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.
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