Nothing is small in the eyes of God.
Do all that you do with love.
~St. Therese of Lisieux~
When I was in Africa, the Little Flower whispered, "Do small things with great love," constantly in my soul. Her words were a balm to the raw, aching places Swaziland broke open in me. And even now, sick, having spent days languishing in bed, I draw from those words. Do what is mine to do, no matter how small. Accept the graces that are uniquely mine, because God loves me, even when I can't get out of bed.
After I returned from Africa, broke, sad, and bumbling about in a dark night of the soul, I went to a bookstore one day and saw a book about her. It said, and I knew this, that she believed she'd spend her heaven showering down roses on souls. I asked to to send me roses. I needed roses. The next day, completely by surprised, a gorgeous, antique framed picture of St. Terese arrived, a precious bundle in the mail. In the picture she held a spray of roses in her hand. She's on my bedroom wall right now, with a sly smile, knowing she continues to pray sweet smelling flowers into my life.
After the picture arrived, God gave me grace after grace, meeting my needs, banishing worries, giving me gentle love. St. Therese said, "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." You can't know how those words speak to me on so many levels.
Here's more from this lovely:
Yes, my Beloved, it is thus that my life's brief day shall be spent before Thee. No other means have I of proving my love than to strew flowers; that is, to let no little sacrifice escape me, not a look, not a word, to avail of the very least actions and do them for Love. I wish to suffer for Love's sake and for Love's sake even to rejoice; thus shall I strew flowers. Not one shall I find without shedding its petals for Thee...and then I will sing, I will always sing, even if I must gather my roses in the very midst of thorns - and the longer and sharper the thorns the sweeter shall be my song.
Story of A Soul, Chapter XI
The good God does not need years to accomplish His work of love in a soul; one ray from His Heart can, in an instant, make His flower bloom for eternity...
VI letter to her sister Celine
Seeing the eternal recompense so disproportionate to the trifling sacrifices of this life, I longed to love Jesus, to love Him ardently, to give him a thousand proofs of tenderness while yet I could do so...
Story of A Soul, Chapter V
In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.
XVI letter to her sister CelineAmen. St. Therese, the Little Flower, pray for us.
p.s. Thanks, Bernadette for the quote and picture of Therese as a child. Other quotes taken from the Society of the Little Flower: