Monday, December 31, 2012

What Is The One Thing Needful?

I am nearing the five-year mark in my journey as a Catholic. In fact, I started attending daily Mass over five years ago, while I was only in RCIA. So I’ve heard most of the Gospel readings twice already. It’s so easy to think, Oh yeah, that one again. I know.

So I am brought up short by a tiny gem buried in the Catechism (CCC, 127), or maybe I should say flower petal. It’s a quote about the Gospels from The Little Flower herself, Thérèse of Lisieux. In her autobiography, the saint wrote:

“Above all it’s the Gospels that occupy my mind when I’m at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. I’m always finding fresh lights there, hidden and enthralling meanings.”

The saints—especially Thérèse—put things on such a simple footing. If she ever studied the CCC (19th-century French version) it may have been as a little girl reciting the rote answers to the questions of the nuns. But she didn’t need anything more advanced.

She had an eye open to “fresh lights,” a heart hungry for “hidden and enthralling meanings.”

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