Posted by: catholicrelics | October 6, 2009

St Therese arrives at Nottingham Cathedral

The queues started around 2pm with an expectant buzz in the air – a calm excitement – as St Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham waited in anticipation. Some little children had found out exactly where she would be arriving in the hearse and waited in the car park clutching their roses ready to lay at the casket when St Therese of the Child Jesus finally got here at 5pm.

As the relics were processed into the cathedral a service of welcome was given with songs and then took the form of an imaginative conversation between a narrator and St Therese:

An excerpt:

Narrator: St Therese please explain the ‘Little Way’ to us.

St Therese: I wanted to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that was very straight, very short, and totally new…

I wanted to find a lift which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection!

…. Jesus showed me the road that leads to this Divine Furnace, and this road is the surrender of the little child who sleeps without fear in its Father’s arms.”

Narrator: Even when we are weighed down by our human faults and weaknesess, you encourage us to continue to aspire towards holiness. You teach us that we don’t need to be great, remarkable or perfect to follow this path, indeed you yourself felt the same human weaknesess and felt yourself to be the weakest and littlest of all – but you did not give up hope and so you encourage us also to have the same hopes. You wrote:

St Therese: If all weak souls felt what the least of souls feels, that is, the soul of your little Therese, not one would despair of reaching the summit of the mount of love.

Narrator: You were not put off by your human weaknesess from believing it possible to become holy or even to realise your desire to become a saint. Instead, you believed that God had given you this holy desire and you had a bold confidence that God’s power would also bring it about. You declared:

St Therese: I have always wanted to be a saint… God cannot inspire unrealizable desires. I can, then, in spite of my littleness, aspire to be holy….”

Prayer: St Therese, pray that we may also aspire to holiness and have a great hope for reaching heaven like you did.

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