All the Catholics around the world celebrate every October 1, the feast of St. Therese of Child Jesus or known as a “Little Flower.” She was born on January 2, 1873 in Alencon, France. At the age of four, her pious mother died and leaving her father and elder sister to raise her. On Christmas Day on 1886, she had a complete conversion as she discovered her profound intimate relationship with God. In 1887, during the pilgrimage to Rome in papal audience, she asked permission to Pope Leo XIII to enter the Carmelite Monastery at the young age of 15. At that moment, she devoted herself doing all things with love and childlike trust in God upon living a life of holiness. She also struggled with her life inside the convent, but because of her heart of perseverance and deep faith, she possessed the value of being charitable even to the people she didn’t like. Through these little acts of charity and sacrifices, it motivated and inspired her to have a deeper understanding of her vocation. As stated on her autobiography, she dreamt of being a missionary, or an apostle, or even like a martyr, she often wondered how she can fulfill all these longings.
Through the grace of faith, she offered herself as a sacrificial victim of the merciful God and became a nun. She died of “tuberculosis”. Before her death, she underwent a terrible trial of faith which lasted until her death. Millions have been inspired by her “little way” of loving God and her neighbors. There were many miracles attributed to her intercession. (Catholic News Agency, 2017)
Our world may not be perfect as it seems. It is filled with different issues and controversies, and we, people living in it long for peace. As the song titled, “What do I do now?” by Ed Sheeran, it reminds us what people could possibly do to the world. Then, it’s a call to all Christians again to have the same heart like the heart of St. Therese—a heart filled with love for souls.
To be charitable is indeed a challenge for everyone that requires pure love towards others regardless of who they are and what they are — whether they are an enemy or a friend. It is by charity that gave her the key for her vocation. She understood that the Church has a heart burning with love — and drives the members of the Church to action. If this love be extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer and the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. St Therese understood that love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places — in a word, that it is eternal!
Thus, same as this little flower who was known of doing little things with faith and love, may we instill in our hearts as Christians, that there’s no need to complicate things, for God will guide us along in our ways and let His guiding presence be our way to fulfill our vocation which is found in charity!
St. Thérèse once wrote, ‘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.” (Faith Angela Acera | SJWP Youth)