St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as “The Little Flower,” is the third woman to be declared a Doctor of the Church.
She is best known for her “little way”–which is to seek sanctity in everyday life by doing small things with great love. She is, arguably, the most beloved modern saint; her writings are timeless lessons on how to love God with one’s whole heart in the simple pattern of the daily life. She teaches us how to suffer in Him, with Him, and through Him, in great love.
Here are 10 quotes from St. Therese on how one is able to incorporate sanctification in the “little things” in life.
1. ON THE GLORY OF GOD
The faith and confidence of yours which never wavers will one day have their reward–a glorious one. Be quite sure that God will bless you and that the depths of your suffering will be matched by the consolation reserved for you.
2. ON THE GRACE OF GOD
Jesus said: “If ever a man is rich, gifts will be made to Him, and his riches will abound.” For every grace I made good use of, He gave me many more.
3. ON HOLY COMMUNION
Our Lord does not come down from Heaven every day to lie in a golden ciborium. He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to Him—the heaven of our souls.
4. ON MORTIFICATION
When I speak of mortification, I don’t mean the kind the kind of penance practiced by saints. There are great souls who practice every sort of mortification from childhood, but I am not like any of them. All I did was to break my self-will, check a hasty reply, and do little kindnesses without making a fuss about them—and lots of similar things.
5. ON RUNNING AFTER JESUS
Since Jesus has gone to Heaven, I can follow Him only by the traces He has left. But how radiant and how fragrant these traces are! I have only to glance at the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the fragrance of His life and know which way to run.
6. ON LOVE
“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?” [Matthew 5:46, RSV] Do not even sinners love those that love them? It is not enough to love. We must prove that we do. We naturally like to please a friend, but that is not charity, for so do sinners.
7. ON HOLINESS
Holiness is not a matter of any one particular method of spirituality: it is a disposition of the heart that makes us small and humble within the arms of God, aware of our weaknesses, but almost rashly confident in His Fatherly goodness.
8. ON CONFIDENCE IN HIS MERCY
O Jesus, I feel that if You found a soul feebler than mine—though that’s impossible—You would delight in heaping even greater favors on it, if it abandoned itself with supreme confidence to Your infinite mercy.
9. ON PRAYER
For me, prayer means launching out from the heart toward God; a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or the trough of despair: it is a vast supernatural force that opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus.
10. ON HELPING SOULS
All my strength lies in prayer and sacrifice. They are invincible weapons, and I know, by experience, that they can soften the heart much better than words.
These excerpts by St. Therese were taken from Mornings with Saint Therese.