Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Today we celebrate an important Saint for our times.  St. Therese of the Child Jesus was canonized a saint in 1925, less than thirty years after she died.  That’s pretty incredible given that she was practically unknown even by the sisters she lived with.  The Carmelites would send out a circular reporting on the death of its members, but when St. Therese passed away, some of the sisters who lived with her said, “Whatever will we say about her?  There was nothing extraordinary about her life!”  Those who knew St. Therese best, even in the convent, were the sisters from her family.  They had the difficult task of promoting her cause and spiritual doctrine to the rest of the Carmel and the Universal Church.  One of St. Therese’s blood sisters, who was the superior of the convent where they lived, knew how special St. Therese’s life was and asked her to write the story of her life and spiritual doctrine.  This book, “l’Histoire d’une âme” circulated widely and quickly after her death and is the main reason she was canonized so rapidly. read more

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

The greatest among you will be the servant of all.  St. Vincent de Paul is a powerful example of sanctity based on the service of others especially the poor and needy.  A very powerful way to grow in holiness is to check and counter the vices we find in our souls with actions and thoughts that are contrary.  When we do not think or behave in accord with the Gospel, a zealous way to move forward is by counteracting ourselves.  It may seem unnatural to move so quickly, but in the wisdom of God is it actually replacing what is wrong or selfish with what is good and natural in God’s perspective.  Jesus does that in today’s Gospel: while His disciples are focused on prideful greatness, Jesus places an innocent child in their midst.  He directly counteracts their pride. read more

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, especially in America, we place tremendous value on passion.  What are you passionate about?  What subjects or activities captivate you the most?  If you can find your passion and live according to it you will be happy: or so we think.  There are even predominating theories of education and pedagogy where the secret to unlocking someone’s potential has to do with figuring out what they are passionate about.  The problem with that approach is that some things are important whether you are passionate about them or not.  The difficulties involved in becoming disciplined are dispensed with and we rely instead on motivation and the energy of passion.  The garbage needs to be taken out whether you are passionate about it or not.  You need to do your taxes correctly whether you are passionate about it or not.  You need to wake up and go to work/school whether you are passionate about it or not.  Discipleship, discipline and learning were synonymous until the modern age.  Passion, drive, and ambition were considered vicious tendencies until the modern age.  Are we really so much wiser today than those hundreds of generations who went before us? read more

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