Skip to comments.St. Therese and Her Little Way
Posted on 01/05/2005 11:45:51 PM PST by Catholic54321
What is the meaning of "the little way" of St. Therese? It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday. St. Therese based her little way on two fundamental convictions: 1. God shows love by mercy and forgiveness and 2. She could not be perfect in following the Lord. St. Therese believed that the people of her time lived in too great fear of Gods judgment. The fear was stifling and did not allow people to experience the freedom of the children of God. St. Therese knew from her life that God is merciful love; many scripture passages in the Old and New Testaments bore out that truth. She loved the maternal images for God in the Old Testament and the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. In fact, St. Therese once wrote that she could not understand how anyone could be afraid of a God who became a child. She also knew that she would never be perfect. Therefore, she went to God as a child approaches a parent with open arms and a profound trust.
St. Therese translated "the little way" in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. Above all, she tried to show a love for all the nuns in the community. She played no favorites; she gave of herself even to the difficult members. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a loving commitment that knew no breakdown. It is called a little way precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.
In living out her life of faith she sensed that everything that she was able to accomplish came from a generous love of God in her life. She was convinced that at the end of her life she would go to God with empty hands. Why? Because all was accomplished in union with God.
Catholics and other Christians have been attracted to St. Thereses style. Her little way seems to put holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people. Live out your days with confidence in Gods love for you. Recognize that each day is a gift in which your life can make a difference by the way you choose to live it. Put hope in a future in which god will be all and love will consume your spirit. Choose life, not the darkness of pettiness and greed. St. Therese knew the difference love makes by allowing love to be the statement she made each day of her life.
Good article! Thanks for sharing! :-)
Thérèse at 8 years of age with her sister Céline - 1881
She is holding a jump rope.
Thérèse at 15 years of age.
Thérèse est photographiée avec la coiffure qu'elle avait adoptée exceptionnellement pour paraître plus âgée, lors de sa visite à l'evêque de Bayeux, avant de partir pour Rome (31 octobre 1887).
She is photographed with the hairstyle intended to make her look older, when visiting the bishop at Bayeux, before leaving for Rome.
Thérèse dans le rôle de Jeanne d Arc assise dans sa prison.
In the role of Jeanne d'Arc, sitting in her prison.
Thérèse sacristine prise avec ses soeurs et sa cousine - novembre 1896
Thérèse morte à l infirmerie - following her death.
Weren't her parents beatified recently?
Even lovelier in death. Thank you.
She's one of my daughters' favorite saints.
Consistently loving your most mundane enemies requires tremendous fortitude. She's an example for all of us who lead "little" lives.
Isn't she absoutely beautiful! That smile on her face conveys such a sense of peace.
St. Therese's visit to Lebanon - 2002
Mass at the Convent of St. Therese, Shahle, Lebanon
Had the chance to visit her house and convent in Lisieux with my wife and kids. What a wonderful trip.
BTTT on the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church, October 01, 2005!