The Lord is near to all who call upon him. /. . . He fulfills the desire of those who fear him. —Psalm 145:18-19
From childhood, St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897) desired to become a missionary and a martyr. It soon became clear to her, however, that neither option was open to a cloistered nun. So she sought the Holy Spirit and searched the Scriptures for another way to excel. “I was determined to find an elevator to carry me to Jesus, for I was too small to climb the steep stairs of perfection. So I sought in Holy Scripture some idea of what this lift I wanted would be, and I read, ‘Whoever is a little one, let him come to me’’ [cf. Luke 18:16]. It is your arms, Jesus, which are the elevator to carry me to heaven.”
The Lord exceeded Thérèse’s desires by giving her a higher calling than that of missionary or martyr. He prompted her to do everything with love, and so she became a channel of grace for others. After her death, thousands have experienced miracles that flow from her intercession.
When the Lord wanted to reward St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for what he had done and written, he asked the saint what he desired. “Only you, Lord,” said Thomas. Like Thérèse and Thomas, we must set our hearts on the highest of desires—the Lord himself and his kingdom.
May you approach the Lord with reverence, and may you allow him to subsume all your desires into the supreme desire of union with him.
O Lord, my heart’s desire is to know you as you know me, to love you as you love me, to serve you as you serve me, and to obey you as you obey the Father.
Read more selections from Bert Ghezzi’s book Prayers to the Holy Spirit: Power and Light for Your Life (The Word Among Us Press, 2014). Available at wau.org/books