On “Flowers from St Thérèse”

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These little flowers jumped up from a cactus right next to the statue of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux outside of our little church of Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC.  A priest friend of mine has a great devotion to Saint Thérèse, who is forever all the time giving him flowers, that is, when he is reciting a novena asking her about some intention or other.

He said that this has nothing whatsoever to do with “getting an answer” about anything, as if she were equivalent to a séance or a crystal ball or to palm reading or to Tarot cards or a Ouija board or whatever other ultra-stupid dangerous things people do.

He explained that this was merely an indication that she is paying attention to what he or other similar devotees are praying about, and not at all that she is interceding in any other way than to put this matter before the Lord, whatever way it is that the Lord Jesus is going to go about His providence for us sinners while we are here in exile upon this earth. I’m good with that.

For myself, I don’t do that. But I do preach about, offer spiritual direction about Thérèse, about a particular stage of the spiritual life she went through. She’s one of the saints most influential in my own spiritual life, in my life as a priest. That refers to looking to Jesus to save us with us stripped of all pride. It doesn’t mean I’ve taken it all to heart!

People think they are smart to recall her name in religion: Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and then citing her “little way.” Good! But, they should also remember her FULL name in religion: Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, as in the imprint of the image of the face of Jesus on the cloth Saint Veronica used to wipe His face from blood, sweat and tears as He carried His cross. You have to be a child to be in solidarity with Jesus as He is in solidarity with us in His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

But there’s more we often forget about Saint Thérèse. She is a daughter not just of Saint Teresa of Jesus, not just a follower of such as Saint John of the Cross. She speaks of the founder of her religious order as Saint Elijah, the greatest prophet of the Old Testament. She spoke of him, of course, in the traditional manner: “Our Holy Father Elijah.” You’ll remember one of his greatest moments that took place just below the Carmelite Monastery on the northern slope on the far eastern side of the ridge of Mount Carmel:

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2 Comments

Filed under Saints

2 responses to “On “Flowers from St Thérèse”

  1. Joisy Goil

    This is my favorite Old Testament Story! Years ago I heard this reading at daily mass. The story tickled me and Elijah’s taunts made me laugh out loud. The celebrant stopped and in a very annoyed voice called me out. “Want to share with us what’s so funny?”
    I guess he thought I was fooling around. Everybody looked at me and stared me down. So I stood up and explained how funny I thought Elijah’s taunting the followers of Baal was – ‘maybe he’s sleeping, or on a vacation’, etc. and to top it off at the end they all were slain for their idolatry.

    Father’s angry expression changed to astonishment and he asked me “would you like me to read it again?” I said “yes!” and he did. This time everybody laughed at the end of the reading.

  2. sanfelipe007

    Great story, Joisy.

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