IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
St. Theresa of Lisieux, a Carmelite, a Doctor of the Church (1873-1897) wanted to be great as a child . “I feel the courage of a Crusader,’ she wrote. She wanted to die on the battlefield defending the church. If only she could be a priest, this might have happened. This was not to be and she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24, only 9 years after joining the Carmelites. So with the reality settling in, her life’s vocation became Charity. “In the heart of the Church, who is my Mother, I will be love.” And so she devoted her life to the “Little Way.” And so for the rest of her life, everything that she did, she did for the love of God. No matter the difficulty, no matter the spiritual anguish, she carried on in love of God and in her own way of expression of holiness. “Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them” she said.
St. Francis instructed his followers to ‘go out into the community and preach—and, if necessary, he said, when you preach, use words.’
How often during the day do we acknowledge God as we go? Thank you God for my children, for my job, for my home, for my food, and so much more that others do not have. How often do you talk to Jesus: I’ve lost my keys—this traffic is going to make me late—Jesus, I don’t need this in my life today. God, thank you for this most beautiful sunset. Thank you for my senses to enjoy this sight, this music. God, I am tired of all my responsibilities. Please help me. Give me the strength I need. God, I don’t know what to do. God, I have everything and still I feel empty. Am I selfish? Help, my back is killing me. My pain, Jesus, is nothing like Yours. I offer up my discomfort to You. Did I do anything today for another, when I didn’t feel like doing it?
In the car—in the waiting room—in the laundry room—at my desk—sitting in the back yard—gardening—mowing the lawn—anywhere you are are good places to ‘talk’ to God. And equally important are moments of silence when you turn off you and listen to Him in response. Few of us will ever be given great moments of sacrifice, but everyone of us are tested every day in little ways. Can these ways become more than just every day living experiences that we pass through and barely remember at night? Or can our “Little Ways’ change to make a difference in our life and all those lives around us?
by Kathy Reilly