St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
We celebrate today the memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She was born in France in 1873. She followed her siblings into the Carmelite convent and became a Carmelite nun at a very young age.
In one of her reflections, she considered what her mission in life might be. While reading St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, she realized that if the place where she was, did not manifest Christian love, her call was to put it there. She realized that her mission would be to bring love where it is lacking. She became the love of Christ in the community she lived. This is an important lesson for us. So often we look for the “perfect parish community.”
What Thérèse is teaching us is this: If there are deficiencies in our parish, our mission, our calling is to supply what is missing. Rather than hunt for a world of Christian love, we can employ our time and talents to try to create one.
When Thérèse could not see Christ in others, she tried to be Christ to others – by showing Christ’s concern, care and love in the simplest tasks. She called this her “little way.” It is not the way of grand crusades, brilliant sermons, insightful theologizing, or enormous church construction. It is the way of fidelity in small things, fidelity to routine and ordinary. She showed the dignity and power of daily life to create a spiritual giant.
Our holiness is rooted in our daily responsibilities. We can be holy by showing fidelity in small things, fidelity in the daily routine of our life. Indeed, fidelity to our daily responsibilities is the “little way” to huge holiness.
With the help of the example and inspiration of St. Thérèse, let it be the mission of each one of us to bring love where it is lacking. May each of us be the manifestation of Christ’s love to one another by performing simple tasks with love. May we learn the “little way” of St. Thérèse: that is, to show fidelity in small things.