St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Margaret and Fr. David discuss The Context of Holiness by Fr. Marc Foley, OCD as he examined human and spiritual integration in the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Margaret and Fr. David discuss The Context of Holiness by Fr. Marc Foley, OCD as he examined human and spiritual integration in the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  Her motto of doing little things with great love leaves us a wonderful example of bringing spiritual principles to life.

She experienced a great number of sufferings thru her childhood that became places of insecurity that she overcame thru choosing to make the heroic choices.  She deepened in her sense of security through her identity in the Lord.  This gave her great growth in maturity and bore pure fruit of love, even as she was suffering tremendously with tuberculosis.

Erik Erikson talks about stages of psycho-social development and how we can become stuck at earlier stages when there is wounding that happens.  Yet, her devout life afforded her another parent – God the Father – who she could draw strength from when her earthly parents failed in different ways.  This gives each of us great hope since none of us (other than Jesus) has had perfect parents.  We can follow her example, too.  Our identity is informed by who we are in the Lord.  As we become conformed to this who we are becomes reformed.

Through making choices to exercise great love, she received healing and excelled as novice mistress and in heroic charity that led to her being a saint and doctor of the Church.  She integrated her piety and the principles of our faith in her daily life and relationships. Thérèse chose the gifts of Divine Love and manifest that to her sisters in how she dealt with even the most difficult members of her community.

The Way of Imperfection by André Daigneault is a wonderful little paperback book that fleshes out some core concepts of Thérèse’s ‘little way’.  This fantastic work can plug us into some great helps in becoming conduits of the Lord’s grace.

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