Wednesday, October 01, 2014

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was St. Therese of Lisieux's Carmelite name.  Today the Catholic Church celebrates her memorial.  She is also affectionately called The Little Flower.  The Society of the Little flower explains her nickname.
St. Therese loved nature, and often used the imagery of nature to explain how the Divine Presence is everywhere, and how everything is connected in God's loving care and arms. Therese saw herself as "the Little Flower of Jesus" because she was just like the simple wild flowers in forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God. Therese did not see herself as a brilliant rose or an elegant lily, by simply as a small wild flower. This is how she understood herself before the Lord - simple and hidden, but blooming where God had planted her
Therese, in her self-described littleness, should be an inspiration to us all.  She is my Confirmation saint and I have a special love for her.  I love the following quotes listed in Quotable Saints by Ronda DeSola Chervin.
Here was one lady talking about my pretty hair and another, just going out the door wanting to know who that very pretty girl was...The thrill of pleasure I felt made me realize that I was full of self-love.  I am always ready to sympathize with the people who lose their souls-- after all, it's so easy, once you begin to stray along the primrose path of worldliness. 
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love. 
Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God.  Do all that you do with love.
As part of her devotion to making small sacrifices, Therese had a string of beads each of which could be pushed along to count the sacrifices and good deeds she had done that day. What a lovely idea.  At the end of the day, she could thus see how many little deeds she had done for the Lord that day.  The following link from the Society of the Little Flower has a great description, complete with pictures showing how to make sacrifice beads.

May the Little Flower pray for all of us in a special way today.  And may we all learn, though her example, to be a saint by doing little things with great love as she did.

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