Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Feast Day of Saint Therese of the Little Way

I have learned so much of what I know of our Holy Catholic Faith after I became a mother, wanting to have the correct words to teach my children. I was introduced to Saint Therese in Michigan in 1999 when we visited the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, just a few minutes from where we lived.

We were blessed to visit the Shrine many occasions, one very special day when her relics were visiting. Visiting relics was also new to me. We saw her desk she used to write on, and a beautiful gold trimmed box holding her long blond curly locks of hair.

During our time in Michigan I came to know and love Saint Therese, a Doctor of the Church. She is approachable and not intimidating. I feel as if she is my sweet friend and confidant. I'm sure it due to her deep humility and lessons for us to take little steps to get to heaven. As a mother with so many tiny tasks, it is encouraging to know we can make our little steps toward heaven in all the little duties we must take on daily in our vocation. A lesson we can teach our children with simplicity and love.

I am always inspired by her child like trust of God.

Saint Therese was asked by her Mother Superior to write about her life.  Story of a Soul.  is a beautiful look into her heart and faith.

You know, Mother, that I have always wanted to be become a saint. Unfortunately when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passersby. Instead of being discouraged, I told myself: God would not make me wish for something impossible and so, in spite of my littleness, I can aim at being a saint. It is impossible for me to grow bigger, so I put up with myself as I am, with all my countless faults. But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new...

It is your arms, Jesus, which are the lift to carry me to heaven, And so there is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must stay little and become less and less.

from Maryknoll Sisters' Treasure Box , a treasure for teaching the faith to children.
 For me, prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as from the heights of joy. It has a supernatural grandeur which expands the soul and unites it with God. I say an Our Father or a Hail Mary when I feel so spiritually barren that I cannot summon up a single worth while thought. These two prayers fill me with rapture and feed and satisfy my soul.

Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.

I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our lord's living garden.

Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.

Sweet Saint Therese, pray for us.

1 comment:

  1. Such a gift you were able to live near the National Shrine of the Little Flower! I love her very much too for the reasons you shared and her wisdom! :)