSVToday is the Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, or Therese of Lisieux, whom Pope John Paul II called the greatest Saint of modern times.
If you haven't noticed from my picture in the "About Me" section of this blog page, my life seems to be the antithesis of cloistered Carmelite contemplatives (love that alliteration!) like Saint Therese and Blessed Elizabeth. I am a bearded, bellowing teacher who profiles as the Catholic Church's answer to Robin Williams. What could Saint Therese have to say that could possibly resonate with me?
Saint Therese's "little way" resonates with all souls. All of us want to be at home with our Beloved. All human longing—even that longing that we and the powers of evil twist to evil deeds—is itself a yearning for the Beloved for Whom we have been made.
In Saint Therese, that yearning and deed marry into one holy and passionate desire. In her, we have an earthly vessel of the one who loves the Beloved with all her body, mind, and soul.
Her kisses become our kisses. Her yearning becomes all human yearning. It becomes us to yearn like her, with her.
May the kisses of her mouth become the kisses we are graced by God to give to God. Amen.
O Little Flower of Jesus, ever consoling troubled souls with heavenly graces, in your unfailing intercession I place my trust. From the Heart of Our Blessed Savior petition these blessing of which I stand in greatest need (mention here). Shower upon me your promised roses of virtue and grace, dear Saint Therese, so that swiftly advancing in sanctity and in perfect love of neighbor, I may someday receive the crown of eternal life. Amen.