St. Therese of Lisieux is known as “The Little Flower” because before she died she promised that after her death she would send down a shower of roses on the earth. She is known for her “little way” to God – a way that everyone can follow, doing the smallest everyday things in love as a way to God.
I asked the sisters at several Carmelite monasteries to share their reflections on St. Therese for her feast day and received these gracious responses.
Mother Marija, 0cd of Holy Annunciation Monastery , a Byzantine Carmelite monastery, in Sugarloaf, PA, sent this note:
The invitation: “What is one thing you would like people to know about St. Therese?” This in turn, led me to ask: “what did Therese want us to know about her life and spirituality? What did she say?” Before she died Therese spoke of her desire to make known to all “little souls” (everyone) her way of confidence and love. Therese wanted us to know how much, how very much, we are loved by God and have nothing to fear from Him. This being true, we might also say that God gave Therese to the Church and world as a “new” expression of the Gospel message: God is Love.
When praying the Novena of Grace in 1897, the very year of her death, Therese asked God to grant her unique request: That her mission to save souls would last until the end of time” So as we honor Therese, we should recognize that God wants our love and has sent Therese to us, raised her up in the Church, as a new “invitation” to know Him as Love.
The Sisters at Carmel of Reno were unable to offer a reflection on St. Therese or Carmelite spirituality at this time, but they graciously gave permission to use the icon of St. Therese doing the laundry created by the late Sr. Marie-Celeste, as illustration for this post. They also offered their best wishes and this comment.
We deeply appreciate your interest in Carmelite spirituality and sharing the riches of theology and religious experience with the broad community on line.
St. Therese is one of my personal favorite saints, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts. For more about her life and influence, here are some options:
Maurice and Therese: The Story of a Love by Patrick Ahern
Saint Therese and the Roses by Helen Walker Homan
St. Therese of Lisieux – Saint of the Day
Original icon by Sr. Marie-Celeste Fadden, Carmel of Reno – Used with permission