Monday, February 4, 2013

Shirt of Flame


This Tuesday night, consider spending time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. 7-8pm. I would like to personally invite interested women to join us after Adoration for a not-so-secret secret group determined to study Saint Thérèse this semester with the help of a book by Heather King, Shirt of Flame.

Yes, a book. Who? Why? Don’t think you have the time? What do you really have to lose? An hour or two well-spent might be in your soul’s best interest. 


At the age of 15, St. Thérèse of Lisieux chose her vocation and entered a cloistered Carmelite community. At age 21, she began writing an autobiographical manuscript The Story of a Soul. Her journey to Christ and her philosophy “The Little Way,” continues to instruct, confound, and inspire people more than 100 years later.

By the age of 24, she would be dead.

She was canonized in 1925, and in 1997, declared a Doctor of the Church (one of four women given the title). She is the patron saint of missionaries, Russia, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis sufferers, florists and gardeners, and people who have lost their parents.

Why study a saint with a "Little Way”?

“We must search for individuals for whom religion exists not as a dull habit, but as an acute fever.” ~William James

You’d be in good company! Other devotees include: Pope John Paul I, Padre Pio, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and even Jack Kerouac.

Saint Thérèse helps point us to Christ, to develop a relationship with Him—challenges us to transition from our childish beliefs to child-like beliefs, to grow, and to make our faith ours! She asks us to believe Christ will meet us where we are and lift us up to Him.

LITTLE DOES NOT MEAN EASY. Saint Thérèse inspires us to make small sacrifices to free ourselves from our will and begin to understand: Thy will be done. 

Why study Saint Thérèse through the lens of Heather King?

Heather King has lived a lot. She’s a devout Catholic. She’s struggled with addiction and experienced painful loss: divorce, death, sickness, and love. She yearns to live life with passion and purpose.

She will hit you where you live. Kind of like those homilies Father Joe gives at Daily Mass. KA-POW! (If you don’t know what I mean, just go.)

She’s smart. She writes for public (NPR) and Catholic (Magnificat) audiences and has her own blog. She’s someone with whom you can converse. 

She’ll challenge you. She’s a convert. She offers prayers that get to the heart of our fears and concerns. As much as we long for closeness with God “most of us are also afraid: that we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not deserving enough. We’ve been frightened into closing our hearts.” She asks us to be brave, to choose ALL God has in store for us.

The Plan:

To be open to God and to prepare ourselves to be open to grace. To learn a lot about Saint Thérèse. To deepen our faith. To meet, support, and converse with other young Catholic women.

We meet each week on Tuesday night after Adoration for about an hour or so. Each meeting will be unique and stand on its own, so if you miss a week, don’t worry. We just started, and we've got books for those who are interested. 

This week's chapter "On Facing Ancient Grievances," challenges us to think about our attitudes and responses to loss, separation, and grief in our lives. If our meeting is anything like last week...well, I guess you'll just have to find out. It is a not-so-secret secret group.