GeE 145: More Little Details

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The youngest Doctor of the Church gives good advice, if we have difficulty tracking Jesus’ sheep, coin, wine, or cooked fish breakfasts:

145. A community that cherishes the little details of love,* whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan. There are times when, by a gift of the Lord’s love, we are granted, amid these little details, consoling experiences of God. “One winter night I was carrying out my little duty as usual… Suddenly, I heard off in the distance the harmonious sound of a musical instrument. I then pictured a well-lighted drawing room, brilliantly gilded, filled with elegantly dressed young ladies conversing together and conferring upon each other all sorts of compliments and other worldly remarks. Then my glance fell upon the poor invalid whom I was supporting. Instead of the beautiful strains of music I heard only her occasional complaints… I cannot express in words what happened in my soul; what I know is that the Lord illumined it with rays of truth which so surpassed the dark brilliance of earthly feasts that I could not believe my happiness”. [Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Manuscript C, 29 v-30r]

* I think especially of the three key words “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”. “The right words, spoken at the right time, daily protect and nurture love”: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (19 March 2016), 133: AAS 108 (2016), 363.

An observation after years of parenting: this kind of formation in the little details can’t be preached. It must be demonstrated. Unless parents can utter courtesies and apologies to their children, it would be rare–if not a grace–that a young person will take the initiative on it or truly integrate it.

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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