Memorial of St Therese of the Child Jesus
Virgin and Doctor of the Church
By Miss Maria Villarino, Campus Minister
We celebrate the memorial of St. Therese of Lisieux on October 1. Although the Sunday liturgy trumps this memorial, I wanted to share this Doctor of the Church’s philosophy in hopes that we can apply her “little way” in our lives.
Louis Martin and Azélie-Marie (“Zélie”) Guérin Martin gave birth to St. Therese of Lisieux in 1873. She lost her mother at the young age of four which impacted her greatly. At a very young age St. Therese made a conscious choice to give her life as a joyful sacrifice for love of God. At the age of 15 she was determined to receive special permission from Pope Leo the XIII to join the Carmelites in Lisieux. His words to her were ‘Go – go – you will enter if God wills it.’
St. Therese is mainly known for her “Little Way”. She was aware of her littleness before God. She wrote, “I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched then in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: ‘Whoever is a little one let him come to me.’ The elevator which must raise me to heaven is your arms, O Jesus, and for this I have no need to grow up, but rather I have to remain little and become this more and more”.
Her little way composed of doing little things with great love. She understood that the only thing that pleased God the Father was our love and devotion to Him. In embracing her littleness, she embraced her worth as a child of God.
Do we sometimes let our limitations in life make us angry with God? Are we trying to become saints on our own merits? St. Therese reminds us that we are little, little souls and that all the good that we receive comes from the outpouring of God’s grace in our soul. Let us take some time this week to embrace our littleness and place everything we do into the hands of God. He will multiply it and make it fruitful because you and I are his little, little children.