St. Mary of Egypt is thought to have died in Holy Week. I was thinking of that when I recalled Little Therese coughed up blood on Good Friday, confirming her intuition that death was soon approaching. In her Story of A Soul she wrote:
“Oh! How sweet this memory really is, I had scarcely laid my head upon the pillow when I felt something like a bubbling stream mounting to my lips. I didn’t know what it was”. The next morning she coughed up more blood in her handkerchief. “I thought immediately of the joyful thing that I had to learn, so I went over to the window. I was able to see that I was not mistaken. Ah, my soul was filled with great consolation, I was interiorly persuaded that Jesus, on the anniversary of His own death, wanted to have me hear His first call”.If the thought of the passion and death of Christ does not put everything in perspective in our lives, the thought of our own death ought to - and then perhaps, we can understand our desperate need of mercy and maybe even appreciate the sacred passion of Christ more deeply.
I think it needs to be personal to be appreciated on such a profound level. Not sure how to explain that however.
Yesterday, I came across a devotional picture of Padre Pio receiving the transverberation of his heart. His stigmata and all of those wonderful charisma he received do not move me. They do not lead me to Christ, as it were. They seem like novelties on some level. Yet the ordinariness of St. Therese is for me, so much more real, more edifying, more deeply interior, without sensation. It just seems more real to me.
I posted a devotional picture of Therese because of its lovely simplicity. It is this which attracts ordinary people I think. And like Our Lady, Therese always directs us to the Little Jesus, who loves us and finds us irresistible. We can pray with Therese and all the ordinary saints of Holy Week: 'Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.' No matter what.