The relics of St Theresa were touring the country and people were encouraged to go to venerate the relics when they visited The Carmelite Convent at Kirkedge on the outskirts of Sheffield.
I thought about it and almost decided that I didn’t want to go. Not that I didn’t believe in relics but I wasn’t that bothered! But a little niggle kept jolting me and eventually I decided that I would go. A bit reluctantly, I have to admit. It was March and was probably going to be blowing a howling gale at Kirkedge which is in a very exposed position on the hills north of town.
Coaches were arriving bringing adults and children. The car park was filling up, people were getting out of cars. There was a queue of people waiting to go into the convent grounds which stretched right down the road nearly to the car park.
I joined the queue and greeted people that I knew, this was obviously an occasion! It was fine, thanks be to God and not too cold. The sun showed itself from time to time.
Eventually after about an hour of quiet praying and hymn singing, with the queue shuffling patiently forward into the grounds I reached the Chapel door and entered.
What did I expect? I don’t know, but what I experienced in that Chapel as I walked around the relics and touched the casket was something very profound. Something very Holy, something very spiritual, God was present among us in the relics of the little Saint who did ordinary things extra-ordinarily well. Joy filled my heart and I wept tears of joy. Those relics and that little chapel were filled with the Presence God and His Saint! All was peaceful, warm, prayerful and lovely.
I didn’t stay long as I would have liked as the Chapel was full and had a large queue waiting to get in, but it left a profound impression on me!
It allowed me to feel the Presence of God and the presence of Holy Things, and to accept and venerate the wonderful relics the saints have left behind! They bring us closer to God. I really felt His Presence in that little chapel at Kirkedge and returned home a better person. St Theresa – pray for us.