>It’s the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux!
You all know I just love her! You all know she has heard more than one novena from me this past year (and so have you!). But you might not know that she is also a patron, we feel, of our Marta. They both have suffered from TB and from being “little and unseen.” And so we are grateful for St. Therese for her example of joy and hope in even those difficulties. We have given Marta, with her permission and understanding, the middle name of “Therese,” after this dear saint.
And just to clarify…for years I had a hard time approaching St. Therese. Her autobiography was written in the Victorian era and just TOO florid for my taste and I simply couldn’t get through it. It made me nuts and impatient and I put it down. I started wondering “Whats the fuss? Why, exactly, is she a Doctor of the Church?” Finally I read a biography of her instead, by Guy Gaucher, and that was so much better. Then I read commentaries on her life and writings and I braced myself to get break through the stylistic barrier and really read her life and words. And now I know. I know why her “little way” is so powerful; so full of hope and encouragement for each of us, for me.
And I just say this to encourage any of you who find yourself in that spot, to give her writings or the writings about her a try. The tone deafness, if you will, of our modern ear and eye, its narrow scope when judging what is and is not worthwhile….is a false constriction that forces a loss of much richness and beauty, without even realizing it. So, if she pulls at you at all…give it a try.
It’s hard to feel like you’re doing much, or even enough nowadays. Even if you are doing all you can and then some. But by refocusing, with St. Therese’s comforting encouragement and true conception of “the little way,” we (ok, me) can find value even in what seems like the most mundane of days. And man, that just gives me hope and helps me keep stepping forward.
Mother Theresa even chose St. Therese as her patron. Right there, that tells you something, eh? No surprise, a dominican puts it well: