Dehonian Spirituality includes a monthly reflection and prayer based in the spirituality of Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians).
St. Thérѐse of the Child Jesus
Reflections from Fr. Leo John Dehon, founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart
The life of love towards God and the Savior has always been the Christian ideal as we have seen from the testimonies of the Fathers, Doctors, saints, and spiritual writers. At times this union of love became so intense as to form that astounding familiarity spoken of in the Imitation of Christ [Book 3, Chapter 1]. This grace was granted to St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis de Sales, St. Gertrude, and St. Teresa [of Avila].
But with the advent of the reign of the Sacred Heart, this intimacy became easier and more frequent. Our Lord promised it to St. Margaret Mary. His divine Heart is given to us as an inexhaustible ocean of the most precious graces. How many souls, holy souls, now rise to an incomprehensible familiarity with the divine Spouse! See how Sr.Thérѐse of the Child Jesus was favored by the friendship of the divine Infant of Nazareth.
The life of spiritual infancy, so dear to Sr.Thérѐse of the Child Jesus, harmonizes well with the life of intimate union. Our Lord himself invited us thereto when he said, ‘Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [Matthew 18:3].
A poem dedicated to the Sacred Heart by Sr. Thérѐse of the Child Jesus wonderfully expresses my sentiments; I’ve copied a stanza from it:
I need a heart burning with tenderness,
that remains my support forever,
Loving everything in me, even my weakness,
Never leaving me night and day.
I could never find another creature
Who would love me always without ever dying;
I need a God who takes on my nature,
Becoming my brother and being able to suffer.
The Church honors the memory of St. Thérѐse of the Child Jesus on October 1. In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayers those who long for a loving relationship with Jesus, but hesitate to believe it’s possible. You may find helpful the following paraphrase of Psalm 124, taken from Water and Enrich My Heart, Prayers Based on the Psalms, by Charles Flood, SCJ.
How many times have I experienced
the reality of your protection, Lord.
So many times, I would have been overwhelmed
but for your protection.
Blessed and praised
be your mercy and love
that have so consistently pulled me through
when all human aid seemed to fail.
My help is indeed
in the name of the Lord
who made me
along with his heavens and earth.