Lent Reflection: St Therese

By David Morson

To think of the heroic sacrifice of the saints like Fr Maximillian Kolbe as we did yesterday, is both humbling and awe inspiring but can unintentionally give us feelings of inadequacy. That is why I am thinking today of our own Parish Patron, St Therese of Lisieux. Some of you were blessed to visit her shrine in our recent Parish Pilgrimage.

For me, what I find so endearing about St Therese is a humanity rooted in every day experience. We are able to associate with her in her struggles as a child, through her illnesses and her doubts. But, miraculously, it was this very humanity which enabled her to develop a profound spirituality which changes our consciousness forever and challenges our actions everyday.

In her, “Little Way”, she found immense beauty in the simple things of God’s creation, such as a flower and proclaimed the “sacred nature” of every action, however small when it is offered and undertaken as an act of love. She wrote, “Miss no opportunity to make some small sacrifice, a smiling look or a kindly word and doing the smallest thing for love”.

Her vocation and saintliness is a great solace to us all who are awed by those esteemed martyrs and saints who have been called to give their lives for their Faith. She calls us to the same devotion motivated by love, but in the simple everyday things we do.
In so doing,she echoed the vision of Jesus in her ” Little Way” when she said her life purpose was to make, “Heaven on earth” through the small acts of love, kindness and forgiveness that we too can all do.

Although she never claimed to be an academic or an intellectual, she was made a Doctor of The Church, like Catherine of Siena and Theresa of Avila because of the intense spirituality of her simple wisdom and the profound effect that it had. We are blessed to have her as our Patron.