I have long loved St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She holds a special place in my family, and she was the inspiration of this blog. I’ve always known that I will never be a hermit on a mountain or a prophet in the desert or a Doctor of the Church. The gifts God has given me are humble gifts, and they are unlikely to earn me a feast day or my own page on Saint of the Day. I am just a husband and a father, with my own virtues and foibles, challenges and opportunities. Thérèse taught me that I don’t have to move mountains to get to heaven. I just have to do the little things with great love. And we are all capable of great love.
Now that I have made my consecration to Jesus through Mary, I see how St. Louis de Montfort is trying to lead us down the same path.
St. Thérèse says, “Expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father.” We are to approach God with a childlike love and trust.
St. Louis de Montfort says, “If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”
Every child needs a father AND a mother. And we ARE children. St. Thérèse didn’t make this up. Christ, himself, told us this:.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.
Every child needs a father AND a mother. St. Thérèse exhorts us to remain a child:
“Even among poor people, a child is given all it needs, as long as it is very little, but as soon as it has grown up, the father does not want to support it any longer and says: “Work, now you are able to take care of yourself”. Because I never want to hear these words I do not want to grow up, feeling that I can never earn my living, that is, eternal life in heaven. So I have stayed little, and have no other occupation than of gathering flowers of love and sacrifice and of offering them to the good God to please Him.”
And St. Louis de Montfort guides us to our Mother:
“Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies.”
What these two wonderful Saints are saying is that we do not need to resign ourselves to a morose and laborious spiritual life, filled with privations and fear of eternal punishment. As St. Thérèse said:
“You are not sufficiently trusting, you fear God too much. I assure you that this grieves Him. Do not be afraid of going to purgatory because of its pain, but rather long not to go there because this pleases God who imposes this expiation so regretfully. From the moment that you try to please Him in all things, if you have the unshakable confidence that He will purify you at every instant in His love and will leave in you no trace of sin, be very sure that you will not go to purgatory.”
Our faith must, instead, be suffused with joy and love. And it will be, if we entrust ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. As St. Louis de Montfort said:
“Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor!”
Be a child. Entrust yourself to Mary. Love Christ. Love His Mother. If we love Christ, we follow His command to take His Mother into our home.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his
home. John 19: 26-27
So both of these great Saints are guiding us to take the Blessed Mother as our Mother, and allow her to bring us closer to Jesus.
In fact, St. Thérèse’s memory of her first communion – “In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my
soul.” – mirrors St. Louis de Montfort’s instructions on receiving Holy Communion: “Implore Mary to lend you her heart so that you may receive her Son with her dispositions.”
So listen to these wonderful Saints. Be a child. Take Mary as your mother. Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary. Make of yourself a humble and joyful Christian.