I personally did not understand why so many catholics were so inspired by the humble Carmelite sister, St. Therese of Lisieux. She didnt really "do" anything. I wasnt very fond of her book.
There was nothing wrong with it, I just didnt think it was anything special at all.
Now I have come to realize the importance of the message that we can all be great Saints without giving eloquent sermons, making great sacrifices, doing great deeds, or working signs and wonders.
Rather, Greatness lies in Charity.
An unknown, unremarkable, humble person who is faithful to their state in life can be just as much a Hero as the person who travels the earth preaching the Gospel, casting out demons, healing the sick, and/or enduring the red crown of martyrdom.
St. Therese the little flower was proclaimed the greatest Saint of Modern times, Doctor of the Church, and the Patron of missions.
She did nothing extraordinary, remained within the walls of her convent, wasnt particularly eloquent, brilliant, or talented, and died at the age of 24.
Many (especially worldly people) would say she accomplished nothing.
Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love.
Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"
"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.
"There is one ONLY THING to do here below: to love Jesus, to bring souls to Him so that He may be loved. Let us seize with jealous care every least opportunity of self sacrifice. Let us refuse Him nothing - He does so want our love!"
"Love!...that is what I ask...I know but one thing now - to love Thee, O Jesus! Glorious deeds are not for me, I cannot preach the Gospel, shed my blood...what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me, and I, the little child, I keep quite close to the royal throne"
"Let us love, since our heart is made for nothing else"
"There exists but one Being capable of comprehending love; it is Jesus; He alone can give us back infinitely more than we shall ever give to him."
"I know that I do not merit even to enter with the Holy Souls into that place of expiation, but I know too that the fire of Love is more sanctifying than the fire of Purgatory"
"To offer oneself as a victim to Divine Love is not to offer oneself to sweetness - to consolation; but to every anguish, every bitterness, for Love lives only by sacrifice; and the more a soul wills to be surrendered to Love, the more must she be surrendered to suffering."
"Charity gave me the key to my vocation.
I understood that the Church being a body composed of different members, the most essential, the most noble of all the organs would not be wanting to her; I understood that the Church has a heart and that this heart is burning with love;
that it is love alone which makes the members work, that if love were to die away, apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, martyrs would refuse to shed their blood.
I understood that love comprises all vocations, that love is everything, that it embraces all times and all places because it is eternal!"
"At the close of life's evening I shall appear before Thee with empty hands, for I ask not, Lord, that Thou wouldst count my works...All our justice is tarnished in Thy sight. It is therefore my desire to be clothed with Thine own Justice..."
"That I may live in one Act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim of holocaust to thy merciful love, imploring Thee to consume me without ceasing, and to let the tide of infinite tenderness pent up in Thee, overflow into my soul, that so I may become a very martyr of Thy Love, O my God!
May this martyrdom, having first prepared me to appear before Thee, break life's thread at last, and may my soul take its flight, unretarded, into the eternal embrace of Thy Merciful Love.
I desire, O Well-Beloved, at every heartbeat to renew this Oblation an infinite number of times, till the shadows retire (Cant. 4:6) and I can tell Thee my love eternally face to face!"
she abandoned herself to Jesus and her life became a continual acceptance of the will of the Lord.
She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood."
She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love.
"What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love."
Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love.
Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.