Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Little Flower, in this hour..."

Of course the saints are loved by so many but truthfully I can't think of anybody who loves them more—indeed, considers them all his best friends—then Father Dennis of Saint Francis Chapel in Boston. Today he chose the Proper Readings of the memorial of Saint Therese of Lisieux.

From the Gospel:

"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Before the final blessing, Father Dennis announced a surprise for us!

"I am happily in possession of first class relics of Saint Therese," he told us. "And for those of you able to stay, you may venerate them."


Not a soul moved. Father Dennis, after the blessing and dismissal, moved over to the ambo. "When I lived in Manhattan," he said, "a lady taught me this simple prayer to Saint Therese: 'Little Flower, in this hour, show your power.' Now, let's pray this together." And a packed chapel of adults suddenly melted into children as we repeated the simple prayer.

What an honor to be able to venerate these relics! I know I wasn't the only one who approached them with tear-filled eyes.
Thank you, Father Dennis. And thank you, God's Little Flower, for using your God-given power to turn a chapel filled with grownups into the children of God we were born to be.

"Sometimes, when I'm in such a state of spiritual dryness that I can't find a single thought in my mind that will bring me close to God, I say an Our Father and a Hail Mary very slowly indeed.
How they take me out of myself then!"

--Saint Therese of the Child Jesus