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!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Each one of us has some kind of vocation. We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completly happy. For each of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fullfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be. We must not imagine that we only discover this destiny by a game of hide-and-seek with Divine Providence."
--Fr. Thomas Merton

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

To bless God and to thank Him for whatever events His Providence ordains is truly a most holy exercise. However, while we leave to God the care of willing and doing in us, on us, and with us whatever pleases Him, without attending to what occurs—even though we fell it fully—then, if we can divert our hearts and fix our attention on God’s goodness and sweetness, blessing it not in its effects and in the events it ordains, but in itself and in its own perfection, we will undoubtedly perform a still higher exercise.
--St. Francis de Sales

Monday, May 21, 2007

Our Blessed Lord was intensely loved, with a concrete sort of love. When St. John told St. Peter that Our Lord was on the shore, Peter simply leapt out of the boat. You don't do that for Omnipotence, the great force that has made the Alps. You might feel inclined to run away from that. A dearly-beloved brother of mine, now gone, went to the Norwegian fjords for a summer holiday. After a time, he felt he could hardly bear them, the mountains were so tremendous. They were nothing like so near and lovable as a little village in England, with its cluster of thatched cottages, with trees against the wall. Those things are very lovable. It is very strange how love is kindled. The highest beings set more store on love than on anything else. It must be one of the greatest trials of sovereigns that they never know exactly when they are loved; so much is official, so much policy. If evil days come upon them, if once being rich they become poor, false friends fade away; and someone who is almost no one, some poor woman from the crowd, will then show her love. Genuine self-sacrificing love is almost overwhelming. No greater compliment can be paid to human nature than to offer that.
Our Lord gives a whole series of parables which, of course, do prove that He is to be loved. But I don't think He is at all concerned to prove that He ought to be loved. He tries to show us that He wants to forgive; He almost suggests that there is nothing to forgive. He wants to describe His attitude towards us. It is a most lovable attitude, bewildering. It almost seems to be setting a premium on sin. We can remember that exquisite story of St. Thomas More. He was so lovable, even when reprimanding his children, that the children used to do naughty things for the joy of being reprimanded.
—Vincent McNabb

Friday, May 18, 2007

If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people’s opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. The Lord has willed me here where I am. He will offer a solution.
--Blessed Mother Teresa

Thursday, May 17, 2007

On the Ascension

Besides the hope and the joyful expectancy of heaven so characteristic of the Ascension feast there is a note of melancholy. Before the final departure of Jesus, the Apostles must have been very much disturbed: each felt the distress of one who sees his dearest friend and companion going away forever, and finds himself alone to face all the difficulties of life. The Lord realized their state of mind and consoled them once more, promising the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: "He commanded them," we read in the Epistle, "that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father... you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit, not many days hence." But even this time the Apostles did not understand! How much they needed to be enlightened and transformed by the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish the great mission which was to be entrusted to them! Jesus continued "You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me ... even to the uttermost part of the earth." For the moment, however, they were there, around the Master, weak, timid, frightened, like little children watching their mother leave for a distant, unknown land. In fact, "while they looked on, He was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Two angels came to distract them from their great amazement and to make them realize what had happened. Then, placing their trust in the word of Jesus, which would henceforth be their only support, they returned to Jerusalem where, in the Cenacle, they awaited in prayer the fulfillment of the promise. It was the first novena in preparation for Pentecost: "All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with ... Mary, the Mother of Jesus."
Silence, recollection, prayer, peace with our brethren, and union with Mary: these are the characteristics of the novena we too should make in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
--Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace."
--St. Ignatius of Loyola

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Role of Mary

Through the centuries the Church Fathers have said that Our Lord keeps for Himself half His regency, which is the Kingdom of Justice, but the other half He gives away to His Mother, and this is the Kingdom of Mercy. At the Marriage Feast of Cana, Our Lord said that the hour of His Passion was not yet at hand-the hour when justice would be fulfilled. But His Blessed Mother begged Him not to wait, but to be merciful to those who were in need, and to supply their wants by changing water into wine. Three years later, when not the water was changed into wine, but the wine into blood, He fulfilled all justice, but surrendered half His Kingdom by giving to us that which no one else could give, namely, His Mother: "Behold thy Mother." Whatever mothers do for sons, that His Mother would do, and more.
Throughout all history the Blessed Mother has been the link between two contraries: the eternal punishment of hell for sinners and the universal unlimited Redemption of Her Divine Son. These extremes cannot be reconciled except by mercy. Not that Mary pardons--for she cannot--but she intercedes as a mother does in the face of the justice of the father. Without justice, mercy would be indifference to wrong: without mercy, justice would be vindictive. Mothers obtain pardon and forgiveness for their sons without ever giving them the feeling of "being let off." Justice makes the wrongdoer see the injustice in the violation of a law; mercy makes him see it in the sufferings and misery he caused those who love him deeply.
— Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Monday, May 14, 2007

Feast of St. Matthias

The virtues, labor, and sufferings of St. Matthias have not been handed down to us: this explains the lack of proper lessons on his life, such as we have for the feasts of the rest of the apostles. Clement of Alexandria records in his writings several sayings of our holy apostle. One of these is so very appropriate to the spirit of the present season, that we consider it a duty to quote it. 'It behoves us to combat the flesh, and make use of it, without pampering it by unlawful gratifications. As to the soul, we must develop her power by faith and knowledge.' How profound is the teaching contained in these few words! Sin has deranged the order which the Creator had established. It gave the outward man such a tendency to grovel in things which degrade him, that the only means left us for the restoration of the image and likeness of God unto which we were created, is the forcible subjection of the body to the spirit. But the spirit itself, that is, the soul, was also impaired by original sin, and her inclinations were made prone to evil; what is to be her protection? Faith and knowledge. Faith humbles her, and then exalts and rewards her; and the reward is knowledge.
--Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Regardless of our situation, what we need to do is stop fighting with God and accept the fact that He has chosen us. He has chosen to heal us and now He is simply asking us to do His Will. We need to ask Him what His Will is for us and we need to seek to do it. When we see the examples that we hear of in the readings today, we realize that, one way or the other, not only are we no different from these people on one level, but we cannot even compare with them on either end of the spectrum. And so if that is the case, and God could choose these people, He can choose us as well. And He has. So it is time that we stop questioning God and it is time that we stop fighting with Him, and instead that we accept His choice, His call, and that we respond with our whole heart and seek to do His Will and to live and to preach the Gospel to others.
--Fr. Robert Altier

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Can we love neighbor when our feelings go in the opposite direction? Certainly, for love consists in the attitude of will…Notice that we are not called on to have a warm feeling for all men at any time--still less to have such a feeling for enemies. Again, we recall what love is: it is to will or wish good to the other for the other's sake. This lies in our spiritual will, not in our feelings. So we can love even enemies by willing good to them, especially the good of eternal salvation, plus other things too. To this end, at a minimum we will include them in a general way in our prayers. Further, if our will for their well-being is strong as it should be, we will also act, will help others, especially the poor. (Acting on any attitude also strengthens it.) Hence the many exhortations in Scripture to help the poor. If we do so, it not only benefits the poor but helps us at the same time…
This is a remarkable thought. Our Father has promised mercy to the merciful, in line with both His love of us, and His love of what is good in itself, objective goodness. When we do good to others, thanks to His promise, we establish a title on which He can more fully do good to us, which pleases Him greatly. We could actually say that by His kindness, there is a multiplier: one and the same action helps neighbor, as an act of love, and helps us, creating a title to receive favors from our Father. So there are two titles: the exercise of love of our Father, and the practice of love of neighbor. Both are found in one and the same action, thanks to His generosity. Hence His Son counts these things as done to Him, as the Gospel description of the Last Judgment scene shows.
--Fr. William Most

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Prayer to Seek God Continually

O Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. I became weary and I labored.
O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the strength to seek you, for you help me to find you and you have more and more given me the hope of finding you.
Here I am before you with my firmness and my infirmity. Preserve the first and heal the second.
Here I am before you with my strength and my ignorance. Where you have opened the door to me, welcome me at the entrance; where you have closed the door to me, open to my cry; enable me to remember you, to understand you, and to love you. Amen.
--Saint Augustine of Hippo

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The ideal of perfection is to "live for God in Christ Jesus": Viventes Deo in Christo Jesu. We cannot attain it in a day; holiness, ingrafted in us at baptism, is only developed little by little, by successive stages. Let us try to act in such a way that each Easter, each day of this blessed season which extends from the Resurrection to Pentecost, may produce within us a more complete death to sin, to the creature, and a more vigorous and more abundant increase of the life of Christ.
Christ must reign in our hearts, and all within us must be subject to Him. He came in us as King on the day of our baptism, but sin disputes this dominion with Him. When we destroy sin, infidelities, attachment to the creature; when we live by faith in Him, in His word, in His merits; when we seek to please Him in all things, then Christ is Master, then He reigns within us; as He reigns in the bosom of the Father, so He lives in us. He can say of us to the Father "Behold this soul: I live and reign in her, O Father, that Thy name may be hallowed."
—Dom Columba Marmion

Monday, May 07, 2007

“Everything comes from love; all is ordained for the salvation of man. God does nothing without this goal in mind.”
--St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, May 04, 2007

First Friday

"In order that graces in greater abundance may flow on all Christians ... from the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, let the faithful see to it that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God be closely joined to this devotion. For, by God's will, in carrying out the work of human Redemption, the Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably linked with Christ, in such a way that our salvation flowed from the love and sufferings of Jesus Christ, to which the love and sorrows of His Mother were intimately united."
--Haurietis aquas, n. 124

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Feast of Sts. Phillip & James, apostles

From St. Philip we must particularly learn an ardent love of God, and desire to see the Father. He asked only this favor, because this was his only desire. Is it ours? Do we feel it so perfect as to extinguish all inordinate earthly affections and desires in our breasts? Do we employ the proper means to attain to this happy disposition? To obtain it, let us employ the succor of this apostle's prayers, and by disengaging our hearts from corruption and vanity, become, in desires and affections, citizens of heaven.
--Father Alban Butler

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Memorial of St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor

Throughout all history the Blessed Mother has been the link between two contraries: the eternal punishment of hell for sinners and the universal unlimited Redemption of Her Divine Son. These extremes cannot be reconciled except by mercy. Not that Mary pardons-for she cannot-but she intercedes as a mother does in the face of the justice of the father. Without justice, mercy would be indifference to wrong: without mercy, justice would be vindictive. Mothers obtain pardon and forgiveness for their sons without ever giving them the feeling of "being let off." Justice makes the wrongdoer see the injustice in the violation of a law; mercy makes him see it in the sufferings and misery he caused those who love him deeply.
— Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Memorial of St. Joseph, the worker

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosne by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity…Through him and yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world.
…Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.
--St. Bernadine of Siena