October 1, 2020 | Fr. Paul de Soza, MC
St. Therese of Lisieux died at the young age of 24, after spending 9 years as a Carmelite.
She acquired, however, a great degree of sanctity in few years. So, I would like to apply to our saint the line from the book of Wisdom: ‘Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career’ consummatus in brevi explevit tempora multa (Wisdom 4:13).
I greatly admire the profound humility of this amazing saint! I believe that thanks to her great humility, (which was already in itself a divine gift) God was able to do so much in her soul and raise her to a very high degree of holiness. Her name is a clear sign of her humility: she is popularly known as the Little Flower, a name that Therese applied to herself at the beginning of her famous Story of a Soul. What a beautiful comparison: she compares her soul to a little flower! She goes on to explain that if a little flower could speak, it would talk about the amazing work of God in her, and that all her qualities, virtues, her dignity, in a word, all that is good in her comes from the merciful hand of her Creator.
There is no question that her humility is the foundation of her spirituality. We should say this about every single saint, but most in particularly when we talk about St. Therese. From this humility she then reached the amazing heights of holiness she is well known for. Humility was like a spring for her, that took her directly to her Lord and Creator.
And if we see that Therese had an amazing disposition of heart, finding and following God’s will, this is because she knows perfectly well Who God truly is and who is Therese: their relationship is as clear as the most pure water we can find in this world. When reading the Story of a Soul we see that there is nothing between God and His Little Flower.
We well know that humility without God takes us to despair. Instead, humility with God brings us to holiness and to be able to do incredible things trusting in the help of our loving Father.
Let us always admire and never take for granted God’s gratuitous love for each one of us. He chooses each one of us because He loves us. His love, unlike our human love, is creative, foundational to this world and to each one of us. We are not only recipients of God’s love, but even more, we are a living testimony that God is love and that He constantly gushes out that love to each one of us. Let us pray to St. Therese that we always experience the loving and merciful care of our good Father in Heaven!