Dear friends — where ever I have lived… where ever I have worked, I have found people that can be miserable to be around. I know a parish where a young priest was born in a different country — he was perhaps uncertain of himself and he continually found fault with those closest to him. He made it miserable for anyone to be a close friend. Imagine: human foibles in a parish! Who would have thought?
Now read these words from St. Therese of Lisieux as found in her STORY OF A SOUL autobiography:
“… we don’t have any enemies in Carmel, but there are feelings. One feels attracted to this Sister, whereas with regard to another, one would make a long detour in order to avoid seeing her. And so, without even knowing it, she becomes the subject of persecution. Well, Jesus is telling me that it is this Sister who must be loved, she must be prayed for even though her conduct would lead me to believe she doesn’t love me….. It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.”
Well what I like…. what I love about Therese is she readily admits how imperfect she was… and how much prayer and work it took to love others by loving Jesus in them. And there’s the key. Most anyone we are in contact with — they aren’t totally bad or corrupt. They have some or many redeeming qualities and attributes. Therese teaches us to pray and thank God for those areas where Jesus is present in that person. And from that recognition — acts of kindness and perhaps even love can spring forth in your relationship with him or her.
I don’t mean to make this all a big problem. For some of you — you may be really good hearted and kind to most everyone. But the Advent question for you… is there someone you have trouble being kind to?
St. Therese of Lisieux, please pray for us. Help us to be kind as you learned to be kind. Help us to bring goodness into the world. This is what you wanted to spend your eternity doing. Please intercede for me that you may do good through the changes you help bring about in me. Amen.
OUR GUEST INFORMATION
We especially thank Maureen O’Riordan from Philadelphia for helping us to look at the life of St. Therese and the gift, the sometimes hard-earned gift of kindness. Maureen’s website is:
www.thereseoflisieux.org It’s a powerful and voluminous site if you would like to read more or research the Little Flower. And if you’d like to email Maureen to perhaps arrange a retreat of a day of recollection related to The Little Flower — you can reach Maureen directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t forget Maureen’s book about praying for priests with Therese of Lisieux… a nice gift to give this holiday season during the Year of the Priest.
We also promised our listener and Colorado friend Gail Johnson de Giron that we would let you know about her new Catholic jewelry business. Her website is found at:
Finally, we thank the Glenn Mohr Chorale for the gift of 2 of their brand new CDs: A STAR STILL SHINES. Last week, our listener Gail (mentioned above) was the prize winner for the gift of a Glenn Mohr Chorale CD and our unique Catholic Sweet Treat. The song we played at the end of this Catholic Vitamins show is BLESSED HOPE — isn’t it beautiful? The new Glenn Mohr Chorale CD is available through Spencertown Records and you might check iTunes and other retailers. On the web, you can find The Glenn Mohr Chorale at