Yesterday was the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, one of my favorite saints. As different as St. Therese's life was from my own, it is her Little Way that draws me to her. Just as she lived out the small, ordinary tasks of her vocation with God in mind, so can we. You know the tasks I am talking about - nursing a baby, changing a diaper, dealing with two squabbling children, making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, etc. We have the power to make these activities holy by doing them for Jesus as well as we can (perfection is not required) and cheerfully (most of the time).
St. Therese also taught child like simplicity. Today's Gospel reading discusses this very topic. We must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Another part of the Little Way is surrender. Surrender to the fact that your child has a health issue. Surrender to the fact that your husband works late and travels frequently (sometimes this is a modifiable circumstance and sometimes not). Surrender to the fact that your house will not stay clean for more than a half hour while you have children at home all day. Surrender to the colicky, fussy baby who wants to be held and nursed 24/7.
Did you know that St. Therese often fell asleep during community prayer and did not like praying the rosary? She preferred short prayers spoken from her heart. As busy moms, we can choose the type of prayer we prefer and according to our life circumstances and not feel guilty. A new mom or a mom of many children may desire to attend daily Mass. However, Scripture reading and meditation may work better for her right now. Another mom may love the rosary yet have difficulty keeping her children quiet during the family rosary. She could try to find coloring pages of the mysteries or try an app to keep their attention. Or she can pray only one mystery per night. Find what speaks to your heart.
St. Therese teaches us to trust in God's love, mercy and forgiveness. We don't need to fear Him. Did you know that St. Therese had a radical idea about purgatory? Read more about it here. Today, look at your child and see how he or she adores you! That milky grin after a nursing session, that child who skinned her knee and needs a hug. That child trusts you completely. That is exactly how we should look to God!
Since St. Therese is a Doctor of the Church, I think it is safe to say we can follow her Little Way without worry.