St Therese the Little Flower, entered Carmel at a young age of fifteen. Her father amused the Bishop at the interview stating that Therese had put up her hair to look older.
Young Therese was so much in love with Jesus, that she was determined to start her spousal life with Jesus soon. St Therese in her autobiography writes that the day she entered Carmel, her heart was filled with so much joy that she kept repeating the words, “I am here forever and ever”.
Following is a continuation of the reflection shared by my daughter on the life of St Therese the Little Flower. Enjoy!
Everything that St Therese did, whether it was helping a sick nun to walk or washing the clothes, she did without complaint as though she was doing it for Jesus. Every act was a little flower, offered up and placed at the feet of Jesus on His glorious throne. Hence we call her St Therese the Little Flower.
In her writings, St Therese my little friend, uncovered and delved into the gospel message of love. She wrote that the Church would not exist were it not for love. In doing that she realised that her true vocation is simply that: LOVE.
In considering the mystical body of the Church and wanting to see
herself in all the members, St Therese my wise little friend realised
that she had to be the life giving and most necessary organ - the HEART,
burning with LOVE. St Therese understood that it was through being the
heart, that she could bring life, fully embrace and see herself in all
the vocations of the Church.
Combined with this, St Therese my little friend offered all of her earthly sufferings to God. She asked that the small merits won by them be used to save souls, strengthen the Church and advance the spreading of the Gospel through missionaries in foreign lands.
St Therese did not ask for God’s consolations and a continuous reassurance of His presence and love. Rather, she set herself a task of complete trust in the Lord, regardless of how close or far He seemed to be from her.
St Therese the Little Flower is also called the St Therese of the Child Jesus and Holy Face.
Therese the Little Flower claims that one of the main reason she entered
Carmel was to save souls for Jesus and specially pray for Priests.
Here is one of my favourite prayers for priests written by St Therese of Lisieux.
St Therese as the Patroness for Missions
During her last illness St Therese was asked to take a short walk in the garden each day. One of the sisters noticed that Therese was in much pain and asked her to rest. Therese continued to walk and explained, that through each step she took, she was able to offer her pain to God for some missionary out there who was worn out from their labours, so their tiredness be lessened.
Prayer to St Therese the Little Flower for Missionaries
St Therese of the Child Jesus,
Patroness of the Missions,
remember your burning desire
while on earth “to plant the cross of Jesus
in every land and to announce the gospel
till the end of time”.
We ask you now to help missionaries everywhere
and inspire them with your love.
Obtain for us an increase of missionary zeal
Protect all who preach the gospel,
support them in their trials and
teach them to love Jesus as you loved him. Amen.