Relics of St. Therese Visit Seattle

(January 21-23, 2000)

The visit of the relics of St. Therese has motivated me to read more about this beautiful saint. Her Little Way has helped many people, myself included. Though profound enough to qualify her as a Doctor of the Church, her way of Spiritual Childhood is so simple that any of us can follow it and easily arrive at union with God. It involves trusting in God as a child trusts in his parent. Because of that trust, we can achieve peace even in the midst of our own imperfections. St. Therese writes:

"We would like never to fall. What an illusion! What does it matter, my Jesus, if I fall at every moment? I come to recognize by it how weak I am and that is gain for me. You see by that how little I am able to do and You will be more likely to carry me in your arms. If you do not do so, it is because you like to see me prostrate on the ground. Well, then, I am not going to worry, but I will always stretch out my suppliant arms toward You with great love. I cannot believe You would abandon me." (Letter to Celine, April 26, 1889)

Remember this was written by someone who in comparison to most of us was like an innocent lamb. Her words inspire a deep confidence in Jesus. Elsewhere she writes: "If I am humble, I am entitled, without offending the good Lord, to do small foolish things until I die. Look at little children. They constantly break things, tear them up, fall, and all the while, in spite of that, they love their parents very much. Well, when I fall in this way, like a child, it makes me realize my nothingness and my weakness all the better and I say to myself: What would become of me? What would I be able to accomplish if I were to rely on my own powers alone?"

But this does not mean we become fixed on our faults and imperfections. Instead we fix our eyes on Jesus himself: "When we see that we are wretched, we no longer wish to look at ourselves but we gaze at our only Beloved...We have merely to love Him, without looking at ourselves, without examining our faults too much... If you are nothing, do not forget that Jesus is ALL. Hence, lose your little nothingness in his infinite all and think only of that All, who alone is lovable."

I heartily recommend to you the works of St. Therese of Lisieux, especially her autobiography, The Story of a Soul. She has helped so many people find peace in their lives and come to a deeper relationship with Jesus. Besides reading her works, we can ask the Little Flower for her intercession. She has worked many miracles, often accompanied by the sign of red roses.

I read about a little girl was dying in the hospital. She and her family prayed to St. Therese for a miracle. The parish priest who went to anoint her was motivated to do something he had never done. He bought a couple of roses to bring to the dying girl. When he got there the girl was already in a coma. He anointed her, then went back to the rectory. Upon arriving he received a excited call from the girl's parents. She had come out of the coma and the first thing she saw was the roses in the vase. She knew who had sent them.


St. Therese of Lisieux Website

Homily for week of relic visit