Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I've been putting together a novena (a set of prayers extending over nine days) for the upcoming feast of St. Therese, which means lots of reading from the Story of a Soul and her diaries and letters. Battle-weariness, lifted!

What struck me most deeply this time is her purity of heart. I don't mean her extraordinary chastity or her virginity... Purity of heart here is her single-minded and intense attention to What Really Matters. She devotes every breath and every word she writes to the mystery that the one who made all things is love. She doesn't try to prove it or argue its reasonableness. She simply rejoices. In fact, she gushes.

And, without being morbid, she is wholly focused on heaven. I don't think I'd ever registered before that nearly every three sentences mention heaven, death, eternal life, "the embrace of Jesus," on and on. And so I lift mine eyes up unto the hills from whence comes my deliverance! Thinking about death and heaven are not high on the priority list in our culture. Maybe that's why depression is so rampant?

So, when the "current political climate" has gotten me down or seems to have ruined friendships I long held dear, when I'm tired of trying to explain how reasonable the faith can be to endless rows of bored teenagers... it is time to narrow my scope and focus on the one this necessary. All the extra efforts are for love of the truth--who happens to be a person, living and true God. He's going to take care of all the details.

Purity of heart. And a little gush now and then of girlish love-language.


e said...

I love her "wedding invitation"-- that is some girlish language.

earthie said...

I haven't been reminded of it often enough. When I talked about her last year to the students, one of my students was really touched and I wondered why... how soon I forget how touched I was when I first 'met' her!!! Thanks friend.