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Our Vocation to Love

October 1, 2007
Back in July, Father Thomas Rosica offered a reflection on St. Thérèse of Lisieux. As we commemorate her feast day, click HERE to read it.
I myself was recently reflecting on this favourite saint of mine. Some very strong words from her autobiography, "Story of a Soul," kept coming to mind. It was when she discovered her vocation:
I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love...my vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!
St. Thérèse of LisieuxHer discovery is a discovery for each of us. In our own individual paths in life, we are called to love. But we are called not to just love family and friends. We are called to love as Jesus loved -- and that means we are to love those who offend us, those who repulse us, and those we are indifferent to. We are called to be imitators of Jesus, who is God, and as Pope Benedict XVI has reminded us time and time again God is love!
It's such a basic notion, and Thérèse understood that. She was simple, childlike, and trusting -- and I use those terms in the most positive way. Her "Little Way," the 'rule' that guided her life, reflected this: do everything with the greatest love. Whether it is washing dishes, or dealing with the irritations of others, she accepted it lovingly, and understood it as a means to grow in holiness.
What is our attitude?
Are we trying to complicate things? Are we muttering under our breath about some task in the office? Or fuming over someone who cuts us off in traffic?
... or are these brief moments of sanctification for us?
St. Thérèse of Lisieux has become one of the most beloved Saints of our Church. Yet, she didn't do anything extraordinary. She didn't travel to foreign lands and convert nations. She didn't start religious orders. She hardly even traveled outside of France. But she loved. It is that simple and childlike example of love that today draws hearts around the globe to God. And as she foretold, she now in fact spends her time in heaven, doing good upon earth.
St. Thérèse, dear Little Flower, pray for us!
Litany to St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.
St. Therese of the Holy Face, pray for us.
St. Therese, child of Mary, pray for us.
St. Therese, devoted to Joseph, pray for us.
St. Therese, angel of innocence, pray for us.
St. Therese, model child, pray for us.
St. Therese, pattern of religious, pray for us.
St. Therese, flower of Carmel, pray for us.
St. Therese, converter of hardened hearts, pray for us.
St. Therese, healer of the diseased, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with love for the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with Angelic fervor, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with an Apostle's zeal, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with loyalty to the Holy Father, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with a tender love for the Church, pray for us.
St. Therese, filled with extraordinary love for God and neighbor, pray for us.
St. Therese, wounded with a Heavenly flame, pray for us.
St. Therese, victim of Divine Love, pray for us.
St. Therese, patient in sufferings, pray for us.
St. Therese, eager for humiliations, pray for us.
St. Therese, consumed with love, pray for us.
St. Therese, rapt in ecstasy, pray for us.
Who desired always to be as a little child, pray for us.
Who taught the way of spiritual childhood, pray for us.
Who gave perfect example of trust in God, pray for us.
Whom Jesus filled with a desire for suffering, pray for us.
Who found perfection in the little things, pray for us.
Who refused God nothing, pray for us.
Who sought bitterness in this life, pray for us.
Who told us to call you little Theresa, pray for us.
Who offered her life to God for priests and missionaries, pray for us.
Who gained countless souls for Christ, pray for us.
Who promised, after her death, a shower of roses, pray for us.
Who foretold: "I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth," pray for us.
Pray for us, St. Therese.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Let us pray.
O Lord, Who hast said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to follow in humility and simplicity of heart the footsteps of St. Therese, the virgin, that we may obtain everlasting rewards. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.

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