Feast of All Carmelite Saints ~ Novena Day 6– November 11

“O Jesus, my Love….my vocation, at last I have found it….my vocation is Love”

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

In seeking her vocation, St. Thérèse knew that great deeds were beyond her abilities. Thérèse recognized and delighted in her “littleness”, knowing thereby that she could approach God as a child approaches a loving parent with open arms, with profound trust and completely without fear. Thérèse undertook all her assigned tasks from the perspective of doing it with love. In her interactions with the other nuns in her convent, she showed genuine love to each member of the community, including those with difficult personalities. She displayed neither favoritism nor preference toward any, including her own blood-relation sisters. St. Thérèse enveloped every act she performed in love. Like a child, she trusted in God, as a loving Father, to accept her little offerings and raise her up to perfection: “I wanted to find a lift [elevator] which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection….the lift which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus!. And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more.” (Story of a Soul)

St. Thérèse grasped the profound truth of love in just the way Saint Paul attests in his first letter to the Corinthians: “…but now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Thérèse made this the hallmark of each day of her life. Thérèse’s appeal lies precisely in the fact that her “little way” is attainable for each of us – to ordinary people. St. Thérèse reminds us to live each day of our lives as she did – in childlike confidence of God’s love for us and to offer all we do with love and to leave the heavy lifting to Him.
“God our Father, you have promised your kingdom to those who are willing to become like little children. Help us to follow the way of St. Thérèse with confidence so that by her prayers we may come to know your eternal glory. Grant this through our Lord.” (Carmelite Proper of Saints)