Tonight (being a First Friday) there was a Holy Hour with Benediction at the Pro., followed by Low Mass of the incomparable St Thérèse of Lisieux, of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Discalced Carmelite Religious, Virgin, Patroness of France and of the Missions, Doctor of the Church, whose wish to be a missionary preachng the Gospel on all continents to the end of time has been marvellously fulfilled by the continual progress of her sacred relics through all nations.
We had Low Mass tonight, for Fr Rowe, having just returned from the ACCC Conference, was unfortunately too tired, as he admitted, to sing Mass for the feast, as he would otherwise have liked to have done. In any case, I was glad of his return and of his ghostly counsel in the confessional before Mass. It is a consolation to know that one of the Promises of the Sacred Heart is that Our Lord will touch the heart of sinners, as He indeed avers in His very Gospels.
And what a feast! The great St Thérèse: let us apply to her what is in the first place placed on the lips of the Virgin of Virgins by Holy Church: Congratulamini mihi, omnes qui diligitis Dominum: quia, cum essem parvula, placui Altissimo... (Rejoice together with me, all ye who love the Lord: for, when I was little, I pleased the Most High...) - for her way of spiritual childhood is indeed the distillation of the Gospel; and as the Offertory is for to-day's feast, repeating in Thérèse's name the glad cry of the Mother of God, Magnificat anima mea Dominum: et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo: quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ: fecit mihi magna qui potens est.
And as the hagiographical passages for her at Matins of nine lessons say, echoing Psalm 18:6, Teresia ad currendam perfectionis viam ut gigas exsultavit (Thérèse rejoiced as a giant to run the way of perfection); and further, referring to Psalm 83:6, Ibi mirabiles Deus in Teresiæ corde ascensiones disposuit (There [in Carmel] God disposed the heart of Thérèse to ascend to Him by steps).
I can personally testify that she has ceased not to pour down a shower of roses from heaven in response to prayer; she is indeed a great saint. Would that her example move us, and me especially, to run the way of perfection and come nigh unto the Lord.