Next Sunday, October 1st, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Therese, “The Little Flower”. The spread of devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux is remarkable because it mirrors a life that was made radiant by the reflection of her love for Christ. In her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul,” St. Therese shares an act of charity that changed her life. This act involved an impossible nun who while working in the laundry room, while washing handkerchiefs, repeatedly splashed Therese with dirty water. Her first impulse was to draw back and wipe her face, to show her offender that she should know better and behave more quietly; but instead, she thought to herself, how foolish it was to refuse the treasures God offered her so generously; so she remained calm and refrained from showing her annoyance with the Sister. Instead, she made every effort to welcome the shower of dirty water as it came and then, at the end of half an hour of being doused in this way, she began as she said, to take
“quite a fancy to this novel kind of aspersion, and I resolved to come as often as I could to the happy spot where such treasures were freely bestowed.”
It was hard for St. Therese to practice charity at times, but she knew that these opportunities were ways in which Jesus wanted to make her feel close to him, and to see him in the souls of those in need. St. Therese, the young French Carmelite nun, showed us the way of perfection in the small encounters of everyday life. She considered herself a very little soul who could only offer very little things to God. Let us look out this week for the opportunities God gives us to serve others in small ways and to strive to turn our foolish little annoyances into gifts from God, and like St. Therese, to end each of our acts of charity with the “nicest smile”!
St. Therese of Lisieux, Pray for us!