From St. Therese...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"The Apostles murmured against Magdalen. This still happens, for so do men murmur against us. Even some fervent Catholics who think our ways are exaggerated, and that - with Martha - we ought to wait upon Jesus, instead of pouring out on Him the odorous ointment of our lives. Yet what does it matter if these ointment-jars - our lives - be broken, since Our Lord is consoled; and the world is in spite of itself forced to inhale the perfumes they give forth? It has much need of these perfumes to purify the unwholesome air it breathes."
-St. Therese, from a letter to her sister, Celine

Religious life, especially that of the cloistered contemplative variety, can be mightily confusing even among many good Catholics. What, we wonder, is the point in making these sacrifices for Him? Perhaps we can understand the active Sister or a Priest, but... what about the cloistered life? Is it worth it? Is it just a waste?

Certainly, we might argue that there are many benefits- prayer, of course, is something this world desperately needs. So too do we need the sign of His primacy that we find in His consecrated religious.

Still, it would seem that there needs to be more than this. It seems to me that we should make these sacrifices simply because it pleases Him that we do so. How can His Heart not warm to see us attempting to give up everything for His sake? What is love without sacrifice?

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