Praised be Jesus Christ! Some of you got to see Sister Nancy Murray’s performance of the life of Saint Catherine of Siena – her ability to bring Saint Catherine to life was amazing and thoroughly inspiring! So many times saints seem like distant and inimitable people with whom we have nothing in common. The truth is the saints were like us in practically every way possible. What paved their way to Heaven was the simple, daily decision to love God more than their sins. Now that is an attainable goal! Because we celebrate the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux this weekend (October 1st), it is fitting to consider how she is fulfilling her promise “to spend my Heaven doing good on earth.” Saint Therese became a Carmelite nun after overcoming some serious struggles during her childhood. Although she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in 1897, her short life has inspired millions of people and led Pope Saint Pius X to call her “the greatest saint of modern times.” Because of her deep relationship with Jesus, Therese realized early on that suffering helps the soul to grow. Living in community with all women gave Therese many opportunities to begin to practice her “little way,” and she was always ready for annoyance: “I want it, I count on it.. so, I am always happy,” (Saint Therese of Lisieux, Fr. Bernard Bro, pg. 62). Therese was a realist and understood that irritations and inconveniences are a constant in our world. Her genius was not to waste these things by complaining about them – she once wrote that “sanctity does not consist in saying beautiful things, it does not even consist in thinking them, in feeling them... it consists in suffering and suffering everything,” (Ibid, pg. 223). And Therese certainly suffered more than her share of slights. For example, one of the Sisters wrote that “My Sister Therese of the Child Jesus is going to die soon; and I really wonder what our mother will be able to say after her death. She will be very embarrassed, for this little sister, as likeable as she is, has certainly done nothing worth the trouble of being recounted,” (Ibid, pg. 2). Wasted suffering is one of the most lamentable aspects of human life – our faith teaches that we were saved by a God who suffered, died and rose again. And so for God, suffering is holy... sadly, for many of us this is not our experience. Our world teaches that suffering is to be avoided or medicated away as soon as possible. Hidden is the wisdom of God that teaches us to offer our suffering to the Lord so that our hearts will be more and more configured to His perfect love. Therese learned and lived this doctrine and it made her one of the most effective intercessor our world has seen. Early in her religious life Therese heard of the murderer Pranzini who vowed that he would not repent of his crimes. Therese stormed Heaven and offered all of her suffering for his conversion – just moments before he was put to death by the guillotine Pranzini reached out to the priest who was there and asked to kiss his crucifix. This was the first step toward authentic spiritual motherhood in Therese; later she read about “Hyacinthe Loyson, a former Carmelite friar and preacher at Notre Dame de Paris, married and founder of a church, was very much in the news. Therese never stopped interceding for him and offered her last Communion on his behalf,” (Ibid, pg. 135). Therese accepted suffering because it was the way of Our Lord, who bent down to become one of us and share in our weakness. Therese was no stranger to human brokenness, and admitted that she had been tempted by suicide earlier in life. While this is not what we expect of the saints, the fact is that their sufferings were real and sometimes overwhelming. When asked if she was enjoying her life of spiritual ease, Therese responded, “Do not believe I am swimming in consolations; oh, no, my consolation is to have none on earth,” (Ibid, pg. 200).
May the intercession of Saint Therese help us to be purified by our sufferings!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Stay Connected with Our Parish
Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More