Deacon Steven Johnson’s Reflection 10-1-20

Homily for Ordinary Time – 26th Week Thursday, 10-01-20, Year A – St. Therese of The Child Jesus-Little Flower

READINGS: 1ST Reading 1 Is 66:10-14, Gospel Mt 18-1-4

Theme: Simplicity of Children

“Jesus set before me the book of nature. I understand how all the flowers God has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understand that if all the flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little flowers. So it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He has created smaller ones and those must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.”1

These are words of St. Therese of The Child Jesus from her Autobiography, Story of a Soul. 

It was written 1894, two and a half years before her death in 1897 from tuberculosis at the age of 24. She died quietly at her Monastery, Carmel of Lisieux, in France.

St. Therese was born in Alencon, Normandy in 1873. She lived a virtuous life eventually entering the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of 15. She stayed at the monastery instructing novitiates and completing spiritual writings until her death.

St. Therese lived a life of humility, gentleness, and simplicity. “Therese saw herself as “the Little Flower of Jesus” because she was just like the simple wildflowers in the forest and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God.”2

She desired to be a missionary, traveling about, evangelizing, and bringing souls to God throughout the world. But that was not God’s plan for her. She recognized that her mission was to live a life of little virtues and acts of kindness and piety, something she called her “little way.”

“Therese saw herself as a child of God. She liked to keep things simple and focused as a child does. Trust, especially trust in God, is a childlike virtue.”2 “Therese’s spirituality was simple as in ‘her little way.”’ She teaches us that God is everywhere – in every situation and person – and in the ordinary, simple details of life.”2 “Her ‘little way’ teaches us to do the ordinary things of life with extraordinary love.”

In Isaiah’s reading, we are to rejoice and exult in the fulfillment that God gives us. St. Therese rejoiced every day in the simple things of ordinary living, the little flowers of her simple life in the monastery. And, through her “little way,” she exemplifies with utmost perfection in Jesus’ answer to His disciples that “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” And so it is with St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower.

1 Story of a Soul – St. Therese of Lisieux Autobiography

2 The Society of the Little Flower Website

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL