Thursday, June 21, 2012

St. Therese of Lisieux, Part Deux

Alright. Well I'm up to chapter 9 in Story Of A Soul. Our dear "Little Flower" has finally entered Carmel & here's where she & I seem to part ways. After her audience with the Pope, she writes about her devotion to the child Jesus. She so wants to be a plaything for His amusement. She describes herself as a ball to be thrown, kicked, pierced & left lying in a corner, all for the love of the child Jesus. Hmm. Sounds more like she's setting herself up to be a battered wife. I don't know much about this particular devotion, but I think it's kind of creepy since Jesus left this earth a grown man, not a child. To each his own, I guess.

She also starts talking about suffering- how she wants to suffer for souls... I'm sitting there thinking "Really?" How naive. I mean, this girl comes from money & enjoyed a fairly large, very close knit & devout Catholic  family. What does she know of suffering, aside from her mother's death? She did not know the pain of "absent" parents. Her father doted on her til his dying day. She didn't know the worry of wondering if she would have a place to live when the lease was up. They had a nice estate with plenty of room. She didn't experience the sting of being the only child or of trying to fit in. She always had her sisters to play with. She went straight into the convent at 15- what did she know of anything, being so young? I'm sure that's what the Sisters of Carmel & her elders must've thought too. Her "suffering" so far, seems little compared to mine. "Little Flower", indeed. I suppose I'm a bit perturbed.

I'm noticing a trend with the saints- so many come from money or large families. I suppose its commendable that they should abandon all to follow Christ. But I want to know if there are any saints out there who break this mold? Where are the poor, the disadvantaged, the ugly, the ones who need not seek suffering because they were born into it? Where are those who despite the burdens they bore, still devoted themselves to Christ & loving others, even if they weren't loved back? Where are the ones who did not foolishly pray for suffering, but still patiently endured it when it came? In my opinion, these are the true saints. Why do we hold people like St. Therese of Lisieux in esteem? I aim to find out.

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