Saint Therese of the child Jesus!
A moody over-sensitive child, an anxiety and mental breakdown at only 5, no major education, no big studies, no travels of any account, no books to her name besides her diary….
And yet she is now a doctor of the church and patron saint of missionaries!!
How I love the catholic church for this and how the wisdom of God cuts through human wisdom!
You see on paper Therese looked like an idiot, but in the realm of the heart and of love she was a genius!
Her genius was her simplicity, her honesty, her perseverance and her acceptance of who and how she was!
Therese didn’t try to be strong, she embraced being weak and saw her weakness as a good thing as it further qualified her for Jesus’ mercy!
She understood that she didn’t have to do big things to please Jesus but that she could please Him by doing ordinary small things with love!
She understood that there are different ways to becoming a saint and different callings and in the middle of this she found her own ‘little way’!
Besides the new testament and the little book ‘the imitation of Jesus Christ’, Therese had no in depth knowledge of the Bible which could prove troublesome for St Jerome whose feast it was yesterday who famously said “ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of God”!
Of course many of our modern saints were no scholars. Faustina was the same and yet they had a deeper love of Jesus than many a theologian and PhD graduate!
Why? Simply because they loved Jesus with a heroic and simple faith and Jesus infused knowledge into their hearts through prayer rather than they filling their own heads in the library!!
And while Therese never travelled as a sister, in her spirit and soul she travelled the world and helped thousands because Therese discovered the hidden world of intercessory prayer through which she could help a priest on the other side of the world by bringing him to Jesus and by offering some or her prayers and sufferings for him.
In modern times Our Lady of Medjugorje asks us to pray too because prayer is the most powerful and effective way to please Jesus!
Saint Therese discovered this even if she was not a lover of the rosary which she found too long!
Personally I’ve always loved Therese! She’s my favourite saint and sister because she taught me to pray and to talk to Jesus with my heart!
Unlike her I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and at times in states of utter weakness but total trust!
Therese today has many roses to pour down on us! Roses are graces that draw our hearts into union with Jesus and out of attachments such as alcohol, sex, anxiety etc.
Therese shows us that everybody can become a saint. There is nobody too weak or too much of a sinner!
She shows us that we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in prayer and not pay heed to what other people think or say about us as this world can be cruel.
Therese shows the power of hiddeness and that one neither has to be well known or even well liked to become a saint! If anything these things can get in the way!
So today let’s look to our little sister in heaven who is not so little now! Ask that she may purify and simplify our hearts and give us a greater love for Jesus!
Ask that she may intercede for us and reveal to our hearts the love of Jesus so that we can truly become the apostles of love that our lady speaks of in Medjugorje!
And finally that she will inspire us to pray and offer our sufferings for our priests who are in need of our prayers in these difficult times!
Saint Therese, pray for us!