Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Feast Day of Saint Therese!

This October, I'm jumping into the joint theology of St. Theresa of Avila (my spiritual mentor), St. John of the Cross, and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus. Here's a quote that I shared with my children today."(When I was a) little four-year-old person. I had a dream then which is deeply imporessed on my memory. One night I dreat that I was going out to walk by myself in teh garden. I saw, near the arbor, two horrible little devils on a barrel which stood there. They were astonishingly lively in spite of the heavy chains they had on their feet. Suddenly they glared at me with their blazing eyes; then, looking much more frightened that I was, they jumped down from the bareel and ran to hide in the line room which was just opposite. When I saw they were such cowards, I wanted to find out what they were up to, so I went to the window. These wretched little impos were running about on the tables and didn't know what to do to escape my gaze. Every now and then they came and peeped uneasily out of the window, but when they saw I was still there, they began to run about again as if crazy by despair. Of course there was nothing extraordinary about that dream, yet I think God has let me remember it to prove to me that a soul in a state of grace need fear nothing from devils, for they are so cowardly that they flee from the gaze of a child." The Story of a Soul, pg 10.

St Teresa of the Child Jesus.





Patroness of Foreign Missions and of Aviators



- October 1st





St. Theresa, often called the Little Flower, was the youngest of the five daughters born to Louis and Zelie Martin. She was a very lively, lovable little girl, whose father called her his “little queen.” Yet she was quite sensitive and touchy, and in the story she wrote of her life, she tells how the Infant Jesus helped her overcome this defect.



It was Theresa’s great desire to enter the Carmelite convent where two of her sisters were already nuns. But since she was only fifteen, permission was not granted. Theresa felt sure that Jesus wanted her to spend her life loving Him alone, so she kept praying and asking to be admitted. She even dared to ask the Pope himself to grant her heart’s desire. And finally she was allowed to enter.



Although she was only fifteen, St. Theresa did not expect to be babied. “Obedience, prayer and sacrifice” were her program. She had a thirst to suffer for the love of God, and she had the spiritual courage of real heroine. “May Jesus make me a martyr of the heart or of the body-or even better, both!” she wrote, and she meant it. Whenever she suffered from the bitter cold in her plain cell or whenever she was humiliated, she would offer her pain to her beloved Jesus and hide it under a smile. She called herself Jesus’ little ball, and told Him to do with her whatever He pleased.



St. Theresa was very humble, and she called her great confidence in God her “little way” to sanctity. She always had a burning desire to become a saint and wanted to find a “short cut,” an “elevator” to take her quickly to sanctity. So she looked in the Holy Bible, and found the words, “Whoever is a little one, let him come to me.” When she lay dying, she could say: “I have never given the good God anything but love, and it is with love that He will repay. After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth.”



St. Theresa taught us her LITTLE WAY. Yes, it is a small and yet a great thing to offer Jesus the flowers of our little sacrifices moment by moment.

Angels of God Come to Our Aid

“Angels are pure spirits.

They have a beginning, but not an end. Angels were created by God and they were created immortal.”

—Mike Aquilina, Angels of God

Saturday, March 28, 2009

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

MISSION

We will regularly attend and participate actively in all liturgical services, especially
the Holy Mass in order to live a life of true Christian Faith nourished by the Sacraments. We will contribute our talents and time and be involved in social service activities by joining some of the pious associations and
charitable organizations of the Parish.
Liturgical Services

The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body.
Remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying." (cf “Gaudium et spes. 6”).
The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action

Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church's life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.
THE MOST SACRED MYSTERY OF THE EUCHARIST

At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (cf “Gaudium & Spes.36”).
Live a life of true Christian faith

The Christian faithful gathered together out of all nations into the Church "are not marked off from the rest of men by their government, nor by their language, nor by their political institutions,"and so they should live for God and Christ in a respectable way of their own national life. As good citizens, they should be true and effective patriots, altogether avoiding racial prejudice and hyper nationalism, and should foster a universal love for man.
To obtain all these things, the most important and therefore worthy of special attention are the Christian laity: namely, those who have been incorporated into Christ and live in the world. For it is up to them, imbued with the spirit of Christ, to be a leaven working on the temporal order from within, to dispose it always in accordance with Christ.
(cf “Ad Gentes 15”).
THE OTHER SACRAMENTS AND THE SACRAMENTALS

The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God; because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called "sacraments of faith." They do indeed impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them most effectively disposes the faithful to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God duly, and to practice charity.
nIt is therefore of the highest importance that the faithful should easily understand the sacramental signs, and should frequent with great eagerness those sacraments which were instituted to nourish the Christian life.
Our Gifts and our Talents

It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,(114) He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit".(115) These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church. (cf “Lumen Gentium 114-115”)
Charitable

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brother that you do unto me.
nIn sum, where Christianity spread it carried with it the teaching that charity was a religious duty and should be broadly given. When Christianity rose to prominence in the Roman Empire, new charitable programs were instituted. Through the Middle Ages, Christianity promoted wide-spread charity to those in need. Even into our modern day, the great charitable organizations in the West were founded upon this Christian ethic. Modern day polls also show that Christianity plays a very significant role in providing charitable giving and services. Accordingly, Christian promotion of charity is one of its great contributions to humanity.

If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 10-11
Nurturing the quality of Family life:
  • by fostering genuine and healthy relationships between spouses;
  • by guiding our youth in prioritizing spiritual and social values;
  • by involving parents and children in faith formation programs;
  • by promoting outreach services to the poor and marginalized.

There are many paths to Christ, but that “the family is the first and the most important path.


It is a path common to all, yet one which is particular, unique and unrepeatable, just as every individual is unrepeatable.

It is a path from which man cannot withdraw. Indeed, a person normally comes into the world within a family, and can be said to owe to the family the very fact of his existence as an individual.


One of the monumental missions of the Catholic Church in the next millennium will be to recover our lost sheep and help them to "revert." Recovering Catholics are those who have returned after having fallen away. There are many millions of these prodigal sons. We have to be the merciful father who rushes out to meet them half way and then escorts them back home to the sacramental feast.

Conclude:
Ours is a community striving to be a stewardship parish. We encourage every parishioner to participate in each of the components of true stewardship:Time, Talent and Treasure, the “Three T's.”
We need such participation to fulfill the vision of our parish: “Together, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we ‘Live Jesus’, reaching out, embracing all with compassion, humility and gentleness.”

VISION STATEMENT OF ST.THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS PARISH



VISION


We envision ourselves to be a FAMILY
of Catholic families bonded together in worship
of our Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Following the example of Mary, the Mother of God and drawing
inspiration from our patroness, St.Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus,
we aspire to be a Christian Community of elders and youth
recognized by our selfless love and generous service
to be true and loyal disciples of
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior









FAMILY OF CATHOLIC FAMILIES BONDED TOGETHER









In the present state of affairs, out of which there is arising a new situation for mankind, the Church, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Matt. 5:13-14), is more urgently called upon to save and renew every creature, that all things may be restored in Christ and all men may constitute one family in Him and one People of God.










ONE FAMILY






By divine institution Holy Church is ordered and governed with a wonderful diversity. "For just as in one body we have many members, yet all the members have not the same function, so we, the many, are one body in Christ, but severally members one of another".
Therefore, the chosen People of God is one: "one Lord, one faith, one baptism";
sharing a common dignity as members from their regeneration in Christ, having the same filial grace and the same vocation to perfection; possessing in common one salvation, one hope and one undivided charity. There is, therefore, in Christ and in the Church no inequality on, the basis of race or nationality, social condition or sex, because "there is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all 'one' in Christ Jesus".
(cf.”Lumen Gen.”191-193).















Holy Trinity








Let each of the faithful called to the profession of the evangelical counsels, therefore, carefully see to it that he persevere and ever grow in that vocation God has given him. Let him do this for the increased holiness of the Church, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity, which in and through Christ is the fount and the source of all holiness.















For all of us, who are sons of God and constitute one family in Christ.
As long as we remain in communion with one another in mutual charity and in one praise of the most Holy Trinity, are corresponding with the intimate vocation of the Church and partaking in foretaste the liturgy of consummate glory. (cf “Lumen Gen.279”).















Holy Spirit








When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father.
He is the Spirit of Life, a fountain of water springing up to life eternal. To men, dead in sin, the Father gives life through Him, until, in Christ, He brings to life their mortal bodies.
The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple. (cf.Lumen Gen “9-12).














The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation















nMother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
nIn the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.














The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action















Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church's life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.














THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH














Wishing in His supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of the world, "when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, that we might receive the adoption of sons".
"He for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary.“
This divine mystery of salvation is revealed to us and continued in the Church, which the Lord established as His body. Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ".(cf “Lumen Gentium 283).”














THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH















The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ . . . having cooperated by charity that faithful might be born in the Church, who are members of that Head."(3*) Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother.














St.Theresa of Child Jesus
We began to enlarge our vision and mission in 2006 when, on 28th July,
we erected the new Parish of Salmiya. To recognize the precious Apostolate performed for many years by the Carmelite Fathers. We put the new Parish under the protection of a great Carmelite saint: Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, the little flower of Jesus.
Before, in Salmiya we had a chapel and the priest in charge was based in the Cathedral premises. Since it became a Parish, with two priests resident in a flat in front of the church, the number of the faithful increased very much.
Saint Theresa, patroness of the missions, is doing her work very well.
(CF. Unity Congress Bp.Camillo Ballin MCJJ)









Poem by St TheresaThe FlowerAll the earth with snow is covered,Everywhere the white frosts reign;Winter and his gloomy courtiersHold their court on earth again.But for you has bloomed the FlowerOf the fields, Who comes to earthFrom the fatherland of heaven,Where eternal spring has birth.Near the Rose of Christmas, Sister!In the lowly grasses hide,And be like the humble flowerets, --Of heaven’s King the lowly bride!


LOVE! ...that is what I ask... I know but one thing now - to love thee, O Jesus! Glorious deeds are not for me, I cannot preach the Gospel, shed my blood... what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me, and I, the little child, I keep quite close to the royal throne, I love for those who fight. .. Story of a Soul, Ch. XI


In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance, a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem to me extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle. ... XVI Letter to her Sister Celine


On the Love of Neighbor THERE are moments when we are so wretched within, that we must need hurry away from ourselves. The good God does not oblige us to remain at such times in our own company; indeed He often permits that it should be displeasing to us just that we may leave it. And I see no other means of going out of ourselves than by going to visit Jesus and Mary, that is hastening to deeds of charity.


On Prayer
Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria; these prayers alone console me; they suffice, they nourish my soul.


Jesus made me understand that the true, the only glory is that which will last forever; that to attain to it we need not perform wonderful deeds, but rather, those hidden from the eyes of others and from self, so that the left hand knoweth not what the right hand doth. (Matt 6:3) ... Story of a Soul, Chapter IV


I am a very little soul who can offer only very little things to the good God; yet, it often happens that these little sacrifices which give such peace to the heart, escape me; but that does not discourage me, I bear with having a little less peace and I try to be more watchful another time ... Story of a Soul, Chapter X


On Confidence
Since it has been given to me too, to understand that love of the Heart of Jesus, I own that it has chased all fear from mine! The remembrance of my faults humiliates me, and urges me never to depend upon my own strength which is nothing but weakness: still more does this remembrance speak to me of mercy and of love. When, with all filial confidence we cast our faults into the devouring furnace of love, how should they not be totally consumed? ... V Letter to her Missionary "Brothers"


To be true and loyal disciples of Jesus Christ,

If you wish to be my disciple,Take up your cross and follow me.Whoever loves his life, will only loose itIt’s only sacrifice that brings one gain.You who have followed me, when life is endedWill reap a hundred fold eternally.


VOCATION TO SELFLESS LOVE


John-Paul II of happy memory, believed and taught that “…A sign that the church (community) is alive, is a flow of vocations,”





YOUTH MINISTRY











nMy dear young people, do not yield to false illusions and passing fads which so frequently leave behind a tragic spiritual vacuum! Reject the seduction of wealth, consumerism and the subtle violence sometimes used by the mass media.
nWorshipping the true God is an authentic act of resistance to all forms of idolatry. Worship Christ: He is the Rock on which to build your future and a world of greater justice and solidarity. Jesus is the Prince of peace: the source of forgiveness and reconciliation, who can make brothers and sisters of all the members of the human family.











nDear young people, the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelization: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. Many have gone before us along this path of Gospel heroism, and I urge you to turn often to them to pray for their intercession. MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER, JOHN PAUL IITO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLDON THE OCCASION OF THE 20th WORLD YOUTH DAY(COLOGNE, AUGUST 2005)











nPope Benedict encouraged the young people to follow the path of truth and freedom that leads to happiness. He invited the young people to follow the example of the saints and to devote themselves to personal prayer and silence, liturgical prayer, charity in action, and vocations. He thanked God that young people today can grow up in freedom. Still, there is darkness in our world today: dreams are shattered and people are treated as objects; truth is manipulated and the perception of reality is distorted.
















“Proclaim the Lord Christ … and always have your answer ready for people who ask the reason for the hope that is within you” (1 Pet 3:15).
nWe see then that the Church’s liturgy is a ministry of hope for humanity. Your faithful participation is an active hope which helps to keep the world -- saints and sinners alike -- open to God; this is the truly human hope we offer everyone (cf. "Spe Salvi," 34).















THE VARIOUS FIELDS OF THE APOSTOLATE

PROFESSIONALS AND EXPERTS CAN SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE;
TAKING GREAT CARE TO BE GUIDED
IN ALL THEIR ENDEAVOURS,
BY THE WORD OF GOD
AND THE PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.