We Know Jesus is There

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Jesus may hide himself, but we know He is there.
– St. Therese of Lisieux

The Struggle with God’s Absence

In the last year or so of her life St. Therese endured what has been called a “night of faith.” She was tempted to believe that heaven did not exist. She would only encounter “the night of nothingness.” How frightening to experience that your life perhaps was a waste. No future life with God, nothing after death.

St. Therese made acts of faith, more so than at any other time in her life. She continued to be committed to the works of faith, as she put it. She lived the life of faith believing in God’s merciful love in spite of the struggle she had to bear. St. Therese showed herself to be a strong willed woman, a woman of profound faith in God.

Her struggle enabled her to respect the sentiments of the atheist. At one time St. Therese could not understand the position of the atheist; the non-believer seemed to her to evade the obvious. But her experience in the trial moved her to acknowledge that only faith makes it possible to believe.

Our Prayer

Lord, help me to live always in the light of your presence. Should any darkness challenge my belief and love for you, dispel that darkness so that I might witness to your merciful and gracious love. Grant me the wisdom to confront a secular and egocentric world with your message of care and compassion for all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

– Taken from “The Path to Spiritual Maturity” by Fr. John Russell, O. Carm.

Lighting the Path

St. Therese QuotesSt. Therese dreamed big. Her intention was to make God known and loved to the “ends of the earth.” If she could have traveled the world to accomplish that dream, she certainly would have. In keeping with the spirit of our beloved saint, we at the Society of the Little Flower have been impelled to also dream big.

A few years back, when the Sisters in Lisieux asked us to help with the renovation of their Carmel, we did everything we could to realize that dream. After all, this was St. Therese’s monastery! The positive response so many gave to this effort was both generous and heartfelt. The Sisters in France remain eternally grateful – as do we.

And we also continue to dream. As part of our ongoing effort to make Therese’s “Little Way” become more vibrant to those who follow her spirituality and become present to those generations who have yet to discover her path, the Carmelites and the Society of the Little Flower are launching a major expansion of the National Shrine of St. Therese and the Carmelite Spiritual Center.

Plans are being developed to renovate the Shrine Museum, making it interactive in nature, while also offering more inviting display rooms. In addition we are considering expanding our present chapel to accommodate the large crowds that gather daily for Mass and personal reflection.

National Shrine of St. Therese

National Shrine of St. Therese

The Spiritual Center is in desperate need of extra meeting rooms and bedrooms to handle the growing interest in overnight retreats and pilgrimages. We will share more information on this in the months to come. One of our initial efforts in our campus expansion and renovation was the recent installation of the Carmelite Meditation Garden and Way of the Cross.

This outdoor space welcomes not only pilgrims to the shrine, but also invites visitors from the community and beyond to stop for a few moments to recollect, focusing on sacrifices our Lord made for us, all in a tranquil and prayerful setting. So, as Friends of St. Therese, let us dream together and work hard to make this dream come true.

Faith believes in what seems impossible, hope trusts it can happen and love is about self-giving to make it happen through God’s grace. We need your cooperation and investment. Her “little way” friends will make it happen, step by step. Here at the Society we promise our best effort, knowing you are our inspiration.

St. Therese smiles on, in and through us all, each and all, working together. We owe it to her to continue her dream. We owe it to future generations to dream big.

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New Campus Design

For more information on how you can help, please call the Society of the Little Flower at 888-996-1212.

Mary Therese Lambert Editor of Between Friends

Between Friends is a publication for friends of the Society of the Little Flower and St. Therese. To subscribe to Between Friends, please call the Society of the Little Flower at 800-621-2806 or read Between Friends online.