“The Lord loves me. He arranges everything for my good: even the things I don’t like are always for my good. The Lord thinks of me continually; he wants to help and can help me. He has promised this and he will keep that promise.”
Every morning this month, I get to come into the office and see these words from Venerable Thecla Merlo on my calendar. Working with the Daughters of St. Paul at Pauline Books and Media, I’ve gotten to learn about the Pauline founders. But it wasn’t until reflecting on this quote that I fully realized what a witness they bring to the children we serve with Pauline Kids.
Mother Thecla’s simple statements above are wonderful affirmations of God’s love that you can convey to the kids in your lives. Each of the sentences alone can be used as prayers or reminders when your children feel unloved, when they struggle with doing what is right and not what is fun, when they feel like no one is paying them attention, when they feel stuck with a difficult problem, and when they want assurance that everything will be all right.
February is a great month to learn more about Mother Thecla. She was born in Italy on February 20, 1894 and died February 5, 1964. Her life was a witness to her particular path to holiness, a good theme for the upcoming start of Lent: "For the Daughters, the vocation to the good press is one still to be created. God creates it, raises it up, confirms it, and brings it to fulfillment with his grace. It involves something new and therefore entails greater difficulties." (Blessed James Alberione, the year of her perpetual profession).
To me, Mother Thecla rose above those greater difficulties and is an inspiration to me and all those committed to the “good press.” On today, the 49th anniversary of her death, let us all remember the foundress with the official prayer for her beatification.
Most Holy Trinity, we thank you for the singular gifts of light, grace, and virtue which you granted to Sister Thecla Merlo, and we thank you for having chosen and constituted her the wise mother and sure guide of the Daughters of St. Paul.
Through her intercession, grant that we may live of her great loves: Jesus Master in the Holy Eucharist, the Church, the Gospel, and souls---souls sought and served through evangelization with the instruments of social communication to the point of total sacrifice.
O Lord, if it be in the designs of your divine wisdom, carry out even on this earth, for this very devoted Daughter of St. Paul, your divine promise: "If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him."
Exalt this faithful Servant to the joy of the Church and the good of many souls, and grant us, through her intercession, the favor we ask of you. Amen.