This is part 9 of the nine part series of meditations on the Word of God with reflections from the writings of Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo and Blessed James Alberione.
During the Spiritual Exercises of 1934, Mother Thecla chose four points to work on in her spiritual journey. These points remained constant throughout her life:
- To keep God always in view
- Jesus Christ as Model
- The Blessed Mother for a Helper
- All of us, in an attitude of continual sacrifice
Mother Thecla brought all her energies progressively to bear on developing a personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwelling in her soul. Because she was a child of God, she felt “at home” with the Most Holy Trinity.
During the Course of the Spiritual Exercises, Father James Alberione, the Founder,…led the participants to review the demands of the Pauline vocation, encouraging them to undertake a decisive journey towards holiness. This was a very intense experience for Mother Thecla, during which her interior journey reached its point of the highest unification.
On the Feast of the Holy Trinity (May 28, 1961), her attitude of self-donation, already present in 1934, blossomed into the offering of her life to God for the intention that all the Daughters of St. Paul might become saints.
At the retreat house in Ariccia, May 28, 1961 she wrote:
Offering of my life so that all the Daughters of St. Paul may become saints.
With a humble and contrite heart I pray to you, Divine Persons of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to accept the offering of my life for the entire Congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul so that everyone may become saints.
Everything is yours... But let everything be for your greater glory, O Most Holy Trinity, and to fulfill your most holy will.
I place everything in the hands of the most holy Virgin, for you too, O Mary, are part of the Most Blessed Trinity as Mother of the Son and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul, give everyone your love for God and zeal for souls.
Let it be so, now and forever.
Sr. Thecla Merlo
Thoughts from Mother Thecla’s Spiritual Notes
Holiness! I want it. To live the Trinitarian life like the Blessed Virgin. To trust in the heavenly Father, to love the Son who came to save me, to rely on the grace of the Holy Spirit. The heavenly Father is always close to me; he is within me; he thinks of me and provides for everything. Jesus is with me; the Holy Spirit sanctifies me. To live in union with the three divine Persons (1950).
To think often of the fact that the Holy Trinity dwells within me. Adoration, union, recollection and… the effort to keep such special guests company. Since we are children of God, then we are at home in the Trinity (1957).
O Divine Holy Spirit, give me your love, your gifts. I want to let you work in me and not place obstacles to your sanctifying action. Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen (June 1963).
Thus ends the series on the spiritual journey of Mother Thecla Merlo. Some of us have had the great grace of having met her. And truly she was a faithful Daughter of St. Paul who lived her consecration to God in humility and with much faith in Our Lord.
Here is a prayer to the Most Holy Trinity thanking God for the spiritual gifts bestowed upon her in her lifetime and her sharing of virtues and light with each Daughter of St. Paul she encountered. May the Trinity be praised, adored and glorified, and may we come to attain that degree of holiness to which each one of us are called to reach in this life. Amen.
Prayer for the Intercession of Mother Thecla Merlo, FSP
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the singular gifts of light, grace and virtue which you granted to Sister Thecla Merlo. 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 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. (here ask for special graces or favors) Amen.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.