"What is the Little Way?"

Q. What is the "Little Way"? 

 

A. On October 1st, we celebrated the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (who is also known as the Little Flower). Among the things she is most recognized for is her “little way.” In her own words, the little way “is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute surrender.” Living in an age when elevators had just been invented, Thérèse wanted to find her elevator to Jesus because she felt that she was “too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection.” For her, the elevator was to love God in every aspect of daily life. In Story of a Soul, she writes that “it was Love alone that made the Church’s members act … LOVE COMPRISED ALL VOCATIONS, THAT LOVE WAS EVERYTHING, THAT IT EMBRACED ALL TIMES AND PLACES…. IN A WORD, THAT IT WAS ETERNAL!” Finding love to be the heart of holiness, Thérèse realized that she did not need to do extraordinary things but only had to pour love into the ordinary moments of life. This meant that whatever the moment brought, she embraced it as from the hands of God, doing all for the love of Jesus: “I have no other means of proving my love for you other than that of strewing flowers, that is, not allowing one little sacrifice to escape, not one look, one word, profiting by all the smallest things and doing them through love.” The little flower trusted that when she loved God in the small things, He would draw her to great heights. Her little way teaches us that holiness is gained in the present moment. It shows us the path to perfection is less than an arm’s length away. And, it instills in us the confidence that we can all be saints!

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