Monday, December 15, 2008

Sharing love in little ways

A good friend of mine sent me and e-mail introducing me to St. Therese, "the little flower." I'd never heard of her before but as I began to check her out, it struck me that what the world needs today is more people like her. This past week so many people made a big difference in the life of one family by doing little things to make the Extreme Home Makeover a blessing for the Girard family. I pray that everyone who helped there and everyone who didn't but wanted to, will catch the spirit of St. Therese and let it guide them in their actions.

young Therese

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon France. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. On Christmas Eve in 1886, at the age of 14, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a life filled with prayer, she began to serve others by doing simple things to make their lives better. She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." She lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and be totally attentive to those around us through our love. You might say that Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!" The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, Story of a Soul.

Cal

2 comments:

Denise said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing.

Maureen said...

Dear Cal,

Thank you for your reflections on St. Therese of Lisieux. For more about her life, writings, spirituality, and mission, and about the October 2008 beatification of her mother and father, Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, please see my Web site at http://thereseoflisieux.org.

with good wishes,

Maureen