Wisdom of the Saints
St. Thérèse De Lisieux:
St. Thérèse is one of our favourite saints, mainly because of her "little way". Pope Pius XI called St. Thérèse "a masterpiece of grace and nature" and stated that "if her way of spiritual childhood became general, it would bring the reform of human society". That is quite an amazing statement! Pope Pius XI was actually declaring that if a great number of people embraced St. Thérèse's little way, the world would essentially be transformed. That's one of the many compelling reasons we have for sharing with you what we've learned about her teaching on spiritual childhood.
Linda and I have seen a few movies and read a few books on her life, but they have often struck us as being a little "syrupy" and a tad sentimental. We see her as a strong woman of faith whose doctrine may be simple but definitely not easy! Her "way" is robust and deeply anchored in the gospels. St John Paul II named her a Doctor of the Church but some people may not fully appreciate the implications of that. It means that her spiritual doctrine is on par with the likes of Sts Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, to name but a few. That should be enough to gain our attention.
Another striking feature of her life is that even though she quickly attained a very high degree of holiness, St. Thérèse went relatively unnoticed in her own convent. This and several other somewhat surprising and little known characteristics are all part of what makes our favourite saint so unique.
The videos below were first presented as a weekly series. We suggest that you view them in the sequence presented below, since they build one onto another. (Intro, Week 1, 2, 3...etc.).
Pope St. John Paul II:
Pope St. John Paul II is without doubt one of our favourite saints. In our humble opinion he’s also not only one of the greatest saints but also one of the greatest popes in 2000 years of Church history. He had the compassionate heart of a pastor, was a zealous evangelist, a prolific author, philosopher, athlete, playwright and actor. He learned to speak fifteen languages, becoming fluent in nine of them. He was a devoted priest, bishop and pontiff and a man deeply committed to prayer. To use St. Paul’s image, Pope John Paul II “ran the race” to a measure and over a distance few, if any, could equal!
One simple anecdote should suffice to illustrate the exceptional nature of this disciple of Jesus. While still a young priest, Karol Wojtyla was so captured by the writings of St John of the Cross on prayer and the mystical life that he learned Spanish so that he could read his writings in the original Spanish!
He was known for his tender devotion to Our Lady, yet in all of his writing and preaching, he proclaimed Jesus. Through one of his inspired initiatives - World Youth Days - hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives were impacted, resulting in a considerable number of young men and women attributing to him their vocation to the priesthood or religious life. An even greater number of laity credit him with confirming them in their vocation to marriage and aiding them in pastoring their “domestic church”.
We start our videos on this great man with a series on a document that is dear to my heart because of its prophetic nature: "Novo Millennio Ineunte" known in English as "Into the Third Millenium".