Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a holy woman who showed the world how to love greatly in simplicity, and in showing us her "little way," became a Doctor of the Church. We're very lucky to have a priest who speaks French, and today he'll be celebrating mass in French in honor of St. Thérèse!
To read more about the life of St. Thérèse, see here.
"Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love." She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem. She smiled at the sisters she didn't like. She ate everything she was given without complaining -- so that she was often given the worst leftovers. One time she was accused of breaking a vase when she was not at fault. Instead of arguing she sank to her knees and begged forgiveness. These little sacrifices cost her more than bigger ones, for these went unrecognized by others.
- You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.
- I applied myself above all to practice quite hidden little acts of virtue; thus I liked to fold the mantles forgotten by the Sisters, and sought a thousand opportunities of rendering them service.
- I feel that when I am charitable it is Jesus alone who acts in me; the more I am united to Him the more do I love all my Sisters. If, when I desire to increase this love in my heart, the demon tries to set before my eyes the faults of one or other of the Sisters, I hasten to call to mind her virtues, her good desires; I say to myself that if I had seen her fall once, she may well have gained many victories which she conceals through humility; and that even what appears to me a fault may in truth be an act of virtue by reason of the intention.
- True charity consists in putting up with all one's neighbor's faults, never being surprised by his weakness, and being inspired by the least of his virtues.
- To offer oneself as a victim to Divine Love is not to offer oneself to sweetness - to consolation; but to every anguish, every bitterness, for Love lives only by sacrifice; and the more a soul wills to be surrendered to Love, the more must she be surrendered to suffering.
Thérèse, tu as promis ''de passer ton Ciel à faire du bien sur la terre''. Prie avec nous afin que dans notre coeur fleurissent les roses d'une foi éveillée, d'une confiance persévérante, d'un amour ardent pour Dieu et tout homme, dans les petites choses de chaque jour.
Exauce notre prière, ô Dieu notre Père, en l'Esprit de Jésus. Amour et Miséricorde à tout jamais. Amen.