The last three weeks have been monumental for Scottish Catholics. Thanks to the hard work of Sancta Familia Media and Fr Grant in cooperation with the Bishops of Scotland, the relics of the Little Flower have traveled the length and breadth of the country.
In addition to attending liturgies with my family, I was pleased to have the opportunity to prepare my senior pupils to lead one of the prayer services that were organised for schools while the relics were at St Andrew’s Cathedral.
Before entering the Cathedral I advised the young people that, if they had a holy item with them they could touch it to the relics and that it would itself become a third class relic that they could use for their own prayer at home. One pupil who did not have an item informed her friend afterwards that she herself, having venerated the relics, was a third class relic. The friend was not to be outdone and exclaimed that she then, was a first class relic! That is the point! The visit of the relics have communicated to us in a new way, through the simplicity of the Little Way that we are destined to be saints- first class relics, if you like.
If any of us felt alone in the joys and sufferings of living the Catholic faith in 21st century Scotland, we cannot feel that any longer. The scenes of packed out churches, pilgrimages and celebrations leave a warmth in the heart and a spring in the step. The work of John and Brian do in ducumenting events such as these has renewed our Catholic identity and we can move forward with all of the graces we have received and the confidence that the faith is alive and we are in it together.
One of the most touching elements of the last three weeks has been seeing the devotion and reverence that has been visible, no palpable, in the worship of the hundreds who made visits. Young and old kneeling, praying with fervor, venerating the great saint with eyes and hearts overflowing. Such love for God in His Little Flower.
There will be many threads that compose the tapestry that will be the legacy of the visit of St Therese. I wonder if one of them will be a renewed sense of reverence. If we show our love through kneeling and keeping a silence that is pregnant with the presence of God in one of His servants, how much more could we increase our reverence to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament in our tabernacles and on our altars. If we kneel before the servant, how much more should we kneel before the Master when we receive Him in Holy Communion or when we enter the Church. Let us encourage one another to build on the tremendous boost in reverence that we have witnessed by increasing our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in the ways that Holy Mother Church has taught us for generations. Let us encourage one another to genuflect, to keep silence in church, to kneel for communion and receive Jesus on the tongue from the consecrated hands of the priest so that as others have seen our love for St Therese by our actions, they too will see that that It Is The Lord.