Gift of love

Monday afternoon I received another heartwarming letter from Sister in Australia.  So, naturally, I sat back in my chair and opened the gift.  I gingerly removed its contents, set the items on the computer desk, and counted— four.

Sister’s letter

I examined the two laminated photos of St. Thérèse.  The first had a child’s offering on the back; the second, a petition.


Next, I picked up the custom-made greeting card on orange cardstock.

I love orange! 

Having read the poem adhered to the front, I opened Sister’s card.  The paper-thin, silky-smooth photo within was laminated, two-sided.

Ecce Homo.  Behold the man.


Love and prayers

I wondered about the photo, but I really wanted to read Sister’s message.  I relaxed in my chair as if to share a cup of tea and conversation.


Dearest Deli & Steve,

Praised be the Holy Child Jesus!  Thank you for your lovely letter… most grateful for it.  I hope you had a happy trip and break at Minneapolis and the pilgrim centers that you visited.  You are most kind.  I thank God for you, and I am very appreciative of it at this time.

I am well by the grace of God and had a good retreat early this month.  I feel that the Holy Child Jesus has showered me with his graces.  Deo Gratia.

If you do not hear from me, remember, you and all your family and intentions will be always close to my heart in prayer.  God bless you with lots of love and prayers.

Gratefully in Jesus…

Unexpected surprises

I didn’t know what to think.  I read and reread the card a bunch of times, trying to read between the lines, trying to contain my tears.  Then I heard Steven in the kitchen.  He’d gotten home from work.

“Sister sent a letter!  Just wait till you see what she sent!”

I gathered the items to show Steven.

Oh, my gosh! 

I had miscounted.

Gift of love

My sadness turned to joy when I saw the fifth item.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Steven walked over to my thoughtful spot at the computer, and I couldn’t stop jabbering.

I was so excited!  Over the moon, in fact.

“Yesterday in the chapel at Montserrat— for just a fleeting moment as I was praying my Child Jesus chaplet— I wished for a St. Teresa relic.  And here, today, I received a second-class relic from Sister in Australia!!!

“Oh, my gosh!  And I have just the frame for it, too!”
I continued.  “Thursday afternoon I found it atop my books on the shelf here.  How it got there, I don’t know.  But I didn’t move it just in case we needed it later on.  Talk about everything falling into place.”

What a gift of love!

Oh, my gosh.  First, the vintage postcard of
St. Teresa!  And now this?!!  I’m sooo blessed!

Thank you, Sister!  You’re in my forever thoughts and prayers!  I’m sending you heartfelt hugsss…



July 2, 2014

“He wills that I should love him because he has forgiven me not much, but everything” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

October 1, 2014

We can never have too much hope in God.  He gives in the measure we ask (St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus).

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice: here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word, always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

October 15. 2014

“God dwells within you, and there you should dwell with him” (St. Teresa of Avila).

October 27, 2014

“For me prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven; it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

January 9, 2015

“When we accept our disappointment at our failures, God immediately returns to us”
(St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

February 15, 2015

So the divine love is sacrificial love.  Love does not mean to have and to own and to possess.  It means to be had and to be owned and to be possessed.  It is not a circle circumscribed by self, it is arms outstretched to embrace all humanity within its grasp (Venerable Fulton Sheen).

April 1, 2015

My strength lies in prayer and sacrifice…, invincible weapons [that] touch hearts more surely than words can do, as I have learned by experience
(St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

September 17, 2015

The school of Christ is the school of [love].  On the last day, when the general examination takes place….  [Love] will be the whole syllabus (St. Robert Bellarmine).

October 1, 2015

“When one loves, one does not calculate” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

“I will work for your love alone, my sole aim being to give you pleasure, to console your sacred heart, and to save souls who will love you forever” (The Little Catechism of St. Thérèse).

October 23, 2015

Charity works.  It gets good jobs done.  It gives form and life to all of the virtues.  Infused by God, it reigns supreme in loving goodness over the talents of learning and the talents of living (Kevin Vost in Unearthing Your Ten Talents).

November 17, 2015

To discover that you are loved is the center of all existence.  And when we are filled with this total and delirious love, little by little, we grow and love in turn.  That gradualness in our journeys is a sign of the infinite tenderness of God (Chiara Corbella Petrillo).

January 11, 2016

Be a soul of love in order to become an apostle, and you will discover a very beautiful thing: that at the bank of love, the more you give, the richer you become (Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée in I Believe in Love).

October 1, 2016

I have not the courage to force myself to seek beautiful prayers in books.  Not knowing which to choose I act as children do who cannot read.  I say quite simply to the good God what I want to tell him, and he always understands me (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

March 28, 2017

The Holy Spirit gives us himself as a free, gratuitous, nonreturnable gift of love, as we do when we give loving gifts to others with no expectation of personal gain, because we wish them well.  Love itself, then, is the first gift through which all free gifts are given (Kevin Vost in The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit).

June 15, 2017

At last I have found my calling! My calling is love! (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

July 17, 2017

O how glorious our faith is!  Instead of restricting hearts, as the world fancies, it uplifts them and enlarges their capacity to love (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

July 22, 2017

“We were born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more” (St. Joseph Cafasso).

October 16, 2017

Charity works.  It gets good jobs done.  It gives form and life to all of the virtues.  Infused by God, it reigns supreme in loving goodness over the talents of learning and the talents of living (Kevin Vost in Unearthing Your Ten Talents).

October 30, 2017

Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible— it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment and offer you more joy than any material possession could (Barbara DeAngelis).

October 31, 2018

Receive our Lord, and keep him as long as you can.  Make plenty of room for him within you.  To let Jesus Christ increase in one’s soul is the most perfect act of love (St. Peter Julian Eymard in How to Get More out of Holy Communion).

August 14, 2019

Of all the possible motives that can account for our actions, the most powerful of all is the motive of love.  Love is God’s own motive.  He does all things for love (Fr. Philip Dion in The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection).


Links of interest…  Carmelites (saints)…  Catholic books & podcasts (free downloads)…  Child Jesus: chaplet (more) / devotion / petitions…  Cloistered communities: about / a day within the walls…  Daily inspirations…  Flower of Carmel (Goonellabah): contact / home / prayer…  Friendship rooted in charity…  In response to the little girl who broke my son’s heart…  Montserrat…  Need a saint you can relate to (more Carmelite saints)…  Polish mystic from Poland & her conversations with Jesus…  September martyrs…  Sisters of Carmel…  St. Teresa: about (more) / chaplet /  facts / Infant of Prague / little way of piety / novena / poems / prayers /  quotes (more) / saint…  St. Thérèse54 incredible photos taken by her sister, Celine /  about / & the holy face / faith endures in the dark / feast day homily / live simply in great love /  secret of the little way…  Various rosaries & chaplets…  Vatican mystery solved: An old photo identifies 4 nuns who cataloged half a million stars…  Venerable Margaret:  1619-1648 (Parigot) / aboutbiography / book / chaplet / religious order

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Budding relationships
…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Kindred acorns…  Making meaning…  Seven dwelling places…  Soulful…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret

2 Responses

  1. I had to read it twice due to its interesting story. Wow. I love the photos from those vintage cards – beautiful!

    • Yes, Matti. One of my research professors told us that everyone has a story to tell. I think that one only has to find the key to unlock the treasure. This is something that you do as well with your photo blog.

      I absolutely agree about the vintage photos. For instance, my collection of more than 1,000 postcards includes painted ones and some inscribed back when stamps were a penny or two. Amazing, huh?

      Thanks for the visit! Here’s wishing you and Anja a peaceful, productive week ahead…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.