Saturday, October 1, 2011

St. Therese of Liseux

Today is the feast day of St. Therese of Liseux, one of the most popular Catholic saints.  She is sometimes called "The Little Flower of Jesus", and she is best known for her "little way", which is a method of loving service towards others that gets described in detail in her autobiography.

I really like St. Therese, and I'm ashamed to say that I actually haven't read her autobiography past the first four pages.  I'm halfway disappointed that I do not get to give a homily today, because about seven months ago, I started writing a homily about St. Therese.  Here's what I wrote:
Small acts of kindness can redeem the soul just as easily as great ones can.  Helping the few people that you can is equal to helping the many people you cannot, for it is by your deeds that you are proven. As the Lord says, "By your fruits you shall know them". And again, "The servant who is faithful in small things will be faithful in heavy matters".  Do not hesitate, then, to perform small acts of charity.  Do not be distracted by thoughts such as This won't do any good or This is too small to be worth noticing.  Rather, follow the example of St. Therese, and perform works of mercy no matter how great or small.

It's not finished, obviously.  Maybe next year, I'll have an opportunity to preach on St. Therese's feast day, and then I'll have a good reason to actually finish this homily.

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As it turns out, two of the eBooks I'm working on right now have to deal with St. Therese.  One is a book of quotations from her, such as "Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing" and "I have understood what true glory is. He whose Kingdom is not of this world showed me that the only enviable royalty consists in loving to be unknown and esteemed as nothing, and finding our joy in contempt of self. I wished that like the Face of Jesus, mine might be as it were hidden and despised. That none upon earth might esteem me. I thirsted to suffer and to be forgotten."

The other book is called Shower of Roses, and it's not really a book, per se.  It's the publication that was printed in France, by the group who ran the cause for her canonization.  The book contains about five hundred pages' worth of all the reported miracles and prayers answered, through her intercession, from 1914 to 1919.

The amazing part is that the 500 pages represents only a fifth of the total material they had.  I might try to find the other four volumes someday.


St. Therese was officially canonized four years after the printing

12 comments:

Katie said...

I LOVE ST. THERESE!! she is my favorite saint!

Hadley said...

I've never heard of St. Therese. Probably because I'm not Catholic.

Airam said...

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

In many places it is the custom to set aside days to honor "saints", or famous persons, dead or alive. Is this pleasing to God? The Bible warns against giving worshipful honors to creatures, so holidays that tend in that direction are not in harmony with God's will. (Acts 10:25, 26; 14:11-15; Romans 1:25; Revelation 19:10) Further, holidays in memory of the "spirits of the dead" are actually based on the false doctrine of the immortality of the human soul. So it should not surprise us to read, in the Encyclopœdia Britannica (1946 edition, Vol. 1, page 666), that "certain popular beliefs connected with All Souls' Day are of pagan origin." Persons who love the way of the truth are careful to avoid such celebrations.''

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael,can I give you a suggestio for a post? What to you think about the prejudice some people have against non-Chatolics?

Chick in the Red Hat said...

I hope you get to finish that homily. The idea of doing small acts of kindness reminds me of the Aesop's fable, The Lion and the Mouse.

Happy Rosary Month!

Hadley said...

@anonymous at 9:14 are you talking about non-catholics in general?

Anonymous said...

@ Annonymous 7:14 we are honering them because they gave their life to God, and they are great examples for us so we can become saints too. i also really don't like it when people say Catholics worship Mary instead of Jesus. It's just not true. But Mary should be honered because she was the mother of God, THE ONLY GOD CATHOLICS WORSHIP. worshiping and honering are two different meanings. When we pray to saints,we are asking them to pray for us, because they are in Heaven and are closest to God. So its like having an extra person there supporting you of your needs.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 5:20 My whole point was that holidays that honour saints are of pagan origin. Gosh, Catholics only read what they think they argue against. Don't even get me started on Christmas celebrations, they are 99% pagan. Jesus never asked us to celebrate his birth, he asked us to remember hi death with a passover(and no, easter celebrations do not remember jesus' death).

Anonymous said...

@ annonymous 4: 16 I see what you are trying to say, but maybe you should think harder. I don't think its pagen, or wrong of any sort to remember the birth of our God. or to remember the ressurection. In fact, I'm sure He would be hurt for the people he loves to not celebrate his birthday. Wouldn't you? Also, I don't mean this to offend you in any way, but what is this encyclopedia you have been reading? Is it written by Jesus, or by an Apostle, or any other witness to his teachings? Or is it just someone who decided to write a book? If not, then maybe you should put it aside for a while. And if I am not answering your questions clearly, or if like you said it seems to you that I am only answering the questions I think I can argue against, don't hold it against all Catholics, because I am only 14 years old, and I'm sure there are many better people who could answer your questions. Thank you for being kind enough to read this.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 6:35

Birthdays are mentioned twice in the bible. Bad things happened at both birthdays. Jesus never celebrated his and if you had half a brain you'd understand that santa claus is mr.pagan of all things. Look it up and you'll understand- I don't have the time to write it down in a way that a child would understand.

Teresa B. said...

The movie about her is beautiful!