The importance of pleasing God, humility and the “vocation of love” noted by St. Thérèse de Lisieux highlighted our Salesian chat this week.
Why not join our chat this Sunday? Learn more at the Visitation Sisters’ “Living Jesus Chat Room.”
Following are five topics of our discussion.
1. Is God pleased if one simply desires to desire Him?
2. Saint Francis speaks of the good of “spiritual avarice.” Is this truly good?
3. How can we learn to better become beggars of spirit?
4. In what ways do faith and hope inspire this desire of love?
5. How does St. Francis’ thoughts about love compare with that of St. Thérèse de Lisieux, who said, “… At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and then I will be all things.”
Visitation Sister: Hello! Welcome, everyone!
Lydia: Yes, to question 1, because as soon as we want to desire God, Grace takes over.
Sr Jennifer: According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.
Visitation Sister: God always wants our desire to increase so He can give us more.
Lydia: Our will says we want to love God and then God sends His Holy Spirit.
Rebecca: I think the grace comes even when we do not know that it is God we desire, but are seeking THE TRUTH, or BEAUTY, or LOVE.
Visitation Sister: We start somewhere, and He leads us to Himself.
Visitation Sister: What do you think, or have you experienced spiritual avarice?
Lydia: Today one of the prayers was that God will be pleased with His adopted children like he is with Jesus. I always wanted God to be pleased with me. Maybe that is a form of it. We want our parents to love us and approve of us.
Visitation Sister: I think it is the increasing desire to love God better and more and to be totally absorbed in Him.
Denise: Perhaps I have experienced this. It is like a grasping, I think, of outward things in order to be fulfilled in God’s love. Maybe it is even searching for consolations all the time as “proof” when I do not think this is so. Or, perhaps I do not understand spiritual avarice.
Wanting What God Wants
Lydia: How do we love?
Lydia: We want to do what God wants us to do, I think.
Rebecca: I think it takes time and study and reflection to even have an idea of what God wants us to do.
Lydia: God knows when we want to do what He wants, and maybe it is as simple as to love Him.
Visitation Sister: His Will is not always easy to determine, but circumstances help to understand Divine Providence.
Sr Jennifer: Love and to love can never have enough. One will never have too much of it. And God is love itself. He desires us to desire Him.
Rebecca: This is probably especially true if parents are disapproving or approve of the wrong things or “religious education” puts the wrong emphasis on externals.
Rebecca: “This” is a continuation of what I wrote above — about desiring to do the Will of God.
Visitation Sister: Desiring to do His Will is love too.
Lydia: Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:15, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
Lydia: I think we have to be like children to Him. If we try to discern too much, we can go off track. If we are like children, we will just follow Him.
St. Thérèse Kept Searching
Lydia: That is like the question regarding St. Therese. She kept searching and searching until she realized all she had to do was love.
Visitation Sister: Simplicity in all things.
Rebecca: But loving is way more than a feeling . . . or even a desire for the good of the other.
Lydia: The drummer boy is popping into my head: What can we give God? He does not need anything. We can play our drum for Him or anything else we do; we just have to do it for Him.
Rebecca: Lydia, I love that . . . the drummer boy . . .
Visitation Sister: In what ways do faith and hope inspire this desire of love?
Denise: Sacrificial love?
Lydia: Denise, I guess we are willing to accept whatever God wants in terms of suffering for us that He may send and that is part of love.
Denise: Thank you.
Rebecca: And that’s why I think we can reasonably hope that — even if it is unknown to the individual — there is salvation outside the Church — as Vatican II documents seem to “make room for.”
Visitation Sister: These are the three theological virtues: faith, hope and love.
Lydia: Salvation outside the Church is still through only Jesus and what Jesus did and does.
Lydia: That is a very touchy subject with the Abu Dhabi document.
Rebecca: Yes, Lydia, I’ve been wrestling with that — again — for some weeks now. Listening to both Taylor Marshall and Bishop Robert Barron — and how even Catholic Answers speakers sometimes misrepresent the Bishop — and the concerns of some that Francis is possibly an impostor.
Rebecca: All Salvation comes through the Church — as steward of the graces, Sacraments, word of Our Lord . . .
"At Last I Have Found My Vocation"
Visitation Sister: How does St. Francis’ thoughts about love compare with that of St. Thérèse de Lisieux, who said, “… At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and then I will be all things.”
Visitation Sister: This is one of my most favorite understandings about St. Therese.
Ben: Soo Beautiful, Sister!!! St. Therese is Right On!!!!
Lydia: She said she will spend her Heaven doing good on Earth.
Lydia: How do they compare? I think St. Francis de Sales is the more cerebral form of the same thing as St. Therese, who is the simpler form…childlike.
Ben: True Love puts us right in the position to bring God to others where they are at!!!
Lydia: He works and works with his brain to come to the same place as a little girl.
Visitation Sister: St Therese was influenced by St. Francis de Sales, remotely because of the Visitation nuns in the family and the Visitation boarding schools.
Rebecca: Good observation, Lydia.
Lydia: Her sister and her aunt, I think.
Lydia: Her sister may have entered after St. Therse died, not sure.
St. Thérèse's Sister Up for Beatification
Visitation Sister: Yes, Leonie entered after St. Therese died and stayed. She tried earlier but had to leave several times. Now up for beatification.
Rebecca: Pretty clear how sanctity seems to run in families and with close friends.
Visitation Sister: Do you understand the phrase “beggars of spirit”? That’s something to think about!
Rebecca: Those “poor in spirit”? That’s how I read it.
Lydia: I think St. Paul keeps describing that in the Epistles. The only real life we have is life in the Spirit.
Rebecca: They KNOW that they are “beggars.”
Lydia: It is the only part of us that will live on when we die.
Lydia: That is the Glory in Heaven that belongs to God and our life is how we participate in that.
Lydia: Our other actions are just dead.
Rebecca: Apostles Creed: “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”
Lydia: Rebecca, yes, our bodies are glorified bodies then.
Lydia: Like Jesus after the Resurrection.
Lydia: Like He was with the Transfiguration.
Lydia: Much more amazing.
Poverty in Spirit
Visitation Sister: Poor in spirit: dependency on God?
Ben: Amen, Sister!!!
Sr Jennifer: In the Scriptures the literal poor are considered especially close to God because of their complete dependence upon Him. They place their trust and confidence in God rather than material possessions and worldly power. In the Gospel of Matthew this “blessedness” is extended to all people, regardless of their status in the world, who recognize their complete dependence and reliance on God.
Rebecca: We hear it often in the words of the struggling poor . . . “If God wills it . . .”
Ben: Amen, Sister Jennifer!!!
Visitation Sister: I may have said this before but a woman without much means or resources once told me how it is the poor do not despair: because they cling to God and repeat, “it will get better.“
Rebecca: Beatitudes in Luke: the poor is more concretely what everyone would recognize as poor — materially poor, not “just” poor “in spirit.”
Lydia: Poor in spirit is humble.
Visitation Sister: Yes, Lydia!
Sr Jennifer: To be “poor in spirit” is to be humble, recognize our sinfulness, and to trust more in God than in the things of the world.
Denise: And this virtue would precede the three, or be a part of?
Visitation Sister: Faith, hope, and love, that three?
Rebecca: Precede in time or in importance?
Visitation Sister: I think precede, Denise, although I am sure our souls are humble in heaven.
Ben: Jesus displayed all three to us on the Cross!!!
Sr Jennifer: And love is the greatest.
Love Endures in Heaven
Rebecca: Love endures in heaven. Apparently, then, we no longer have need of Faith and Hope.
Ben: Greater Love Has No Man than This That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends.
Visitation Sister: Amen!
Rebecca: But sometimes I wonder how the joy of heaven can be complete when we are still aware of the sinfulness of those still living — bodily — on Earth.
Visitation Sister: It was good to be back this week, sorry, I missed you all. I am leaving now but will keep you all in prayer. God bless your first week of “ordinary time.”
Lydia: Rebecca, I think people in Heaven see that Jesus overcame sin and death.
Ben: We must give up our lives for others even our worst Enemy!!!
Denise: I recalled St. Francis speaking of it, we spoke of it in chat. so, I found this from Devout Life. The swallow with its sharp cry and keen glance has the power of frightening away birds of prey, and for that reason the dove prefers it to all other birds, and lives surely beside it; even so humility drives Satan away, and cherishes the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit within us, and for that reason all the Saints–and especially the King of Saints and His Blessed Mother–have always esteemed the grace of humility above all other virtues.
Sr Jennifer: Good night and God bless.
Denise: Good night, Sr Jennifer. Thank you! God bless.
Ben: We Must Love God and Others!!! The World Hates Everybody!!! God Loves Everybody!!!
Lydia: Thanks for that quote, Denise.
Denise: It is that simple, Ben!!
Spend Her Heaven Doing Good on Earth
Rebecca: Terese wanted to spend her heaven doing good on Earth — and many do respond to her simple ways — the roses, for instance. Was this “just” an overflowing of her love, her loving spirit or perhaps an example of what makes heaven heaven, whether after death or in this life?
Lydia: God be praised!
Ben: When we Plant the seed of Love in our Lives, God allows it to Grow Forever!!!
Denise: We now enter Ordinary time, but I think there may be nothing ordinary about it!
Denise: God Bless. I recall a little quote; I have a mustard seed and I know how to use it…thinking of seeds, Ben.
Ben: Amen, Denise!!!
Denise: Good night, Sister. God bless you and all the Sisters. and everyone here. Thank you.
Denise: Goodnight, all.
Rebecca: Good night, dear ones. Ordinary has to do with “ORDER” rather than commonplace. I like both of your quotes, Denise. And even if we each have only a piece of a mustard seed, when we put those pieces together, we get a seed that can sprout and grow.
Rebecca: Come, O Holy Spirit! fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of thy love. O heavenly love, when wilt thou fill my soul?