Which means it’s also my Marta’s feast day: Marta Therese (get the connection?).
St Therese is one of the fav’s at our house, you all know that. I’ve written about her many times, and posted multiple novenas to her here on blog. But whether you want to talk about her being a Doctor of the Church; known for her solid writing/teaching and doctrinal insight, or whether you want to talk about her humble “Little Way”……St Therese is about Love.
And wadda ya know…so is our Faith. So is God. So, should be, myself.
And I kinda always thought we added “Therese” to our Marta’s name because we prayed novena’s to this saint on Marta’s behalf. We hit St. Therese up for many prayers to bring our girl home and get her healthy. St. Therese had TB too. St. Therese wasn’t highly regarded among the other nuns in her convent. She was thought to be slow or dim, she was often overlooked, she was young, she was small.
She was one of God’s “little ones.”
And so is our Marta, to be sure…one of God’s “little ones.”
If I know anything, I know that.
I am learning, every single blooming day, that I think we were compelled to add “Therese” to Marta’s name also because this saint teaches us how to love.
In the little things.
Which of course, means that they are the very biggest things.
Because this saint struggled all her life to die to her self and her pride and her desires so she could love Jesus better.
And she ultimately was given the grace of real understanding of the biggest simplest secret: that Love was waiting for her. She didn’t have to scale great heights, or go on far missions, or accomplish amazing feats to prove her love. All she had to do was lift up her arms(heart) and open herself to Love. And, um, do it. Love. Love in the little things. Every day. The next thing, right in front of her. Do the chore before her without complaint. Smile at the irritating Sister and bite her tongue. Not correct the error of someone being catty, but let it roll off her back.
It wasn’t easy for her, she didn’t possess any “saintly” or superhuman patience:
“I understood how easy it is to become all wrapped up in self, forgetting entirely the sublime goal of one’s calling.“
Rather she figured out that:
“…perfection consists in doing God’s will, in being what he wills us to be.”
“We can do no good when we seek our self.”
And yeah, it sounds so simple. Like stupid simple, right?
Well, yup, it does. So why do I fail and kick and fuss and gripe against it every blooming day?
Because it’s the hardest most profound thing we can do, any day, any moment.
And yet, also the most sublime and simplest.
To bring this ramble back around…and so it is with my Marta Therese.
She too, teaches me how to love. Really.
Because it can be so hard with her. Because she is small and suffers the after-effects of the TB that ravaged her. Because it’s still sometimes strange and it’s still often hard and it’s sometimes ridiculously complicated. Because I am slow and am ridiculously complicated and strange. Because she has delays and it makes things very slow and often limited and sometimes strange.
But oh, I know, she is aptly named.
She is one of the small ones.
And she loves, to the best of her ability.
And I am called to love her.
And sometimes that is simply an act of will.
And sometimes it is with a tired fuss.
And sometimes it is with a stabbing intake of breath, glimpsing her for a moment as God does.
He sent me one of his special ones, to give me remedial lessons.
Because I too am slow.
And need so much to learn to truly really love.
The little way.
It’s so big.
So today we celebrate, I am thinking upon, St. Therese of Lisieux, and her intentions:
So that I can lift up my arms and heart, and love better, more truly, all those littles ones given to me…..eight of them.
See, remedial lessons, lifelong….me.
And so I can say, “Thank you, here I am Love, lift me up.”