St. Therese Society

a group of college and young professional women in St. Louis seeking to deepen their spirituality and grow in holiness while discerning a possible vocation to religious life

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

"Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and a word, that it was eternal! My vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"

Monday, April 30, 2007

Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection; that he, who has honored us by counting us among his children, may never be grieved by our evil deeds. For we must always serve him with the good things he has given us in such a way that he may never - as an angry father disinherits his sons or even like a master who inspires fear - grow impatient with our sins and consign us to everlasting punishment, like wicked servants who would not follow him to glory. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love.
-- St Benedict

Friday, April 27, 2007

“We bear the name Christians. Jesus Christ has entrusted his name to us. The world will come to believe or not believe in him based on how we represent Jesus to the world. Every baptized, confirmed Christian is called to bring Jesus Christ to others and to bring others to Jesus Christ.
Jesus needs disciples in every profession and field of endeavor. As Christians, we are called to transform our culture with the values of the Gospel. Jesus needs strong disciples who are doctors and lawyers, artists and athletes, scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs and employers, chief executive officers and laborers, teachers and students, farmers and retailers. Christians are called to bring the truth and beauty of the Gospel to every dimension of human life."
—Archbishop Joseph Naumann

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"The difference between a saint and a stubborn mule is that a saint is a single minded and a stubborn mule is a simple minded."
--Fr. Denis E. O'Brien

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Feast of St. Mark, evangelist

An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter; he played the role of Peter's companion, disciple, and interpreter. According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter's preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles. This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail. Little is known of Mark's later life. It is certain that he died a martyr's death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St. Mark's Cathedral.
The Gospel of St. Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel. It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ. For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Savior's life.
Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures. With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light. His Gospel is the "Gospel of Peter," for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles. "The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King."
--The Church's Year of Grace

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

There is a great irony with divine grace and fallen human nature. The delicacy of divine grace is such that the more you grow in holiness, the less you know it. It is not false humility when St. Francis of Assisi says that he is the greatest of all sinners. Because the more God's light shines within us, more we see what is contrary to it; namely, sin and vice. And because every saint knows where his or her goodness comes from, they do not lay claim to it as their own. Instead, their debt to God is felt all the more. Therefore, if you want a good understanding of sin, go to a saint because with God's light, they can see it for what it is.
Conversely, a veteran sinner— one well experienced in sin —is hardly one to understand sin. Sin is one fact of life in which experience leads to greater ignorance. The more evil a man becomes the less he knows it. Sin is darkness and in darkness one cannot even see oneself and certainly not God.
--Joe Tremblay

Monday, April 23, 2007

“Keep your heart pure. A pure heart is necessary to see God in each other. If you see God in each other, there is love for each other; then there is peace.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lift up your heart to Him, sometimes even at your meals, and when you are in company; the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him. You need not cry very loud; he is nearer to us than we are aware of.
-—Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Coffee & Conversation

Come join us for coffee with the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (Polish Dominicans). It'll be a totally casual opportunity to meet these wonderful religious.

Time: Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 pm
Location: 6 North (map)
Everyone is also invited to join the Sisters in praying Evening Prayer at the Dominican Priory (map) at 5 pm.

Holy Hour with Dominicans

Come join us for a Holy Hour with the Dominican brothers, Nashville Dominican Sisters, and Polish Dominican Sisters!
All are welcome!

Date: Friday, April 20
Time: 8:30-9:30 pm
Where: Dominican Priory--map
Blessed Sacrament Chapel
Questions? Email:

The garden of the Lord, brethren, includes - yes, it truly includes - includes not only the roses of martyrs but also the lilies of virgins, and the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows. There is absolutely no kind of human beings, my dearly beloved, who need to despair of their vocation; Christ suffered for all. It was very truly written about him: who wishes all men to be saved, and to come to the acknowledgement of the truth.
-- St. Augustine

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

God is love and in the light of this truth, the most momentous that has ever dawned on the mind of men, all things fall into their proper place. God's first law is that He be loved and the expression of this love is the love that one has for his neighbor. In the case of married persons, their neighbor is their partner. In the good marriage there is a holy rivalry, with each person wanting to be the better spouse. This is the perfect compliment, and it is the best way of inspiring another person to make the best effort possible. Love understands that even married life is wearing, wearying, and weakening. Understanding this, one makes allowances for the struggling partner, while the grace of Matrimony always moves those who invoke it to greater exertion.
--Fr. John J. O’Sullivan

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations." But what does a disciple look like? What does a disciple do? Well, maybe we should start with what a disciple doesn't do.
A disciple doesn't merely assent to Jesus Christ, with this or that intellectual reservation, because Jesus is not an idea. A disciple doesn't endorse the message of Jesus Christ from the sidelines. A disciple doesn't relativize Jesus Christ as a First Century reformer who would have included this or that social issue in His agenda if He'd just had the benefit of 20th Century hindsight. A disciple doesn't merely admire Jesus Christ as a great teacher and prophet.
Jesus is so much more than all these things.
On the contrary, the disciple of Jesus Christ loves and follows Him. The disciple of Jesus Christ accepts Him without reservation as the Son of God. The disciple of Jesus Christ submits and conforms his or her whole life to the Gospel. The disciple of Jesus Christ believes that He is "the way, the truth and the life," the only redeemer, the only messiah, the only sure path to eternal joy. He is the savior; there is no other.
I could go on, but you get the point. Discipleship is not the equivalent of a club membership. Properly lived, it's sacrificial. In fact, it's all-absorbing...which is why real discipleship is so unpopular in contemporary American culture. It gets in the way of consumer self-indulgence. Discipleship is the total dedication to following Jesus Christ, preaching His Gospel and serving His Church.
--Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., February 1999

Monday, April 16, 2007

“The Eucharist is the sacrament of Love; it signifies love, it produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.”
--St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday in the Octave of Easter

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever!” (Ps 117:1).

Let us make our own the Psalmist's exclamation which we sang in the Responsorial Psalm: the Lord's mercy endures for ever! In order to understand thoroughly the truth of these words, let us be led by the liturgy to the heart of the event of salvation, which unites Christ's Death and Resurrection with our lives and with the world's history. This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity's destiny. It is a miracle in which is unfolded the fullness of the love of the Father who, for our redemption, does not even draw back before the sacrifice of his Only-begotten Son.
In the humiliated and suffering Christ, believers and non-believers can admire a surprising solidarity, which binds him to our human condition beyond all imaginable measure. The Cross, even after the Resurrection of the Son of God, "speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to his eternal love for man...Believing in this love means believing in mercy.
Let us thank the Lord for his love, which is stronger than death and sin. It is revealed and put into practice as mercy in our daily lives, and prompts every person in turn to have "mercy" towards the Crucified One. Is not loving God and loving one's neighbor and even one's "enemies," after Jesus' example, the program of life of every baptized person and of the whole Church?
--Pope John Paul II, April 2001

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Whoever inwardly accepts God is molded by him. The experience of God's love should be lived by men and women as a "calling" to which they must respond. Fixing our gaze on the Lord, who "took our infirmities and bore our diseases," helps us to become more attentive to the suffering and need of others.
Adoring contemplation of the side pierced by the spear makes us sensitive to God's salvific will. It enables us to entrust ourselves to his saving and merciful love, and at the same time strengthens us in the desire to take part in his work of salvation, becoming his instruments.
The gifts received from the open side, from which "blood and water" flowed, ensure that our lives will also become for others a source from which "rivers of living water" flow.
The experience of love, brought by the devotion to the pierced side of the Redeemer, protects us from the risk of withdrawing into ourselves and makes us readier to live for others. "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
It was only the experience that God first gave us his love that has enabled us to respond to his commandment of love.
So it is that the cult of love, which becomes visible in the mystery of the Cross presented anew in every celebration of the Eucharist, lays the foundations of our capacity to love and to make a gift of ourselves, becoming instruments in Christ's hands: only in this way can we be credible proclaimers of his love.
--Pope Benedict XVI, May 2006

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Easter reminds us of these fundamental requirements of the Christian life: the practice of piety and the exercise of patience. Through piety we live detached from human frailties, in purity of mind and body, in close union with Christ. Through patience we succeed in strengthening our character and controlling our temper so as to become not only more pleasing to the Lord for our own sake, but an example and encouragement to others, to our fellow men, in the various contingencies of social life.

The Resurrection of the Lord truly represents—and for this reason it is celebrated every year—the renewed resurrection of every one of us to the true Christian life, the perfect Christian life which we must all try to live. "The Resurrection of Christ is the sacrament of new life."

My beloved brothers and children! First of all let us look closely at our pattern, Jesus Christ. You see that everything in his life was in preparation for his resurrection. As St Augustine says: "In Christ everything was working for his resurrection."

Born as a man, he appeared as a man for but a short time. Born of mortal flesh, he experienced all the vicissitudes of mortality. We see him in his infancy, his boyhood, and his vigorous maturity, in which he died. He could not have risen again if he had not died; he could not have died if he had not been born; he was born and he died so that he might rise again. This is what St Augustine tells us in simple, sublime words.
--Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Pray that you may look upon a typically Christian interior life as a celebration of the magnificent Crucifixion-Resurrection victory of Christ Jesus. Let it be for you and uninterrupted harmonization of two experiences, as opposite and seemingly incompatible as cross and joy.
Through the instructions of Jesus to His Apostles and also through the exhortations of the Apostles to their converts, there sounds, like a dominant note, the insistence that every trial and suffering of Christians is positively designed to be so illuminated by rays of Easter light, that all natural darkness and bitterness will be transformed into brightness and sweetness. This does not mean that even the most perfect Christian faith will entirely deaden bodily pains and heartaches and soul sorrows. With only rarest exceptions, our sufferings come to us and are left with us to be felt, and our crosses are to be borne as stern realities. Jesus Himself insists that we shall have sorrow and have reason to lament and weep. And though St. Paul thrice besought Him that the angel of Satan might be made to depart form him, Jesus who loved him as a vessel of His election answered: "My grace is sufficient for thee!" Yes, pains and sorrows remain; but through them all, even while experiencing extraordinary tribulation, there is to abide within our soul the anticipated Resurrection peace and joy that reigns in imperturbably Christian hope.
—Fr. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday in the Octave of Easter

Whoever had condemned Jesus, deceived himself that he had buried his cause under an ice-cold tombstone. The disciples themselves gave into the feeling of irreparable failure. We understand their surprise, then, and even their distrust in the news of the empty tomb. But the Risen One did not delay in making himself seen and they yielded to reality. They saw and believed! Two thousand years later, we still sense the unspeakable emotion that overcame them when they heard the Master's greeting: "Peace be with you."

The Church is based on their extraordinary experience. The first proclamation of the Gospel was nothing other than the testimony of this event: "This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses!" The Christian faith is so linked with this truth that Paul did not hesitate to declare: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." Along these lines the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community, handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross."

Christ's Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit's grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. On the threshold of the third millennium, the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of this Mystery, accepted in faith and witnessed to in life.

Regina caeli, laetare! Rejoice, Holy Virgin, because he whom you bore in your womb is risen! Dear brothers and sisters, let us try to relive the joy of the Resurrection with Mary's heart. Even in the darkness of Good Friday she prepared herself to receive the light of Easter morning. Let us ask her to obtain for us a deep faith in this extraordinary event, which is salvation and hope for the world.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This is the one who patiently endured many things in many people:
This is the one who was murdered in Abel, and bound as a sacrifice in Isaac,
and exiled in Jacob, and sold in Joseph,
and exposed in Moses, and sacrificed in the lamb,
and hunted down in David, and dishonored in the prophets.

This is the one who became human in a virgin,
who was hanged on the tree, who was buried in the earth,
who was resurrected from among the dead,
and who raised mankind up out of the grave below to the heights of heaven.

The one who hung the earth in space, is himself hanged;
the one who fixed the heavens in place, is himself impaled;
the one who firmly fixed all things, is himself firmly fixed to the tree.
The Lord is insulted, God has been murdered,
the King of Israel has been destroyed by the right hand of Israel.

This is the lamb that was slain. This is the lamb that was silent.
This is the one who was taken from the flock, and was dragged to sacrifice,
and was killed in the evening, and was buried at night;
the one who was not broken while on the tree,
who did not see dissolution while in the earth.
who rose up from the dead, and who raised up mankind from the grave below.
--St. Melito

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reflection on Simon the Cyrenean

In a Lenten hymn we hear the words: “Under the weight of the Cross Jesus welcomes the Cyrenean.” These words allow us to discern a total change of perspective: the divine Condemned One is someone who, in a certain sense, “makes a gift” of his Cross. Was it not he who said: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me?”

Simon receives a gift. He has become “worthy” of it. What the crowd might see as an offence to his dignity has, from the perspective of redemption, given him a new dignity. In a unique way, the Son of God has made him a sharer in his work of salvation. Is Simon aware of this?

The evangelist Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the “father of Alexander and Rufus.” If the sons of Simon of Cyrene were known to the first Christian community, it can be presumed that Simon too, while carrying the Cross, came to believe in Christ. From being forced, he freely accepted, as though deeply touched by the words: “Whoever does not carry his cross with me is not worthy of me.” By his carrying of the Cross, Simon was brought to the knowledge of the gospel of the Cross. Since then, this gospel has spoken to many, countless Cyreneans, called in the course of history to carry the cross with Jesus.
--Pope John Paul II, April 2000

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sorrow and Sadness

Authentic sorrow therefore, which is one of the conditions for happiness, is sorrow over sin and sorrow over loss of those we love, which is a sign of love. Let’s take the second first. It is not wrong, and you should not consider it weakness, either in ourselves or in others, and to develop a sensitivity but to recognize there is a genuine beauty about weeping over the loss of a loved one. I don’t mean unrestrained sorrow. But the sorrow, which means bereavement, may indeed be tinged with some self-interest because the loved one I will no longer have. But it can also be deeply self-less.

In other words I have come to love someone very dearly and that person is gone. A sensitivity to other people’s sorrow over their loss of loved ones is of God. But secondly, the sorrow that is born of sorrow for sins, this is Christ. Christ wept over Jerusalem because Jerusalem had as we know rejected Him and with Him its promise of salvation. He also sorrowed as we know, over both the sin of Jerusalem and the sufferings. The fall of Jerusalem as a consequence of sin.

So you might say there are three kinds of authentic sorrow blessed by God. The sorrow of bereavement, the sorrow over sin, the sorrow over the sufferings of others knowing that not all people profit from their sufferings, and my compassion goes out to those who are in pain. What a sentence! Sadness is every other kind of mourning. It is essentially selfish, sadness. Sadness is the sorrow (to use that word) over things that don’t deserve to be mourned over. And while we may and should indeed sorrow, we are forbidden to be sad. Sadness when yielded to is a sin. Sorrow within the limits we have described is a virtue.
--Fr. John Hardon, SJ