Happy Feast of St. Therese! I LOVE St. Therese. I’m so glad that Lydia from Flourish in Hope is hosting this link-up. My post is a two parter. The first part is about my relationship with St. Therese and then the second part is a way that I learned more about her and meditated on some of her quotes.
When I was getting ready to be confirmed I did the usual thing kids do. Look at all the names they liked/wished they had. I came across Theresa and told my mom how there were a lot of St. Theresa’s. She told me that my dad loved St. Therese the little flower and how he always prayed to her. So I started to read about her and I loved how she did a lot in a little way.
As a way to stay connected to my dad who had passed away I chose St. Therese of Lisieux as my confirmation Saint. And ever since then I have prayed to her and learned more and more about her.
Two years ago I did a whirlwind tour of Europe. When we were planning the France portion of our trip I made sure we figured out a way to visit Lisieux, France. One day while we were in France we took a two-hour train ride from Paris into the countryside of France and visited this teeny town of Lisieux.
It just amazed me how THOUSANDS of people visit/pilgrimage this little town every year because of this young saint. The Cathedral is HUGE and built on a hill so it’s the first thing you see when you get off the train.
Every year I pray her novena right around her feast day. I always hope that I will receive roses but alas I never do but that is okay. I sometimes feel we treat novena’s as this catholic magic. I tried convincing my fiance that St. Therese told me he should buy me flowers today but I don’t think he bought it. Oh well.
Anyway so back to my confirmation saint. I have a lot of friends that I have met over the years that share St. Therese as my Confirmation Saint. I feel like it’s a way to connect with other Catholics. One person is a friend that I have known since birth. We ended up losing contact between ages 10-16 but have since reconnected. When we reconnected I remember seeing a St. Therese display in her room one time when I was visiting her and I asked her about it. She told me that was a confirmation gift since that was her saint. I told her that she was my confirmation saint as well! And I remember both of just thinking wow we haven’t talked to each other in years and we both chose the same confirmation saint!
Now years later I have learned that she is a very popular saint and MANY girls choose her but at the time I didn’t know a lot of Catholics and didn’t realize how popular she was.
Last Monday, on the feast of the Annunciation my friend Liz entered the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites.
I’ve known Liz for several years online. We have even sent each other Christmas cards the last few years and one time I called her because a weird guy was trying to talk to her on the bus.
I’ve never met Liz “in real life” and I didn’t talk to her privately that much. I remember talking to her privately a few times when I was dating a few crazy guys and I needed someone to tell these INSANE stories to. She commiserated with me and told me I wasn’t crazy and the guys were weird/insane.
I knew she had discerned religious life a few years ago but family things happenned and she was young and wasn’t quite ready to make that commitment. She attended the first university I attended several years after I attended (small world). Did a little bit of dating that went nowhere but still felt she was called to become a nun.
I witnessed her discern and research several different religious orders before she decided on the discalced carmelites, which is a somewhat cloistered order. They don’t have any internet or cellphones, they rarely leave the grounds but they are allowed to walk around outside, have visitors, and talk to people.
I remember when she found out she was going to enter. It was on October 1st the Feast of St. Therese! Who was also a carmelite.
I knew that this day was coming. I knew she’d be leaving my internet world. I knew I’d only be able to communicate with her via letters. And we can’t write to her until at least July at that.
What I wasn’t expecting to experience last week was the grief, sadness, and lonliness I felt. I was so happy for her but at the same time it was like losing a friend. I was so sad last week when all her social media accounts got deleted.
I was so sad when I could no longer hear about her story and her journey. But I was so happy that she had answered Gods call to join the religious life, pray for others and do good in the world. She was SO HAPPY to be joining this particular convent. Every time she posted a picture or talked about it you could just see the joy in her face.
I know when the time comes I will be writing to her and can’t wait to hear about her new life but until then I am in this limbo space of sadness and happinness. I pray for her everyday just as she prays for me.
Hae you ever had a good friend enter the priesthood or convent? Or a Cloistered convent. Is there anything you did that helped you miss your friend less? Share your stories with me in the comments!
On Sunday we ended the Easter Season and celebrated Pentecost. And in celebration I shared this awesome youtube video on Facebook that I will also share here:
Over the past few years I have come to LOVE the Holy Spirit. When I began teaching Confirmation I really began to understand it. We all receive the Holy Spirit along with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Yes Baptism.
But here is the thing about gifts. We can all receive a ton of gifts but if we don’t use them they are useless. I used to do this activity with my confirmation students about the holy spirit using Chocolate Milk.
When you are born you are given flesh which is the MILK. Then you are baptized and given the gifts of the holy spirt aka the Chocolate Syrup (I always put in a TON of chocolate syrup for a good visual aid/reaction from the kids).
But what happens to the chocolate? It sits at the bottom…you need Jesus and prayer (the spoon) to stir the chocolate and the holy spirit within your faith life to live a good christian life.
I’m a big visual person so I have always loved this activity/demonstration even if it’s kind of cheesy. The Holy Spirit is one of those mysterious things that is awesome because it’s just there and it helps us even when we aren’t sure about our faith. Looking back on my life I can see the really bad times and how the Holy Spirit helped me when I thought my life was ending (yes I can be a bit dramatic).