Life of St. Therese
St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), also known as St. Therese of Lisieux, entered a Carmelite monastery at the young age of 15. This great saint of modern times is best known for her “Little Way,” a way of becoming holy in the ordinariness of daily life, in the little things of life; it is spiritual childhood, love of God, a way of trust and of self-surrender to God our loving Father.
St. Therese once said, “When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens; I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth.” Her last words were “My God, I love Thee.” She was canonized in 1925, and her feast day is October 1.
Wisdom of St. Therese
We share here some wisdom of St. Therese to help us live her Little Way:
“Sufferings gladly borne for others convert more people than sermons.”
“To remain a child before God means to recognize our nothingness, to expect everything from God. It is not to become discouraged over our failings, for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much.”
“One word or a pleasing smile is often enough to raise up a saddened and wounded soul.”
“If I did not suffer simply from moment to moment, I would find it impossible to be patient, but I look only at the present, forget the past and am careful never to anticipate the future. When we surrender to discouragement or despair, it is usually because we are thinking too much of the past or the future.”
“Let us be one with Jesus… May all moments of our life be for Him alone.”
“It is Your arms, Jesus, which are the elevator to carry me to heaven.”
“Love can accomplish all things. Things that are most impossible become easy where love is at work.”
“Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria [an Our Father or a Hail Mary]; these prayers alone console me, they suffice, they nourish my soul.”
Pope Francis on Holiness Where We Are
Pope Francis has said: “To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.”
St. Therese Rose Prayer
Let us ask our dear St. Therese to obtain for us from God the graces we need to become saints totally in love with Jesus Christ.
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick a rose for me from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love. O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence In your hands. (Here mention your request.) St. Thérèse, help me to always believe, as you did, in God’s great love for me, so that I might imitate your “Little Way” each day. Amen.
Another Prayer to St. Therese
O wondrous St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who, in thy brief earthly life, didst become a mirror of angelic purity, of courageous love, and of whole-hearted surrender to Almighty God, now that thou art enjoying the reward of thy virtues, turn thine eyes of mercy upon us who trust in thee.
Obtain for us the grace to keep our hearts and minds pure and clean like unto thine, and to detest in all sincerity whatever might tarnish ever so slightly the luster of a virtue so sublime, a virtue that endears us to thy heavenly Bridegroom. Ah, dear Saint, grant us to feel in every need the power of thy intercession; give us comfort in all the bitterness of this life and especially at its end, that we may be worthy to share eternal happiness with thee in paradise. Amen.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Thérèse,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.