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Day 29: St. Therese of Lisieux

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St. Thérèse of Lisieux: The vocation of love
Yes, my beloved, this is how my life will be consumed. 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 work, profiting by all the smallest things and doing them through love.

I desire to suffer for love and even to rejoice through love; and in this way I shall strew flowers before your throne. I shall not come upon one without unpetalling it for you.

While I am strewing my flowers, I shall sing, for could one cry while doing such a joyous action? I shall sing even when I must gather my flowers in the midst of thorns, and my song will be all the more melodious in proportion to the length and sharpness of the thorns. (from Story of a Soul, cited in St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Essential Writings, Orbis)

Reflection questions

1. How do you experience God’s love for you and your love for God?

2. St. Thérèse writes, “I desire to suffer for love.” How do suffering and love go hand in hand in your life?

3. We often talk about God as king, lord, or father, but St. Thérèse paints a very different picture of her relationship with God. God is her beloved, to whom she shows her love by picking flowers. Take some time today to sit and think of God in this way. How does it change your relationship with God? Does it give you any new insights into who God is?

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (18731897) was a French Carmelite nun whose autobiography described the spiritual path she called "the Little Way." She has been declared a Doctor of the Church.