Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gearing up for All Saints' Day

 What better way than by getting to know our elder brothers and sisters in the Faith a little better?

When you feel like you couldn't possibly make a bigger mess of the day than you already have:
"We would like to suffer generously, grandly, Celine, but what an illusion! We would like never to fall! What does it matter, my Jesus, if I fall every moment? It shows me my weakness, and it is a great gain for me. It shows You what I am capable of, and then You will be more tempted to carry me in Your arms. If You do not do so, it will be because it pleases You to see me on the ground.
--St. Therese of Lisieux, letter to her sister April 26, 1889

When your prayer life seems rather lifeless:
"Instead of rejoicing in my dryness, I ought to attribute it to my lack of fervor and fidelity. I ought to be distressed at sleeping during my prayers and acts of thanksgiving. Well, I am not distressed. I think little children please their parents as much when they sleep as when they are awake."
--St. Therese of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, 189

When you are scared:
"I will not mistrust him [the Lord], Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning."

-- from the Liturgy of the Hours for June 22, Memorial of St. Thomas More

And in commemoration of the Feast itself:
"If you can ask for prayers of the living, why should you not ask for the prayers of the dead?...  The consoling thing is that while Christendom is divided about the rationality, and even the lawfulness, of praying to the saints, we are all agreed about praying with them. 'With angels and archangels and all the company of heaven'... One always accepted this with theoretically. But it is quite different when one brings it into consciousness at an appropriate moment and wills the association of one's own little twitter with the voice of the great saints and (we hope) of our own dear dead. They may drown some of its uglier qualities and set off any tiny value it has."

--C.S. Lewis, Readings for the Year, November 1


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