I am currently at a retreat during the Feast Day of the Little Flower, St Therese De Lisieux, while simultaneously reading “ The Way of Trust and Love “ by Fr Jacques Phillipe. It is a book based on various retreat talks he gave that are now in a book format. Just like St Therese, the book though it appears to be simple, it is deeper than it seems and filled with wise and practical lessons, if you will.
“The world is thy ship and not thy home,” said St Therese. A reminder that our ultimate goal/hope is to someday make it to our true home, Heaven. In order to make it there though, we must be careful not to navigate in the wrong direction and be lost at sea. And the Little Flower understood very early on that it meant that we must do all that we can to become Saints. And in order to become Saints, we have to aim to draw closer to God.
St Therese found “little ways” to make it home and navigate the ship in the right direction. Through prayers, sacrifices, and work of mercies; but above all by accepting our “littleness” and having complete faith and trust in God. We also need to do everything with love. Love of God and by the same token love of others
Though these ways are “little” they are not easy. Our flaws, distractions and pride get in the way. So it is when we recognize our littleness and complete trust in God that we can be filled with Grace.
The Little Flower holds a special place in my heart. I think we are drawn to the Saints whose virtues we admire or long for and/or those with whom we have things in common.
I certainly admire and long for many of her virtues and just like her I too have to overcome sensitivity and wanting things my way instead of trusting God’s Will. Long ago, when I belong to “The Little Prayer Group” in my Parish in New York, I think she chose me as one of her little sisters. I discovered something else we have in common, the love for Adoration. I absolutely love being in the presence of our Lord. It is my favorite form of prayer. “Run to God! Trust in Him in EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE!” I hear St Therese telling me.
So, I will. In good times and in bad times. I will run to God and trust Him in every circumstance. May the Little Flower shower you with many Roses today. And may you wisely allow the Holy Trinity to navigate you in this ship and someday make it home.
- Written by Marie Smith
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