Reflection from the ‘Soul Institute’ first reading for Jan 17 The Holy Daring of St Therese of Lisieux

“The word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit,
joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”

We read, “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”

John Udris in his book, ‘The Fearless Trust of St. Therese of Lisieux’, writes, “Pope John Paul II referred to the Catechism as a ‘symphony.’ Taking up this musical metaphor, it might be argued that parrhesia comes through powerfully as a recurring melody, the principal theme of the final movement of this great symphony of faith. In the Catechism, there are over thirty explicit references to boldness and trust in various combinations, whether ‘trust with reservation,’ ‘trust and confidence,’ ‘bold confidence,’ or ‘joyful trust.’…Fundamentally, parrhesia referes to the kind of trust or confidence that is unimpeded or fearlessness.

Here is one of the stories from St Therese that reflect her Holy Daring. We read in John Udris book, “The story of her entrance into Carmel is itself revealing, shedding radiant light on our subject. Among all of Saint Therese’s writing, the first explicit use of the term ‘confidence’- which we usually translate as ‘confidence’ or ‘trust’- occur in connection with this particular event. It is well know that she desired permission to enter the Carmel at Lisieux at the age of fifteen. Having received a firm ‘no’ from the ecclesiastical superior of the Carmel, she had recourse ti the bishop of Bayeux, who would not give a definite answer. Three days after this, Therese, together with her father and her sister Celine, left for a pilgrimage to Rome. It is in a letter written from Rome to her aunt that we learn of her daring intention:

‘I don’t know how I’ll go about speaking to the Pope. Really, if God were not to take charge of all, I don’t know how I would do it. But I have such a confidence in Him that He will not be able to abandon me; I’m placing all in His Hands.’

Her account of the papal audience is compelling. In her autobiography, Therese recalls first the Mass celebrated with the Pope. Though she us writing some eight years after the event, she can still remember the Gospel of the day. It was from Saint Luke, and included the words, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (12:32). These words struck Therese like shafts of bright light. It was as if the Lord had spoken directly to her. She recalls how the surge of trust she experienced on that occasion was accompanied by an ebbing away if her fear”

‘I was filled with confidence….No, I did not fear, I hoped the kingdom of Carmel would soon belong to me.’

At the audience itself, despite being expressly forbidden to speak, and breaking all the rules of decorum and etiquette, the fourteen year-old threw herself at the feet of Pope Leo XIII. She placed her hands on his knees and, eye to eye, ‘in such a way that my face almost touched his’ she made her bold request to enter Carmel….’If I had not had this audacity, perhaps I would be still in the world.'”

Thoughts for the day: Pope Francis says when we pray we have to pray already assured of victory. If we pray without this assurance of victory we are already defeated.

Question of the day: Do you pray with Holy Daring? Do to pray with the confidence that Saint Therese had in God the Father?

Prayer for the day

St Therese we invoke your intercession today for the gift of holy daring in prayer
Holy Spirit give me a great confidence in God the Father
Holy Spirit help me to know that I am a royal son/daughter of the King in Heaven
Holy Spirit give me a holy daring in prayer
Holy Spirit fill my prayer with confidence, boldness and trust.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace for timely help


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s