Tag Archives: St. Therese of Lisieux

5mm: Not Lovin’ Being Little

It’s been one of those days. I showed up for an event today (after having rearranged a few folks’ schedules to accomodate this event in my own) that isn’t until next week. And I KNEW it was on the 19th… does that even make sense? Then as I was leaving the cell phone store after reactivating my dinophone since my current one is still hiding somewhere in my house, I texted my husband to share the news. He called back, “where are you?” In the grocery store parking lot. “You’re not at soccer practice??” Crap. Isaac has soccer practice on Mondays. *sigh* The coach had even called the house to tell us it had been moved to an indoor venue on account, I assume, of the snow.

So, it’s obvious I need to carry (and frequently consult) a calendar. And not lose it in my house. But has also been striking me in similarly humiliating circumstances lately is that perhaps God is chipping away at my need to be superlady. My need to be the best at whatever I attempt. My need to do it all myself. Now, Brad pointed out to me that God doesn’t want me to screw things up. Well, yeah. Of course he wants me to do well by my employer, my family, my school. But that which he does not actively will he sometimes permits for our good. I think that might be part of what’s going on with me lately (or else I’m just going nuts).

St. Therese talks a lot about her littleness, and how much she loved her weakness, and even in a sense her sin because her great need for mercy attracts the merciful Savior. Indeed, he loves when we recognize our smallness because those are the times when we are desperate for his help. And really, our best efforts, those days when we feel we’ve got it all together, are much much much closer to days like this than they will ever be to the perfection and splendor of one act of God.

This is not to get us even more bummed out. Quite the opposite. When I realize that I can never do great things on my own, I invite the help of the One in whom all power on heaven and earth resides. That is how it becomes true that when I am weak, I am strong.

So, as I try to not let my pride pull me down into a pity party of “I should be BETTER THAN THAT!”, I will try to remember what Junior Asparagus was singing this morning as I returned from my first misadventure of the day, “Little guys can do big things, too.” With God’s help, of course.

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5MM: The Little Flower is no wilting violet

I used to think that St. Therese’s “little way” was an easy ticket to heaven. I would hear her quotes about doing little things with great love and think it meant I didn’t really have to try to be holy. All I really need to do is love and that’s it! Great!

Then I read her book. And I got married. And two of my kids died.

I began to realize that the big sufferings in my life were actually easier to handle with love. How can you not love a baby in the PICU? The sheer magnitude of the situation brought us to our knees and required great dependence on God.

What is much harder, I have found, is doing some of those little things. Remembering to put pickles on my husband’s sandwich because that’s how he likes it. Calling back the high-maintenance parent at work right away. Wiping off the counter and stovetop for the umpteenth time this week. These things are the stuff of life, and they matter.

Not all of us will be called to do exotic or amazing things. But we all have an abundance of daily things that we hate to do. Doing these things generously out of love for Jesus and our families is, I believe, what Therese is getting at. When you read this little nun’s diary, you can see what she conquered on this plain. She is one tough cookie!

So let’s not just “practice random acts of kindness”, but premeditated acts of great love. And St. Therese, 33rd Doctor of the Church, pray for us!!

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