Thursday, April 02, 2009

St. Therese's The Story of a Soul

The lives of saints fascinate me. They are ordinary people who live extraordinary lives rooted in faith, and driven by their love for God. Many times, saints struggle with personal flaws, and that makes them even more interesting to me. My little daughter, the princess, recently fell in love with a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux that she saw. She was mesmerized by the "beautiful lady with the flowers."

I was so touched by her innocent interest. I picked up St. Therese's autobiography The Story of A Soul. I've been meaning to read it for a long time.

This woman was so good and pure in her thinking, and at the same time, totally normal in her feelings. It's nice to see the humanity of great people. Often holy people are made to seem removed from "reality" or just plain untouchable. We benefit so much from witnessing the lives of people who are saints, famous or not.

Being raised post-Vatican II in the Catholic faith, I was given the gift of familiarity with my church building. What I mean is that I always felt very comfortable in God's house. When I was a child, priests were able to call children up on the altar to pray as a group during parts of the mass. As a teen and young adult, I got very involved as a lector and assisting in youth ministry. I try to introduce this attitude to teens in the program where I currently work. I want them to have a relationship with God that is reverent, but also casual and close. I think this is possible for one to accomplish if one gets involved with the mass and frequents church.

One of the things that really made an impression on me while reading St. Therese's book is her casual style of prayer, and her selfless devotion to Christ. It is hard for me to understand how a beautiful girl like St. Therese had such an amazing calling and perspective on God in the middle of a very secular world. From the time she was just a child, she aspired to be a saint. All she wanted was to serve God. This seems to me to be so counter-culture, especially today. Her soul truly is a beautiful flower.

Reading about St. Therese caused me to reflect on my own actions, (something I do constantly). It is comforting to learn that a saint faltered, felt embarrassed, sad, betrayed, jealous, insulted etc. She was real and yet, she had tremendous grace. I doubt I will ever be as holy as she. All I can do is try to contemplate her life and see how I might attempt to adopt pieces of her perspective so that I might grow spiritually. I know I will be talking about this book more specifically next week, but I had to start tonight because it really inspired me.

Picture is St. Therese of Lisieux as a teenager from Yahoo Images.

5 comments:

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

This is a very nice reflection on how Saint Therese has touched you personally. I'd love to borrow this book! My girls were in the Little Flowers program, which I heartily recommend for all Catholic girls, but I never read her biography, and she is my patron saint!

Koala Bear Writer said...

My hubby and I just watched a video about St. Therese. I want to read her book sometime, too. Very inspiring story... what I like was how she was a saint in the little things.

jenX67 said...

Saints are just one aspect of the Catholic faith that I just love and admire.

Loren Christie said...

Elizabeth,
Sure, you can borrow the book! Hi Koala and Jen!

Chuck said...

Loren, thanks for stopping by my site. Like your site.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.

Fondly,

Loren Christie

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