Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Large Family Vision: The Martin Family

Last Wednesday the Church celebrated the feast of St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. We know her as St Therese of Lisieux. I reluctantly passed on Mass being 36 weeks along with the four other littles, but we did manage to go pray and visit her beautiful shrine here in Juneau.

We know that St Therese LOVED nature so we gave her tiny little presents around her statue...

When I took my youngest ones into the chapel to say hello to Jesus, there was a sweet thickness in the air. The Eucharist in the Tabernacle and the natural lighting and the whole feel of the Church seemed to hold the Mass that had been celebrated a few hours earlier. I can't quite figure out the words to describe it, but I felt it engulf me as soon as I opened the chapel door. Perhaps Heaven lingers a bit after it touches down at Holy Mass...it was a dear gift and grace to be given.

St Therese has had an amazing presence in my life ever since I chose her as my confirmation saint in highschool. I didn't do much research on who she was, I knew she was known as "the Little Flower" and I really liked the way she spelled her name. So, I tend to think she chose me as I was so very careless in my way of choosing her.

When we received the call nearly six years ago from the Coast Guard detailer (think of the "All Powerful Oz") and were told our next tour was in Alaska, like any good Coastie wife I started researching online, specifically on the Diocese of Juneau. I discovered the Shrine of St Therese and not only that, I found out that St Therese is the patron saint of Alaska. I have felt she has been a constant guide in a beautiful motherly way, anticipating my needs on my journey here...specifically in this fifth pregnancy.

In fact, the Holy Spirit has once again filled a spiritual need in my life by gently prompting me to finally read her incredible autobiography. I have read at least two other books ABOUT St Therese all relying heavily on her own Story of a Soul, but let's be honest....we need to get to the heart of things. THE ESSENTIAL of St Therese is her story in her own words.

And yet....here I am writing this post under my Large Family Vision label...my literary storehouse of tidbits to remember as I form the vision for my own family.

Apparently there is a whole book about the Martin family, but without having read that book, the small glimpses I have been afforded in St Therese' own words have been inspiring.

And now a peek into the Martin Home (much of which was written in the Prologue)...a home of five daughters who were brought up in the loving care of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin...

Family life held a privileged position. They were content only when together.

There reigned in the Martin family a solid faith that saw God in all life's events, 

paying Him a permanent homage: family prayers together, morning attendance at Mass, frequent reception of Holy Communion, Sunday vespers, retreats.

Their whole life revolved around the liturgical year,

Angel Hair pasta & Devil's Foodcake cupcakes on St Michael's Feast Day

We found these bird cupcakes in the discount bakery bin for St Francis' Feast Day!
 pilgrimages, a scrupulous regard for fasts and abstinences. Yet there was nothing stiff and bigoted in this family that was unacquainted with formality. They could be active and contemplative, feeding abandoned children, tramps and the aged.

"All my life God was pleased to surround me with love, and my first memories are imprinted with the most tender smiles and caresses!"

"Ah! how rapidly the sunny years of my early childhood passed by, what a sweet impression they left on my soul! Everything on earth smiled at me. 

I found flowers under each of my steps, and my happy disposition contributed also to making my life pleasing."

"What shall I say of the winter evenings at home, especially Sunday evenings? Ah! how I loved, after the game of checkers was over, to sit with Celine on Papa's knees. He used to sing, in his beautiful voice, airs that filled the soul with profound thoughts, or else, rocking us gently, he recited poems that taught the eternal truths."

They were such a PRAYERFUL, God centered people. Yes, I will happily reflect on the small glimpses into their home life.

Thank you for stopping by!

St Therese pray for us and our families! God Bless xxoo

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