God remains in us and we in Him, enabling us to love one another
The solemn Mass of Roses was held on the feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face at the Basilica of the Little Flower on October 1, with Mass celebrated with the Discalced Carmelite Friars of San Antonio and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, presiding.
The Little Flower community was established in 1936 to serve San Antonio’s westside and the friars have done so for 95 years.
The archbishop described how we can use as an image for the Church the Canary Islands where a new volcano just emerged recently.
“We pray for those who have lost their property. Our hearts are like the rocks that cover that island,” he explained. “The Holy Spirit is like the magma within the island. The love of God flows from within the Church and melts everything on its path. Like those rocks, our hearts melt as we exchange a gaze with Jesus, hanging on the cross, and we make way for God’s love. Only the Holy Spirit can melt the rock in our hearts and allow it to flow down to the ocean of the Father’s mercy. That ocean of love is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
The Little Flower, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, said that at the heart of the Church, she would be love. “Simple souls do not need to use complicated means. I’m one of them,” she said. She realized that by drawing her to Himself, Jesus attracted the souls that she loved. “Just as a torrent that is powerfully thrown into the ocean carries with it everything in its path, in the same way, oh Jesus, the soul that plunges into the shoreless ocean of your love carries with it all the treasures that it possesses.”
She acknowledged that it was not her merit which freed her from love for creatures, but only the boundless mercy of God. She knew that “the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” (Lk 7:47). “But those profound words,” she said, “resonate with immense sweetness in my soul, because I also know that Jesus has forgiven me more than the Magdalene, since he has forgiven me in advance, preventing me from falling.”
“The Lord has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows how we are formed, remembers that we are dust,” Archbishop Gustavo quoted Psalm 103, asking, “How often do we remember that we are dust?”
He replied, “The world persuades us to magnify ourselves, but greatness in God’s eyes is being like children, like the Little Flower. Our being childlike is what can allow the Lord to give us rest. Jesus explains that being childlike means learning from him to be meek and humble of heart. That is what it means to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. St. Thérèse teaches us that a simple smile, suffering in silence, and any small action done with great love is the way to God who is love.”
Pope Francis says that “Thérèse lived the little way of complete trust in the Lord’s love and determined to fan with her prayers the fire of love burning in the heart of the Church.”
The Missionary of the Holy Spirit concluded by praying, “that Our Lady of Guadalupe show us the little way that leads to her Son’s heart and to the heart of the Church.”