Sunday, October 01, 2006

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, October 1

A family favorite!

The Life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
John Paul II, Divini Amoris Scientia (proclamation of Saint Thérèse as a Doctor of the Church)

More photos here and here

Some icons:


more of Lynne Taggart's icons


St. Thérèse and her Little Way

Rev. John F. Russell, O.Carm.

Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. 07079

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 a fear of God's 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 favourites; 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 the 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 Therese's style. Her “little way” seems to put holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people. Live out your days with confidence in God's 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.

Official website
The Society of the Little Flower
EWTN's Centenary of St. Therese
Some of her poems (pdf)
Sanctuaire de Lisieux
National Shrine
ICS Publications (books by The Little Flower)
The Little Way shop
something by Fr. Hardon

St. Gemma Galgani, EWTN, another
Looks like the website for St. Michael's has been updated. Same for Holy Transfiguration.
St. Therese of Carmel Church -- modern, but not so bad; not sure what the sanctuary will look like when done, but it probably wouldn't take much to improve the interior...

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