Jesus addresses the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee to those who believe themselves to be most righteous, yet despise others. The Pharisee does the right things for the wrong reasons; what he does has no effect because he sees himself as more superior rather than loving. Jesus reminds us that our loving relationships must grow. Love for others is a necessary condition to truly grow in our relationship with God and our knowledge of Him.
During one of her locutions, Saint Teresa heard Our Lord speak the words, “Seek yourself in Me.” Saint Teresa understands these words to mean that God meets us and accepts us where we are in our lives, and our thirst and love of the truth is Someone, Yahweh moving among His people.
SOURCE: Order of Discalced Secular Carmelite (OCDS) community meeting, March 2018.
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What does it mean to be a contemplative? Father Robert Elias discusses the chapter, “A Listening Heart” from the book Seasons of the Heart, written by Father John Welch, O.Carm. Through Christ, God calls us to a relationship with Christ that is a self-discovering liberation in the context of friendship and trust. This contemplative relationship, which is built in silence, is not an escape, but enables us to enter more fully in solidarity and compassion with our poverty and the world’s poverty. As a result, we are able to love and see the world as He loves and sees the world.
The present moment is ever filled with infinite wonders. It contains more than you have the capacity to hold. Faith is the measure – believe and it will be done to you accordingly. Love also is the measure. The more the heart loves, the more it desires; and the more it desires, the more it will receive.
The will of God presents itself to us at each moment as an immense ocean that no human heart can fathom, but what the heart can receive from this ocean is equal to the measure of our faith, confidence and love. Thus, walk in the light of faith, execute His command and accomplish His will with joy and generosity each moment. We will enjoy life on earth; heaven on earth.
Holiness consists in great love as Jesus taught us and in great adherence and fidelity to God’s will. Do small things with great love. It will lead you to holiness. Our daily activities consist in doing small routine things, for faith, hope and love are the measure of all things.
Sometimes we think that holiness is only for priests, nuns and ordained people. No, holiness is for all people, as it is written in Matthew 5:48 “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect”.
St. Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower) said, ‘Do all things with great love and for the sake of loving God.’ If everyone of us will do the same thing as St. Therese did, we will be canonized one day.
Miracles often happen in doing small tasks. Not everyone has an opportunity to do a big task, for instance being a speaker or doing miracles during a healing service. But if we have do have that opportunity, do it for the glory of God.
Mostly, our activities consist of little things, such as cooking, washing laundry, gardening, or in ministry: arranging chairs, cleaning, preparing the food, helping in registration, and so on.
Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,” said Mother Teresa.“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing,” wrote St. Therese of Lisieux.
God created us out of love. He invites us to share in that love. But remember, He just invites, and He doesn’t force. We are given the ability to freely choose either to accept God’s love or to reject it.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water that I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:13-14).
As St Augustine said, “You have made us for You o Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” Yes, we are made for God, for the Infinite, and that is why anything else that is finite, anything else except God, will never fulfill our hearts.
By encountering and experiencing God’s love personally, you are able to do little things with a great love and become a witness of God’s merciful love.
About the author: Sister Theofila is the Prioress of the Daughters of Carmel, located in Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Visit Daughters of Carmel website for more information. Sister Theofila gave this conference during a Charismatic Renewal event.