St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Saint of the Day
Today, October 1, is the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower. This is a picture of her as a child.
As faithful readers will recall, St. Thérèse is one of my favorite saints. I have already written about her (see my post for September 4, 2007, Triumph of the Lowly) and will not go into great detail here. Suffice it to say that in her short 24 years, she gave to the church a great gift, the Little Way. She delighted in the small things of life and determined that her calling was to love God in all His creatures and in all of creation. Although she entered a convent at the age of 15 and died there at 24, her writings have reached beyond the convent walls and touched people great and small since her death from tuberculosis in 1897.
Her Little Way to holiness is one to which all of us are called. It consists of doing the everyday things in “mindful” ways, paying attention and acting in love as we go about our everyday routines.
As she said, “I am a very little soul, who can offer only very little things to the Lord.”
In another place she wrote,”Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”
As she neared her death, in the midst of a great time of personal spiritual darkness, she assured her sisters, “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth,” and, “After my death I will let fall a shower of roses.”
When she overheard two of the other nuns wondering what would ever be said about her at her funeral, since she was so young and had really not done anything of note in her life, she was delighted. She had never wanted to be noticed as any different than the other sisters with whom she lived. Yet within just a few years of her death, her autobiography and other writings were being translated into all the major languages of the world. Her Little Way influenced theologians, popes, bishops, priests, and thousands of others both inside and outside the Church. In recognition of the depth of her contribution to the Church, Pope John Paul II, named her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.
For a more complete biographies, see: