Saturday, June 16, 2012

St. Therese of Lisieux

The "Little Flower"
Upon the advice of friends, I've decided to start digging into the lives of saints for some encouragement. I've begun with St. Therese of Lisieux, whose "Story of A Soul" has been collecting dust on my bookshelf the last 6 months or so. Honestly, I didn't want to like her. The "Little Flower"? Just the name is off-putting. But she's right up there with St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, Padre Pio, etc.. They're the "cool kids" on the block. They have their own medals, rosaries, movies, books, statues & icons. Walk into any Catholic bookstore & they're everywhere.

Lesser known saints might get a medal, a nod & maybe a feast day if they're lucky. Who ever heard of St. Hartwick, St. Hilarion or St. Peter of Blachernae? Exactly. 

Anyway, I purchased "Story of A Soul" because it was only a buck & I knew Therese was one of the "big ones". I cracked it open, only to quietly slip it back onto my bookshelf... Eh, maybe some other time. This week, I began again. I mean, I own it, I may as well read it, right? After I got past the realization that she wrote like she lived in 19th century Europe (because she did), that faith & family were still pillars of society & that kids seemed to mature much, much earlier back then, I found in St. Therese of Lisieux a kindred spirit. Nowadays we might call such a story pretentious. I was tempted to make the same judgement at first, but she's becoming more familiar to me with each passing day. She seemed to have the kind of faith I feel inside, but only fear to live. I've found that my thoughts echo hers on many points & that she even had a stubborn streak (as do I). Her recollections about the devotions & practices the Catholic church still maintains to this day are encouraging. These are things we truly share in common...

At this point, I'm only up to chapter 6. She's barely 15 & just had her audience with Pope Leo XIII.  Everyone practically peed their pants because she spoke to him. Protocol, schmotocol. She knew what she wanted & this was her chance. Nothing like going straight to the top. I like this girl. She's got spunk...

St. Therese of Lisieux


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