If you are a fervent Catholic, you must have heard of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a French mystic who died in 1897, at age 24. She is well known for many things, but especially for a spirituality she called her “Little Way”.
Let’s discover what is the Little Way of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
1. The Little Way At First Glance
Very often, the Little Way of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is understood to mean that we do little, hidden, humble acts of charity for others in the name of Jesus, without expecting anything back. By following this interpretation, we do simple things such as smile at unpleasant people to please Jesus, as He wants us to love each other.
By the way, her Little Way meaning is so much deeper than this.
The Little Way of Saint Thérèse is a path to sanctity based on three things: littleness, anonymity and a particular motivation.
It refers to our own littleness and radical poverty before God. As we know about our littleness before God, what we can do to get closer to God is doing small acts of charity for others. We cannot pretend to do the big things that shape world history. We can change the world a little, by sowing hidden seeds of charity and good acts for humanity. By doing these acts, God’s grace works through us who give love to others.
When we do something good for someone, we do not need to be rewarded for it. Nobody needs to know who did that particular good act of charity. The Saint’s Little Way refers to hidden acts, done and rewarded in secret. According to Saint Thérèse, our acts of love must go unnoticed and remain hidden. Only with anonymity, God’s grace can pervade us. Jesus did not save us through sensational miracles but through selfless obedience to His Father and quiet martyrdom: in the same way, our deeds of love and charity can remain unknown, so that our deaths and the sensation we leave behind can become our real fruitfulness.
4. Particular Motivation
Finally, we are invited to act out of our littleness and anonymity and do small acts of charity for a particular reason: to metaphorically wipe the face of the suffering Christ. Saint Thérèse used to have a particular motivation which pushed her to great deeds of love.
In her words:
“One Sunday, looking at a picture of Our Lord on the Cross,
I was struck by the blood flowing from one of his divine hands.
I felt a pang of great sorrow when thinking this blood was falling on the ground without anyone’s hastening to gather it up. I was resolved to remain in spirit at the foot of the Cross and to receive its dew…oh, I don’t want this precious blood to be lost.
I shall spend my life gathering it up for the good of souls…to live from love is to dry your face”.
To live her Little Way is to notice and honour the unnoticed tears falling from the suffering faces of others.
Are you devoted to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux?
Why don’t you keep this Saint and her Little Way always with you?
If you want to make it even more yours, you can request the customization of this medal: at your request, our goldsmith will engrave the reverse of the Saint Thérèse medal.
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Discover our Saint Thérèse statue in hand-painted wood.
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