Monday, December 22, 2014

ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX'S CHRISTMAS EVE CONVERSION

DON'T BE SUCH A BABY!

This week's art and culture column is called "St. Therese of Lisieux's Christmas Eve Conversion."

Here's how it begins:

"Thérèse of Lisieux, as you may know, is one of only three women to have been made a Doctor of the Church. Her mother died when Thérèse was 4. One by one, her four older sisters left for the cloister. She became emotionally clingy.

A key moment in her spiritual development occurred on Christmas Eve of 1886. She called it her 'second conversion.'

The French custom at that time was for children to leave their shoes by the fireplace for the parents to fill with candy. As the youngest of the Martin daughters, Thérèse — 13 at the time — was the last to keep up the ritual. Returning from midnight Mass that night, her father, tired and uncharacteristically cranky, passed the pair of filled shoes and remarked: “Well, fortunately this is the last year.”

Thérèse overheard and began to run up to her room. Her impulse was to burst into tears and make a scene. Instead, halfway up the stairs she paused, willed herself to smile, turned, marched back to the parlor, embraced her father and opened the presents with good cheer and thanks"...

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

St. Thérèse entered adulthood at the age of 14. I'm still waiting...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

A GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
FROM THE YEAR THE SINK STOPPED UP JUST BEFORE DINNER

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this article. I needed to read it, especially now!

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    1. Me, too, Anna! I have already had a couple of small, but very visible to me, meltdowns...Merry Christmas!!

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  2. Heather, could you explain what "If you are willing to bear serenely the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter" means?



    In my selfishness I would interpret it to mean going easy on myself, and not doing violence by allowing myself to feel guilty for my sins and weaknesses, but I doubt that is what she really meant. More likely maybe it means going against what I want for myself so God can do with me what He would like for both me and those around me?

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    1. The way I interpret it is we refrain from doing violence to ourselves by refusing to shame ourselves for our imperfections, brokenness, ongoing wounds while of course always trying to do better. We never indulge ourselves, willfully, maliciously sin, or perversely stay stuck in our character defects, but we realize that on our own, we're powerless to change ourselves. So we bear with ourselves, just as we bear with each other, and into that humble, contrite heart Jesus and the Father can make their abode.

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  3. Great article but one small correction: St. Hildegard Von Bingen was just made a doctor of the Church. So now there are 4 women doctors. (Therese, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena are the other three)

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