Amy Smith is the Register’s associate editor who edits features for the “Culture of Life” section. Fueled by prayer and coffee, she enjoys writing about everything from Jane Austen to saints for the Register. She is the author of The Plans God Has for You: Hopeful Lessons for Young Women (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2020). Her writing has also appeared in various other Catholic publications. She has a master’s degree in journalism and a B.A. in English. Find her online at Instagram.com/hopefulwordsmith/ and Twitter.com/hope_wordsmith.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux — one of my favorite saints, whose feast day is Oct. 1 — has something timely to teach us about authentic living.
“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will and being just what God wants us to be,” Thérèse reminds us.
She teaches us that we need to live with joy where God has placed us. Although she had dreams of being a missionary, she was confined to her Carmel cloister — and there she lived her vocation to love (“My vocation is love!” she announced with joy in her autobiography). Her desire to help souls is evident in her holy life and writing — and in her designation as patroness of missions.
Thérèse’s “Little Way” shows us that we can love and serve God and others right where we are, right now. And it reminds us that we should not compare our lives or our calling to others’ lives and callings.
God’s plan is unique to each of us, so we should work to fulfill it and strive toward holiness in that unique way — just like our friend Thérèse.
As she wrote: “The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” That’s a good reminder in a fast-paced, social-media-driven world that runs on “likes” and Pinterest and Instagram-worthy perfection. Be who God wants you to be.
How is God asking you to serve him and others in your personal sphere?
Thanks for the lovely lesson, Thérèse. Little Flower, pray for us!
This article originally appeared Oct. 1, 2017, at the Register.