>Novena: St. Therese of Lisieux: Starts Today!


Today is the start of the novena to St. Therese of Lisieux!
Go here for the novena prayers.

St. Therese is a favorite saint around here. She has been an intercessor for us over the years and she is a faithful pray-er if asked for her help. She is known as being a patron saint of missions, among other things. However, she never went on a mission, though she deeply desired to.

St. Therese is known as “the Little Flower.” She died young, of TB (a grizzly painful death), and she led a humble hidden life. Her sisters in the convent didn’t think so much of her, but she had a burning simple faith; a pure love for Christ in a childlike simple uncomplicated manner. Her writings reveal such truths that she is considered one of the few Doctors of the Church. And while her writings, her autobiography, was written during that Victorian era when the writing was florid and frankly, difficult for modern eyes and sensibilities to digest (ok, me), it has profound deep truths in it. The biographies of her are better (see Gaucher), IMHO.

I love this saint. I love her because she was simple, because people totally underestimated her, and because she really strived to lead a more faithful life even though it was a struggle. I love her because she is honest in her writings both about the depth of her love but also for the challenges of her struggles in being charitable and kind sometimes.

“I’m certain of this – that if my conscience were burdened with all the sins it’s possible to commit, I would still go and throw myself into our Lord’s arms, my heart all broken up with contrition; I know what tenderness He has for any prodigal child of His that comes back to Him.”

I love her because her story comforts me in my measly efforts and tells me we don’t have to all be amazing heroic saints here, but if we love, truly and simply and keep trying, that counts for everything. I need that.

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.”

“For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to Heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy. Finally, it is something great and supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”

I am going to start this novena tonight. I have prayed other novenas to her over the years and, as with all novenas, the prayer itself transforms. The remembering to pray and intention itself helps transform our hearts and souls, as of course do the prayers. I need that. This novena will be for this next adoption we are in. For a small miracle with CIS to amend our approval swiftly, and thus get our paperwork there so this girl can come home. She too, is little and hidden, like St. Therese. So I think St. Therese, who was a young girl, little, overlooked, but with a huge heart for reaching out to the world….just might intercede and pray for this other little one, half a world away.

St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!