“Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as with the love with which we do them.”

St. Therese of Lisieux
quoted in Vernon Johnson’s book
Spiritual Childhood

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Therese, the Little Flower, who lived in France from 1873-1897.  She led an obscure life as a cloistered Carmelite nun, but gained worldwide fame after her death and the publication of her spiritual autobiography, The Story of a Soul.  Pope Pius XI  declared her a saint in 1925, only 27 years after her death. In 1997, she was declared a Doctor of the Church.  St. Therese is most well-known for  her Little Way.  St. Theresa of Calcutta summarized it as, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  

This past Saturday we held Summit 2019 here at Terra Sancta.  We were blessed with a wonderful crowd.  561 people attended, both children and adults.  I saw many examples throughout the day of living out St. Therese’s Little Way, particularly in the Ambassadors who generously agreed to provide hospitality and support for the event.  

One image stands out in my mind.  During the Healing Service we had asked some to assist those who were going to confession.  Others were asked to help those who wished to be prayed over by a healing team find an open team.  These Ambassadors provided this assistance with grace and joy.  But one, in particular, stands out to me.  An Ambassador, who was not “assigned” to help saw a need and met it.  Many people who were prayed over on Saturday rested in the Spirit; their whole bodies relaxed as they were prayed over and they laid quietly for several minutes.  Often times, after this experience, people are slightly disoriented.  It was such a joy to watch one Ambassador take these participants by the hand and gently walk them back to their seats in the chapel.  It was a simple thing.  It was not a difficult thing.  But it was done with great kindness and sensitivity.  And it touched my heart deeply.  

Bishop Gruss once commented that a lack of hospitality is often caused by a lack of awareness.  It is not an intentional rudeness or an absence of care.  It is simply that we don’t notice the need of the other.  Or we don’t notice that something we have done or not done has made someone feel unwelcome.  I was inspired by this woman’s awareness of a need and the generous and quiet way in which she responded to it.  It was truly Generous Hospitality in action.

 

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