A Still, Small Voice

I love The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It is a fabulously moving commentary on the folly of man, written from the perspective of the Tempter himself. The book is a collection of fictional letters between a senior devil, Screwtape, and his protégé, Wormwood, a young devil. Screwtape advises Wormwood in the ways of the successful tempter. One passage on noise strikes a chord in my heart each time I read it. Screwtape writes to Wormwood:
We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in that direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end.
Screwtape readily admits that he does little work to tempt man in evil ways, away from God; rather, he simply promotes noise. See, God’s language is silence. His creation grows in silence—flowers, plants, babies in the womb. Jesus, God Incarnate, was conceived in silence; St. Joseph uttered not one word in the gospels. God speaks to our hearts in silence. When we let ourselves be overcome by noise, we distance ourselves from God. 

A Love to Rule All Loves

This past March, I had the opportunity to attend a women’s retreat through Franciscan. I knew little about the retreat prior to attending, aside from what I could garner from its name, “Capture My Heart.” It sounded a bit too touchy-feely and girly for my taste, but after a strange course of events, I found myself in a room with yellow curtains at a monastery in rural Pennsylvania, adjacent to a herd of cows. 

Though I could say plenty about the incredible healing power of the weekend, I would like now to focus on one particular encounter centered around, oddly enough, this crown: 

The Little Flower and Her Brother

One of my goals this summer is to finish all the books I started reading at school (and there are many). So far, I’ve completed Wendy Shalit’s A Return to Modesty and Patrick Ahern’s Maurice and Thérèse: The Story of a Love. If you know anything about the Little Way, you’ll recognize those accent marks. I’m referring to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, whom I mentioned in my previous post. Prior to reading this book, I had little knowledge of St. Thérèse, aside from what others had told me about her sainthood. However, as I read, I began to understand the attraction many Catholics have to St. Thérèse’s Little Way. 

Maurice and Thérèse is a collection of letters between St. Thérèse and Maurice Barthélémy Bellière, a young seminarian at the time of their correspondence. Thérèse, a cloistered nun, was asked by her superior to pray for the struggling Maurice, which she obediently did. She adopted Maurice as her spiritual brother, constantly referring to herself as his “little sister”—not because she was younger than he, but because of her great humility. Thérèse had no inhibitions when writing to her brother, and thus readers come to know this great saint, the “Little Flower,” in a deep and beautiful way. 
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