On Sunday, in the traditional calendar, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of Lisieux (b. 1873- d. 1897). St. Therese is popularly known as The Little Flower, because of her teachings on what is known as “spiritual childhood“; she saw herself as a little flower in the many differing blooms of souls who loved God. For this happy day, a day which is characterized by the triumph of love, and the triumph of spiritual childhood, I am posting one of St. Therese‘s poems which is titled My Hope. Since the Church assures us that this delightful bloom has safely reached the shores of the Kingdom of Heaven, we know that her hope has been fulfilled; and so, on her feast day, we celebrate. Though written in 1896, it gives us, today, a look into the heart of The Little Flower:
My Hope by St. Therese of Lisieux
Though in a foreign land I dwell afar,
I taste in dreams the endless joys of heaven.
Fain would I fly beyond the farthest star,
And see the wonders to the ransomed given!
No more the sense of exile weighs on me,
When once I dream of that immortal day.
To my true fatherland, dear God! I see,
For the first time I soon shall fly away.
Ah! give me, Jesus! wings as white as snow,
That unto Thee I soon may take my flight.
I long to be where flowers unfading blow;
I long to see Thee, O my heart’s Delight!
I long to fly to Mary’s mother-arms, —
To rest upon that spotless throne of bliss;
And, sheltered there from troubles and alarms,
For the first time to feel her gentle kiss.
Thy first sweet smile of welcoming delight
Soon show, O Jesus! to Thy lowly bride;
O’ercome with rapture at that wondrous sight,
Within Thy Sacred Heart, ah! let me hide.
O happy moment! and O heavenly grace!
When I shall hear Thee, Jesus, speak to me;
And the full vision of Thy glorious Face
For the first time my longing eyes shall see.
Thou knowest well, my only martyrdom
Is love, O Heart of Jesus Christ! for Thee;
And if my soul craves for its heavenly home,
‘Tis but to love Thee more, eternally.
Above, when Thy sweet Face unveiled I view,
Measure nor bounds shall to my love be given;
Forever my delight shall seem as new
As the first time my spirit entered heaven.
June 12, 1896
St. Therese, the little flower of Carmel, pray for us!
May you have a good day.
~Top image: statue of St. Therese, The Little Flower.