One thing I’m good at is doing little things for others. Writing little notes and letters. Sending words of encouragement. Sending birthday cards. Baking cookies for neighbors and friends. These little things may seem like just little things that don’t really matter, but they can make a big difference in someone else’s life. This made me think of St. Therese. She was someone who did little things for Christ and believed that those little things were pleasing to God.
Therese died at the age of 24 after living as a nun for less than 10 years. She did not go on missions. She did not found a religious order. Her only book was her journal. And yet within 28 years of her death she was canonized.
It seems that our world is hung up on fame and popularity. There is a part of all of us that wants to do big things and impress people. We think that if we do something very important, that we will gain the respect and admiration of others.
It does not appear that St. Therese was after fame. If her goal was to accomplish significant things in the eyes of the world, she failed. She lived a pretty quiet ordinary life. Why then did become such a significant person in the eyes of the church and people?
I suspect that the very absence of the monumental and gargantuan is what draws us to her. If a fairly ordinary person can become a saint, so can we. There is something ironic and paradoxical about St. Therese that is not unlike many of the words of Jesus. For example, Jesus said “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14. In being humble, St. Therese was lifted to sainthood. Her ordinary commitment to God became extraordinary.
Today I will focus on the ordinary things I do. Making coffee. Going to work. Making dinner. Spending time with my husband and child. Through these ordinary things I will labor and give myself to God. I will submit to God in the most ordinary ways in order to please Him.
St. Theresa’s Prayer:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are
exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a
child of God. Let his presence settle into our bones, and
allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.