Today we celebrate the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux or what she’s been often known as “St Therese of the Little flower.” She is one of the most unique women Saints with layers of paradoxes that still confound people. She was 15 when she entered the convent as a religious sister (which was far from the norm and solely at her persistence and conviction that God had indeed called her to do so). She would only live to age 24, dying from tuberculosis.
Just those biographical details would be enough for most people of any age to completely look over her. She didn’t invent, discover or create something that changed the world. Yet she’s been named a “doctor of the Church” a title that is reserved to Saints who make such a contribution to the theological life of the Church (there’s only been 36 in the over 2,000 years of Christianity) She never left this area of France where she was born and where she entered the convent. Yet she’s been named one of the patron saints for all missions and missionaries.
What made her so important, worthy of our attention? Jesus Christ. Who was able to use her simplicity, her purity, her innocence to make the Gospel message anew, afresh. Her family, the sisters she lived with, and those who were able to read her writings couldn’t help but be moved to see past the passing things of this world, to ignore the lies of Satan that greatness is only possible in doing great things that win the praise and admiration of the world as she found joy and meaning in doing little things with great love for Christ.
Her sanctity was achieved in living out Jesus commission in today’s Gospel. He tells the disciples to proclaim God’s Kingdom in both word and action… To do all things with love for Christ and His people. Taking nothing with them, relying solely on the Lord and His provision for them. May St. Therese of Lisieux pray for us to find the fulfillment that our hearts seek only in doing whatever it is God has created us to accomplish.