First day of the novena.
September 22 to September 30.
To think about her more than pray many prayers.
To listen to her - read her words - and ponder them, rather than speak much about them.
To allow ourselves to be taught and guided by her, rather than interpret her teaching.
To be with her, pray with her, in the presence of God.
I almost forgot this year, but thanks to Angela, I can begin the novena tonight.
I want to share a thought from St. Therese, which was similar to what my prayer was about at adoration today ...
"I was unable to believe there were really impious people who had no faith... [but] Jesus made me feel that there were really souls who have no faith, and who, through the abuse of grace, lost this precious treasure, the source of the only real and pure joy."
St. Therese wished to be found at the 'table of sinners'... expressing that sentiment in the depths of her night of faith, her trial of temptations against faith was a sort of martyrdom, which culminated in her death of love. In that abject state, she experienced the faithlessness of the atheist, the bitter taste of rancor of the unbeliever, even the hollow, vacuous, hopelessness of those who hate the faith. Like her Master, "who had not known sin, yet became sin," little Therese, who was innocent (as she had been once assured she had never committed a mortal sin), became sin, as it were. Not in the exact same sense as Christ of course, but she shared, or imitated His redemptive suffering in and through that experience... seated with Christ crucified, at the table of sinners. That is the secret of St. Therese.
As I prayed, I thought of the great sufferings of so many around the world and in our country, who do not understand the violence, the hate, the cruelty and rage in our country and around the globe. It seems so hard to believe there are so many impious people ... people who hate.
I think this must be our attitude in our prayer, in union with the prayer of faith of little Therese.
"While Jesus was at table many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him... " - Mark 2: 13-17
O Lord, Who hast said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to follow in humility and simplicity of heart the footsteps of St. Therese, the virgin, that we may obtain everlasting rewards. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.