The Little Way to Holiness

Monday, October 1, 2018


Today, in Mercy, we begin a week of readings from the Book of Job, a poetic masterpiece and theological treasure. These readings from Job always occur during the 26th week of the Liturgical Year. 

It is so fitting that they should begin this year on the feast Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun – popularly known as “The Little Flower”. Thérèse, like Job, experienced much suffering in her life. 

little flower

Some came from external circumstances, such as her mother’s death when Thérèse was only four years old, as well as Thérèse’s own tuberculosis and early death,

But much of Thérèse’s suffering came from within. She possessed a soul of remarkable religious sensitivity to the point of scrupulosity. She struggled with this for much of her early life until a spiritual breakthrough brought her peace. 

Thérèse called this experience a “complete conversion” through which she “felt, in a word, charity enter my heart, the need to forget myself to make others happy—Since this blessed night I was not defeated in any battle, but instead I went from victory to victory and began, so to speak, “to run a giant’s course” (Psalms 19:5).”

This turning from self toward the needs of others is the basis for the truly Christian life. In each life, the call to make this turn comes in different forms. Thérèse calls her approach “The Little Way”. Inspired by a passage from Proverbs, she reimagined her journey to holiness: “Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me” (9:4)

Thérèse wrote:
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are beyond 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.”

The spirituality of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus has inspired many, thus this simple childlike woman has been declared a Doctor of the Church and a Saint.

Music: Art for God – Sr. Marie-Anastasia Communauté des Béatitudes

In this video, sung in French, you will hear and see some of Thérèse’s words. The painting represents her desire to find a “little way” to God.

4 thoughts on “The Little Way to Holiness

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