1 Oct 2015
Memorial of St Therese of Lisieux
It happens at a young age: children begin to push their parents away. And, with adolescence, personal independence becomes even more important. But, of course, with early adulthood, those same kids realize how much they depend on others—particularly, their parents. Of course, their parents hadn’t gone anywhere; they were always there.
And that image of a faithful parent, or a stable and comforting presence in our life comes through in the words of Isaiah: “Rejoice with Jerusalem, . . . as nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.”
About the time we think we can be independent of God and his Church, life happens, and we remember how much we need God and his Church. And God is always there; the Church is always there. When life gets us down, or we’re confused or frustrated, or scared, we can go to the One who is always there for us.
As a mother comforts her son, so we can find comfort in our God and in his Church. And that can seem so abstract. But just as we can share our hearts with other people, so we can share our hearts with God; in silence, in some time away from the buzyness of life.
Sometimes you just need to sit with God in your room and spill your guts out. Sometimes you need to be alone in a darkened Church and maybe cry some tears, knowing that God is there. Sometimes when life gets to be too much and we realize (again) how much we depend on God and his Church, we can remember the “Little Way” of St Therése—the way of trust, the way of openness and vulnerability, the way of simple childlike love for God our Father and the Church our Mother.
And it’s not a sign of weakness to be dependent. After all, “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” are those who are humble, trusting, and entirely dependent on God. How great Christ is on the Cross—humble, trusting, and dependent. How beautiful is the Church—humble, trusting, and dependent. And how wonderful it is when we come home again; back to the bosom of our God; to God who is always there for us.