From the Desk of Fr. Andrew
The dog days of summer are almost upon us. It’s supposed to be a time when things slow down, but no one got that memo at the Church of the Little Flower. Vacation Bible School is in full swing. Fr. Manny and the group of parish pilgrims are enjoying the sites in France and Spain and praying for all of us. If you hadn’t noticed, it has been quite noisy and dusty in our church during the week as our full roof replacement continues. As always, our good work in the vineyard of the Lord never takes a break.
Our good work continues in faith and in complete trust that Our Lord Jesus Christ walks with us. Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks to us just as He spoke to the Twelve, “Fear no one … Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” In our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of this simple truth. God is in control, both in what He wills and in what he allows. Ultimately, God directs everything for our salvation, for an eternity spent with Him. If we go through trials, they are opportunities for us to grow in grace and in virtue. Most of all, they are opportunities for us to grow in dependence on God. They are opportunities for a total surrender.
The spiritual master of this truth is none other than our patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux. I have to think that our connection to her has grown this week because our pastor has prayed for us all in Lisieux, at her tomb, with her precious relics. Her spiritual secret was simple: complete and total trust that the good God would care for her. She trusted that all was grace. She describes it in a more sublime way, “Jesus points out to me the only way which leads to Love’s furnace – that way is self-surrender – it is the confidence of the little child who sleeps without fear in its father’s arms.”
Do we live with that kind of trust? The Father’s loving heart cannot resist when we trust Him that much. His heart burns with love for us. He cares for the birds of the air. How much more does He care for us who are made in His image?
Of course, we have busy lives to attend to and the world is a worrying place. That is a truth we can’t ignore. Living with this kind of trust is far easier said than done. This faith, this trust is only cultivated in a life filled with prayer. It only comes from living heart to heart with our Lord. It requires meaningful time taken to speak with the One who awaits us at every moment. It cannot be overstated how important a prayer life is. St. Alphonsus Liguori put it best, “Know also that you will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all other spiritual exercises of the day.” There is no doubt about it, the beating heart of this parish is our St. Joseph Perpetual Adoration Chapel and the many people who spend time before the Eucharistic Lord at all times of day and night.
As we continue in this month of the Sacred Heart, lean on that heart of Jesus with the confidence of a child sleeping in its father’s arms. Trust that He cares for you with a love beyond all telling. Fear no one, for the Lord of the Universe has counted every hair of your head. He will not lose anyone whom His Father has given Him.