September 30 2016
It was this time last year, as the second synod on the family was about to get underway and would be closed with the first ever canonisation of a married couple (namely Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of the even more renowned St.Therese of Lisieux or Little Flower) that much comment was made about the holiness of the married state. That despite their outstanding heroic virtue and personal sanctity, nevertheless, the raising to the altars of St. Therese’s parents reminded us that;
- Ordinary everyday faithful married life and love witnessed to by redeemed sinners is a sure path to heaven and entry into the eternal wedding feast with Jesus the Bridegroom. It is not some kind of ‘second class’ status or sacrament in the Church as was often falsely perceived.
- That because of the indisputable heroic virtue of their children, not least Therese, the canonisation of Louis and Zelie also reminds us of the duty, responsibility and absolute right of parents to be the primary educators of their children and the first and best educators of them in the ways of faith. Perhaps Ss. Louis and Zelie could become the patron saints of the dogma of the primary educator in these times where it is so much under constant attack and threat.
And because their daughter’s globally recognised spirituality of the “Little Way” (i.e. depending on how you pick a pin up from the floor, it’s possible to release a soul from purgatory and send it on its way to heaven) essentially came from the visible daily witness of her parents which she saw from a very young age….. then we too must remember that sainthood is not some way off, lofty, well-beyond-our-reach status; but in fact something we can and do begin building little by little, unfulfilled promise after unfulfilled promise, broken but repented of vow after broken but repented of vow all throughout our lives.
Yes we have to and must believe this, that despite our sins, our betrayals, both administered on others by us and ones we suffer, we are nevertheless [with one foot pointing to heaven and the other on a banana skin] slowly but surely…. getting there. It may not feel like it, but the essential thing is to never, ever completely give up on prayer and hope and especially the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. Just keep going no matter what happens….. and if you don’t believe me, here’s a gem of wisdom from a wise and holy priest in America I know of who captures it all better than I.
“St. Therese’s Little Way is often a little way of darkness. It’s about putting up with ourselves and not getting discouraged because we confess the same sins over and over. As Pope Francis says: “The Lord never tires of forgiving!” To live the Little Way is to do 3 things: 1) Recognize our brokenness, 2) Keep trying to grow in holiness, and 3) Keep trusting that God will satisfy our desires for holiness, even if we don’t understand how. If we truly live this Little Way, we will become saints.”
Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC
So as we begin the Month of the Most Holy Rosary tomorrow…let us bring this day by day, bit by bit, little by little mentality to the recitation of the Rosary in our lives. No lover ever truly gets tired of hearing the words “I love you” from their beloved. Likewise, Our Lady, our Mother of Mercy, never ever tires of hearing us recite over and over and over again, “Ave Maria” – “Hail Mary, the Lord is with thee…..”