To kick off our Celebrating Sainthood Series, I’ve chosen the first saint who made me realize what sainthood is really about…
As I reflect on St.Therese, I am reminded of the passage about Martha and Mary in Luke.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
The first time I fell in love with St.Therese was on my first mission trip with CCO in Ottawa. The summer that I met Becs, we lived together with 6 other incredible women. We had chosen St.Therese as the saint for our house. Though I had gone to a high school called Little Flower Academy, I didn’t know a thing about her life. It wasn’t until reading this book that changed my life, that I came to know who she was.
Therese of Lisieux, also known as the Little Flower of Jesus, followed in the footsteps of two of her sisters and became a Carmelite nun at 15. She then died at age 24 due to tuberculosis. To many, it may seem as though she didn’t really do anything special. She isn’t known for some huge heroic act of martyrdom and yet, she is one of the most popular saints to date.
Reading I Believe in Love, I realized that Therese’s life was a love letter to the Lord. She saw that every. single. thing. we do is important and carries weight because it can be done for Jesus. She like Mary, had chosen the better part.
I’m so often consumed with great dreams for my life – the books I want to write, the places I want to travel. I’m anxious and worried about many things, but there is need of only one thing. Therese chose that one thing. She didn’t need anything else.
I may not be called to suffer like many of the saints did. I may not be called to ride off into battle like Joan of Arc, or give up everything I own like Francis of Assisi. However, today already, I did many things Therese did. I made my bed, washed a few dishes, made some breakfast, and got some homework done. Therese would have seen all these daily chores as opportunities to love.
Fast forward one summer when I chose another CCO mission and St.Therese was there too. Again, the women I lived with chose her as our house saint and the priest I worked closely with later told me his patron saint was St.Therese. She has been a part of my many journeys and I understand why.
In what I think is mundane, boring, repetitive, daily life, Therese thought of it as chances to choose joy, choose love. She made me see that the most courageous act lies in daily living. Or should I say daily loving. She made me see that sainthood is attainable, the call of each of us, and really, just about one thing: loving more.
St.Therese, pray for us.