Lent 2020 – Day 1

On the look-out for inspirational authors to read this Lent, I first thought of the old classics. But then I chanced upon a twentieth-century author: Therese Mueller, born in Germany, in 1905. An academic (economics and sociology) married to sociologist Franz Mueller, they were liturgical pioneers and involved in the Catholic youth movements in their country.

In 1940, the arrival of the Nazi regime interrupted their lives. The Mueller family migrated to the United States where people got interested in their faith experiences in Europe. Therese, with her sociological background, got vocal on how the liturgy could be taught and shared amidst a family. Her articles were compiled into a pamphlet titled Family Life in Christ (1941). Later she wrote Our Children’s Year of Grace (1943) and The Christian Home and Art (1950). These publications are an expression of her experiences as a wife and mother.

The Muellers eventually settled in St. Paul, Minnesota. Franz lectured at St Thomas University, while Therese taught part-time at St Thomas and at the College of St Catherine. The couple wrote and spoke about the Christian home as a crucial dimension for the liturgical life. Franz died in 1994 and Therese in 2002, leaving behind an eloquent life example of lay priesthood.

Lent lily

Here’s an excerpt from Therese Mueller’s Our Children’s Year of Grace (recently reprinted by Martino Fine Books, ISBN-13: 9781684222445), aptly describing the fruits of the springtime of Lent:

“We prepare for the renewal of our baptism, we suffer with Christ for our sins, we are buried with Him so that we may also arise with Him to a new life of grace and glory.”