This morning a friend emailed one of Therese of Lisieux's letters. She also sent along this morning's Mass readings, all of which were appropriate in marvelous message, on point, to what this Catholic hermit has been experiencing and trying to express. The Lord hears the cries of His people, and He has heard this hermit's weariness and uncertainty in the trials and lowliness of physical existence.
Before reading what the friend sent, the hermit began to smell in the early dawn moments, a beautiful scent of roses. It pervaded the room. There is absolutely nothing in this gutted room in this gutted, old house, that smells of roses. No perfume about, no flowers, no sweetness, anywhere. Then the hermit wondered if could be deodorant? But alas, no. There has not been bathing for two weeks. (Yes, this hermit has to rough it in here, for now and forever how long. Has to go to a doctor today and then on to daughter's for a much-needed shower in civilization!)
The hermit took some deep breaths, finally realizing it must be the Virgin Mary, through the numinous power of the Holy Spirit, to bless this worn out person here, with a consolation. But then, when reading the email from the friend, saying she was sending wonderful message from St. Therese (aka The Little Flower), this hermit still did not make a connection.
It was only after reading the letter of Therese with it's appropriate message--just perfect for what this hermit needed to be reminded, as well as today's Mass Scripture readings--that the realization occurred that the Holy Spirit was sending through St. Therese, roses from heaven. The scent remained strong for quite awhile and still is present, even though less potent.
Frankly, it is quite a consolation, as the hermit's hair has not been pleasant, nor the bedding all that fresh after being in bed quite a bit the past few days.
And, the words of Scripture from St. Paul and from Jesus, reminds to keep in the race, to work hard, and to finish what is started, as well as to reside in one's nothingness and lowliness, before His Real Presence in love and faith. All of and in and about us must be a witness to the glory of God.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another! Remain in His Love!
This is the selection from St. Therese's letter, that the friend sent.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
Letter 197 of 17/09/1896 (©ICS publications)
"Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple"
"Dear Sister, how can you ask me if it is possible for you to love God as I love Him? ... My desires of martyrdom are nothing; they are not what give me the unlimited confidence that I feel in my heart. They are, to tell the truth, the spiritual riches that render one unjust, when one rests in them with complacence and when one believes they are something great... Ah! I really feel that... what pleases Him is that He sees me loving my littleness and my poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy.... That is my only treasure...
"Oh, dear Sister, I beg you... understand that to love Jesus... the weaker one is, without desires or virtues, the more suited one is for the workings of this consuming and transforming Love. The desire alone to be a victim suffices, but we must consent to remain always poor and without strength, and
this is the difficulty, for: "The truly poor in spirit, where do we find him? You must look for him from afar," said the psalmist. He does not say that you must look for him among great souls, but "from afar," that is to say in lowliness, in nothingness.
"Ah! let us remain then very far from all that sparkles, let us love our littleness, let us love to feel nothing, then we shall be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come to look for us, and however far we may be, He will transform us in flames of love. Oh! How I would like to be able to make you understand what I feel! It is confidence, and nothing but confidence that must lead us to Love. Does not fear lead to Justice? (To the severe justice that people show to sinners but not the justice Jesus will have for those who love him.) Since we see the way, let us run together. Yes, I feel it, Jesus wills to give us the same graces; he wills to give us his Heaven gratuitously."