Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Inspired by the Little Flower...to climb Mount Kinabalu


Praying to St. Therese of Lisieux, the little Carmelite nun inspires us to good works, some of which are very missionary in character.Today, I received a link to Margy Lee’s blog, where she describes how she and her husband Steve are planning to climb Mount Kinabalu as a fundraising endeavour for the Carmelites in England, notably for the  Carmelite Retreat Centre in Oxford, it needs a boost in finances, to facilitate renovations and for the Carmelite fathers. On her blog (http://margylee.blogspot.com/), Margy asks ‘Is there a need for Carmelite work and spirituality in this country, you may ask? To answer that, here’s a little image. Last year when we commemorated the life and works of one of our Carmelite saints, St Thérèse, a young 24 year old French nun who lived in the 19th Century, approximately 300,000 people from all over the UK flocked to the churches where her relics where visiting.’

St. Therese never went on the missions, but her great missionary zeal has been bequeathed to many who follow her example, and who desire for Carmelite holiness to be embraced all over the globe, from Lisieux to Oxford, to Mount Kinabalu.  Pope Pius XI declared of St. Therese, “Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Patron of Missionaries, men and women, of all existing missions on earth, with the same merits of St. Francis Xavier, with all the rights and the liturgical privileges which this title entails.”  May St. Therese help Margy and Steve climbing Mount Kinbalu;
‘This two day climb starts at 6.30 am the first morning, where 5 hours later and 2000 m higher we reach the first shelter. This part of the climb is graced with a botanical paradise of fauna and flora that ranges over 4 climate zones. After (half) a night’s rest we are up again at 3 am bracing sub-zero temperatures (and perhaps a touch of altitude sickness!) to start our final torch-light ascent up a steep rock step aided by a fixed rope to the summit at 4,060 m, (13,450 feet) where we hope to capture the magnificent views of North East Borneo and the Philippines being revealed before us at sunrise.’

I do believe this is a very worthy cause, by helping the growth of Carmelite spirituality in this country, we are maintaining the legacy of St. Therese and her continued mission in the UK.  You may log onto Margy’s blog and contribute a donation. Please join us in praying that Margy and Steve’s mission to climb Mount Kinabalu goes smoothly, and that they raise lots of funds for The Carmelite Retreat Centre.

PS - From personal experience, I too have felt the tug to do work with a missionary element after praying to St. Therese. Following a year of making many novenas to the Little Flower, I went to the South Bronx in New York to do rather challenging pro-life work, and youth work where I helped young people from the age of twelve to twenty-five to leave either cohabiting lifestyles or their life of ‘sleeping around’ because they were ‘looking for the one.’ For my final nine days in New York, I prayed a novena to the saint, and was handed a specially crafted red rose on the 9th day of the novena.

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