My Favorite Saint

by Sr. Hope Therese

I am very devoted to the Little Flower, St. Therese, and her “little way.”  It started when I was a very little girl who identified with “the little saint.”  When I was about four and started learning about the saints I asked my mother if there were any saints that were little like me.  My mom introduced me to St. Therese.  She wasn’t necessarily short, but she had a little way and that was good enough for me.  This nun in the brown habit holding roses became for me what super models and actors were for other little girls.  I had never seen anyone more beautiful and I wanted to be just like her!  I would go around the house singing songs I made up about her.  I read many books and stories about her growing up.  As I grew older and learned more about her I identified with her and her little way more and more.  I must admit that I did not read The Story of a Soul in its entirety until I was a postulant.  It is still the best spiritual book I have ever read!  St. Therese’s simple little way is accessible to anyone.  St. Therese was born in Normandy, France on January 2, 1873.  She entered the Carmel at of Lisieux in 1889.  Fifteen was a very young age to enter a convent even back then!  She lived her ordinary life, as a cloistered Carmelite nun, with extraordinary love and confidence.  She believed that doing little things with great love could earn great graces.  However, doing great or brilliant deeds without love counted as nothing.  She had such great trust and confidence in God and his will that she saw everything in her life as a grace.  She knew how to use the annoyances of everyday life to her soul’s advantage.  A sister making noise in chapel with her rosary, or getting splashed by another sister in the laundry room became little things she could offer up to Jesus.  She was able to see the noise as a beautiful concert and the water as holy water that would sanctify her.  Toward the end of her life St. Therese had a dark night of the soul where she even despaired of the existence of Heaven.  Yet, her extraordinary love and confidence sustained her until the end.  She died September 30, 1897 of tuberculosis at the tender age of 24.  I am very blessed to have found a saint that I identify with spiritually and personally.  She is my best friend, confidante, ideal, and idol.  The only one I admire more is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who Therese saw as more mother than queen.  It was a dream come true beyond my imaginings to be received as novice on her feast day!  For me it was an affirmation of her love, protection, guidance, and inspiration in my life.  Humility and selfless love do not always come easy to me, but I know because of my devotion to St. Therese she will help me.  I consider her a kindred spirit and sister.  It is one of my biggest disappointments that we cannot meet in this life but meeting her in the next will truly be heaven for me!

1 comment:

  1. Our internet and phone have finally been restored after all the storms and I was so happy to hear about your new story here from one of my friends! Boy does this bring back memories. St. Therese makes so much sense, doesn't she? ...So practical, simple and no event, happen stance, incident, suffering will ever go to waste because in truth, it is all for our sanctification! How amazing! I know she is watching over all our loving Carmelites. I am so happy you and St. Therese love each other. What a joy, grace and blessing. Love, Mom