A dear friend posted this picture on Facebook yesterday, and when I saw it, I thought: Now, this reminds me of the kind of “Valentine” that God sends to us at every moment of our lives. And, considering all the snow which has fallen in many areas of our country recently, the words on the picture also brought a smile to my face, as I remembered something St. Therese once said.
Therese had completed her postulancy in Carmel, and was about to be clothed in the holy habit of Carmel on January 10, 1889.
In those days, the taking of the habit was a magnificent ceremony in which the postulant was dressed as a bride, just as she would be to marry an earthly spouse. Only in the case of a religious, it would be the last time she would wear secular clothes.
Therese, barely 16 yeas old, is reported to have been a vision of loveliness as she was escorted to the altar on her father’s arm. She wore an exquisite velvet dress, with appliques of the Alencon lace which her mother so beautifully made for many years before her death when Therese was four-years-old.
On her head was a veil with a crown of roses and on her feet, white satin shoes. I have seen these shoes, and Therese did not have small feet. 🙂 She was actually quite tall for her time, measuring five feet, five inches.
Everything was perfect except for one tiny wish Therese cherished in her heart. She wanted it to snow on her clothing day. She loved snow, but this had been a warm and balmy January, and snow was not in the forecast.
But now, I’ll let her tell the story of the snow in her own words, from her autobiography, The Story of a Soul:
That January day, the weather was so mild, snow seemed unlikely. However, upon returning to the cloister, the first thing that struck my eye was the statue of ‘the little Jesus’ smiling at me from the midst of flowers and lights. Immediately afterwards my glance was drawn to the snow: the monastery garden was white like me! What thoughtfulness on the part of Jesus! Anticipating the desires of his fiancée, He gave her snow. Snow! What mortal bridegroom, no matter how powerful he may be, could make snow fall from heaven to charm his beloved?”
I love this story. It reveals the tender charm of our Great God Who did not think it too much to grant His most pure little bride the snow she so longed for.
And, let us remember His Words in the picture above, to St. Teresa of Avila: I would create the Universe again, just to hear you say you love Me.
We can be sure that He says the same to you and to me. And I can’t imagine a more beautiful….or romantic Valentine…..can you?
And what will we offer Him in return?
( A post from the archives, but such a perfect Valentine)