The theme is the cry of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. At the age of 13 she had a profound experience of the intimate love of God. At a special audience with Pope Leo XIII she was permitted to join the Carmelite Monastery at the age of 15.
She assumed that because she loved God so much that she should spend her life as a mission-
ary and die as a martyr. But that changed when she received a deeper insight. She writes in her autobiography “Love gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I knew that love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places…in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love…my vocation, at last I have found it…My vocation is Love!”
There are two distinct qualities that we are called to emulate, her child-like approach and trust in God and her love for what she did even in little acts. In the First Reading Israel is comforted with tenderness and love as a mother comforts and feeds her child. Many of us through inner healing must visit these moments in our lives and receive that healing. It will bring us much better self-worth, acceptance and full-
ness. Only God can renew that experience.
In the Gospel proclamation our Lord calls a little child to him, places the child near him and admonishes us that unless we become like little children we will not enter the kingdom of God. A child is open
to the most colourful fantasies and is eager to listen. We are invited to experience the kingdom in this way. St. Thérèse once wrote, “You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the great-
ness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”
Prayer: Abba Father, give me a taste of that intimate love that St. Therese experienced and may I have a childlike faith. Amen.