"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

St.s Louis and Zelie Martin



I think we can believe the entire family is in heaven, and therefore saints.

Although Mums and Dadums are the first to be canonized after Therese.

St. Therese will always remain the littlest however, which means she'll make sure the others are properly acclaimed and honored.  I'm convinced of that.

Louis and Zelie had a hard life - the entire Martin family did.  We think they were very comfortable - but suffering was never far from their door.  Zelie lost a few children, which is why Therese was sent to a wet nurse - more or less.  Therese suffered the loss of her mother greatly and was much 'trouble' for her father and the family because of it.  Later her dad suffered from a mysterious mental illness.  Celine and Leonie cared for him.  Leonie, the least attractive personality, was a sort of black sheep - a rather dark cloud seemed to envelop her.  The family seems quite odd by today's standards.  All the girls became nuns.  The parents began marriage more as religious than husband and wife, and so on.

Who could possibly model their lives after them?  Or even want to do so?

That's the mistake we make with saints - we think we're supposed to be like them or conform our lives to theirs.  Not at all.  They are examples and intercessors.  They reveal God's loving will and providence that all men are called to sanctity and the beatific vision.  They exist for the praise of his glory; therefore they are there to intercede for us, to help us, to obtain grace for us - in answer to our prayer, and the prayer of the Church.  Their example is meant to encourage and inspire us to follow Christ in accord with our state in life.  What is good in their life we may emulate with detachment, yet we are not meant to duplicate their idiosyncratic imitation of Christ - though I think we may be permitted to adapt the particular spirituality they embodied to our own spiritual life.

I may be wrong, however.

St. Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us.

10 comments:

  1. .....I love Leonie. She was, it seems, left out of 'the fold'. While the other girls in the family went to school as 'day students', she had to live there - minutes away from home. I read a wonderful work on St. Therese, The Hidden Face, by Ida Friederike Gorres: among my 'library' of books about the saint, this one perhaps is one of my several favorites. Gorres paints the most sympathetic portrait of Leonie who was, as you say, the black sheep. Her emotionalism was foreign to the rest of the family, she was quite alone. In her notes (p. 412) that Gorres shows her sympathy: ".....it seems to us that in her actions she followed the Little Way with a force fully the equal of her sister's and did so half a century longer." *sigh*. Somewhere else I think she writes that Leonie would have fit in our times better than in her own.
    and why, would one ask, do I require a Library about St. Therese....when others seems about to read Story of a Soul and save shelf space ? Because I Can Not get through the original work. For me it is an Impassable Way. The books about it are all my flash lights. Somewhere I did read that it was surely the action of the Holy Spirit who opened the eyes/souls/hearts/minds to the work, but that later, perhaps, that door shut.
    I love your final paragraph, & how very true.

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    1. I should read the Gorres book again. I think she was especially suited to the Little Way as was Celine.

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  2. "....when others it seems are able to read Story..."
    I left my job: now I am back to staying awake until 4 rather than getting up then. The Management got to me. Finally. but I do miss the old folks. Next I will be with Small Children.

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    1. Aren't you glad you don't have to get up so early? Working with small children will be a delight! Good for you.

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  3. Having failed to become a Poor Clare, Leonie finally entered the Visitation Sisters. I have always thought of her as a 'dork': when the family would write to each other inevitably 'poor Leonie' would come up. As it turns out the Visitation Monastery where she is buried is receiving several testimonies to the effectiveness of poor Leonie's prayers. She followed her sister Therese's little way faithfully and I suspect will eventually be recognized as a Venerable, Blessed or even Saint. I would be very grateful: we dorks need one of our own for a patron.

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    1. I think she will be made a saint too. I tried reading her story - but it's effect upon me was like a dark Gothic novel - and subsequently the entire family began to freak me out.

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    2. LOL Terry you crack me up! But seriously I have received answers to prayer thru Leonie's intercession .http://leoniemartin.org/

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  4. I'm remembering a quote. I don't remember who and really not sure if I have it right. The gist of it was the wonderful thing about the saints is that they're so various.I think you hit the nail on the head, Terry. I used to get frustrated because I could't fast like this one or pray like that one.Everyone else seemed so good so I would give up and go full throttle into being bad. I'm sure the devil is involved in that kind of thinking.

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  5. But Donald, you're meant to fast like you and pray like you, to be the holiest Donald that you can be.

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  6. “Who could possibly model their lives after them?”

    I’m convinced my grandmother could be canonized she was so good and suffered so much with such joy and faith. She rivaled St. Terese’s parents in the “so holy it’s weird and unattainable” department. I remember one of my sisters telling me that she didn’t know what a prostitute was until she was in her 70’s and her response was, “You mean women do that for money?!!” I have often thought what a luxury such innocence was and how I pity children today for the evils they are exposed to. We are all, young and old alike, exposed to so much debilitating evil today that Terese’s parents do seem like something none of us could aspire to. But I’m convinced that anyone who struggles to live the faith today under our current cultural persecution surpasses them all in holiness. Our lives don’t look like theirs, but our Lord chose this time for us to be alive, to fight when the spiritual combat is the bloodiest. Perhaps we shall be even more glorious and beloved by God than they because we had more recourse to Divine Mercy.

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