Day FIVE of the novena to saints Louis and Zelie Martin

prepared for Sainte-Therese Parish in Metz, France.  Translated by Mary Davidson for "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gatewaywith the kind permission of Fr. Jean-Claude Lange.

lOUIS MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHED IN 1892 IN THE GARDEN OF 7 RUE LABBEY, LISIEUX, WHERE HE SPENT HIS LAST YEARS.

lOUIS MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHED IN 1892 IN THE GARDEN OF 7 RUE LABBEY, LISIEUX, WHERE HE SPENT HIS LAST YEARS.

FIFTH DAY

"Beyond all suffering"

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”Luke 10:20

Prayer of thanksgiving:

"O Mary, living in the mind of the Father; Mary, spouse of the Father’s will: wrap me in your maternal presence and remind me that I was created with inexpressible wisdom and love. Filled with gratitude for a Father so infinitely good, I pray: "Thank you, Lord, for the miracle I am." O Mary, visit the moment of my conception, which I consecrate to you. The marriage of my earthly father and mother I consecrate to you. I consecrate to you all the unions of the earth, that in the image of God, humanity might give life with wisdom and love. "   (Fr. Ephraim)

Reflection:

If we are promised that beyond all suffering eternal joy awaits us, can we say that there is a beginning and an end to all suffering? Pain is always part of life. But if life is a free gift, resistance to pain can lead to struggle, doubt, and, therefore, suffering. We must choose between control and abandonment:

"When God's goodness chooses someone for a particular grace or a sublime state, He gives all the necessary strength to that person and greatly increases his spiritual beauty." (St. Bernardine of Siena).

Suffering can be existential, physical, or psychological. Suffering can be a choice of life and death. Are we ready to accompany our Lord Jesus Christ every Thursday night in Gethsemane?

“When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.’” Luke 22:45 & 46

Let us not be tempted to escape, to retreat, to become bitter in a struggle against what appears to be unfair. Our pain should be shared with others, offered up at any time, but it is really beyond our earthly comprehension. For beyond all suffering emerges acceptance of grace, of recognizing ourselves as children of God in Jesus Christ, and, therefore, to be recognized as sons and daughters of God. If we cannot remember,  let the tears come, because they are always nourishing and are the fruit of the Spirit. Any form of desire without suffering can be understood as an illusion of love. The suffering experienced and accepted by the great Saints is a school for everyone, but we never consider suffering as an end in itself. If our weakness is our strength, compassion at the foot of the cross no longer appears as a weakness, but as an expectation, a silent hope. For if at the foot of the cross stood the first church, let us alsom in this compassion, be willing for it to set us ablaze:

“As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,  who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him,  they made him carry it behind Jesus.”(Luke 23:26).

For Meditation:

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin,  teach us every day to discover and recognize the triumph of love over suffering encouraged by Therese. Let us accept as you did, entrusting ourselves for adoption to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph for all our healing. Thank you, Louis and Zelie Martin, as you show us the way to choose and to accept our adoptions as sons and daughters to live in Nazareth as at Les Buissonnets in your family.

Daily Prayer: Our Father, Hail Mary, Our Father

Prayer to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin,
after having had the desire for religious life,
you heard the Lord's call to the vocation of marriage. 

You are the "parents without equal"
of whom your daughter Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus speaks;
the fortunate parents of Léonie,
the Servant of God, Sister Françoise-Thérèse;
of Marie, Pauline, and Céline,
transplanted to Mount Carmel;
and of the four children
taken from your affection in their youth:
Hélène, Joseph, Jean-Baptiste, and Mélanie-Thérèse.

 You gave all glory to God
through your humble and patient work,
your commitment to the poor,
and your family life,
where reigned the happiness
of loving
and being loved.

 You lived your daily life concretely
through the joys and sorrows of your existence.

 You love us as your own children,
with the heart of a father and the heart of a mother,
because you are the friends of God. 

Listen to our prayer and our request
(state the request . . . )
and intercede for us with God the Father,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
in the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

This prayer is courtesy of the Shrine of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin in Alencon.
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Prayer that was recited before the canonization:

"God Our Father,

I thank you for Louis and Zelie Martin,

a couple united in faith, giving the witness of an exemplary Christian life

through the exercise of the duty of their state in life

and the practice of the evangelical virtues.

In the education of a large family,

through trials, mourning, and suffering,

they generously expressed their trust in You

and their submission to Your will.

Deign to grant, O Lord, the graces that I seek,

in the hope that the father and mother of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

will one day be proposed as models for today's families for the entire Church. Amen.

The translation of this novena is copyright Maureen O'Riordan 2013-2016.  Please do not reproduce or republish the text elsewhere.  You are most welcome to pray it from this Web site, to post links to it, and to share the links.