Before going on retreat for the weekend I must acknowledge tomorrow's memorial of the Little Flower, who I love so much and who loves me and intercedes for me. While thinking about her this morning, it dawned on me that our retreat master for this weekend, Deacon Owen Cummings, is the same person who made me aware of the great devotion the brilliant and lovely French chantuese Édith Piaf had to the Little Flower. She was taught this devotion by a prostitute who worked in a brothel in which Édith's maternal grandma, in whose care her father left her, was the madam. Indeed, in every age it is the tax collectors and prostitutes who enter the Kingdom of God before many of us.
Just last year I wrote an article for Il Sussidiario entitled St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Little Flower and Édith Piaf, Little Sparrow. I am struck, yet again, by what a beautiful story of God's grace this is.
Little Flower, passionate heart so on fire with love, pray for us that, like you, we might love Jesus before, after, above, and beyond anything or anyone else! Bring us to the realization that it is only by loving Him first and foremost that we can love each other as He taught us to do.