Now that we are about to celebrate the feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, it is a good time to reflect on the spirituality of the “everyday.” We all need a boost, a spiritual boost, every now and then, but if you’re like me you will probably say that God hides in disguises. I mean that it takes a lot of faith to see Him in the monotony of everyday. Going through the same routine and seemingly solving the same problems that do not seem to go away. It is a stretch, but it is the only way to a real spiritual growth, i think. The Little Flower is a wonderful reminder to us all that we do not have to do BIG things to please God. But if you are realistic, even the little things can be difficult to do, day in and day out, if we don’t fix our eyes on what really matters. How’s the view from where you’re standing?
From the view where I stand, I ‘ll tell you that St. Therese is my favorite Saint and her influence on me is very good.
St. Therese often thought God was so good to her. That is what I often feel also. I guess that is God’s specialty – He makes everyone feel special and so much loved.
I try to practice the little way like St. Therese did – not complain when I could and utilize each small thing to work on my own virtue.
One day when I made a left turn out of a parking lot, a coming car from left side that was still far away beeped me so loud that scared me. Honestly there was no reason for it to honk on me. After I safely got into my lane, the car was not even close. But when it passed me, the driver beeped at me like crazy. I was sick and tired at the time. But I quickly said a prayer to bless that driver.
Another time I went to Walmart to pick up some food. They just changed all the check out stations to be self-checkout. One customer service person stood around to see if any help may be needed. I asked her a question and she rudely told me I had to figure it out myself. Then she told her co-worker who went to talk to her, by pointing at me and laughing – something like how could she be so stupid and not be able to figure it out. Then I had to cancel an item, and needed her to scan her card. But she refused until I told her I would not be able to pay without her scanning her card. I was very upset inside. But after walking out, I said a prayer to bless her even I did not feel like to.
All these are learned from my favorite Saint little flower’s examples. Little things and little ways are not always easy. But with God’s grace, I learn to be patient and try my best as St. Therese taught us. I guess that is part of my everyday spirituality.
That’s a great phrase…“the spirituality of the everyday”.
I seem to be continually learning that lesson. I often get caught-up by the lie that unless I’m doing something remarkable, like saving the world (oh, Jesus already did that), then I cannot possibly be pleasing and am not worth anything to Him. I lose sight of the importance of my relationship with Him and the fact that He just wants me to be…with Him.
Then a wonderful thing happens. He breaks through to me, in usually a quiet, simple way to remind me that life is His gift to me - that I don’t have to fix all the problems (or remind Him that they exist).
And that makes it easier for me to go to bed at night, knowing I will get up tomorrow and go through the same routine and seemingly solve the same problems that do not seem to go away.
And every time that happens, I fall further and further in love with Jesus and want to do nothing more than spend time just being…with Him.:signofcross:
Thank you. That is the spirit of Therese.
Thank you Sister for the post. Yours is a needful reminder of the finding God in the simple things we may do for the love of Him.
My own thoughts on the “Spirituality of the Everyday”…
I desire to and pray that, I may have my heart and my daily actions align with Jesus. (Sorry - My explanations are a poor substitute for what I feel). Several times per day I ask the Blessed Virgin to lead me to her Son.
With that said, I daily dedicate my effort at my job to Him. I dedicate my efforts to my wife and children and the mundane tasks to Him. I remind myself that in simple tasks to perform them with the charity, mercy and forgiveness with love for my neighbor. In all honesty, at times this effort is very easy and at others it is very difficult.
I also find an immense amount of sprituality in the beauty of music. I am grateful to God for how He has graced musicians and composers with such gifts.
InLight, this reminds me of something I read in the Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux:
“Therese deliberately sought the company of the sisters who, on account of their imperfections, were shunned by others, or those who pleased her least. One of these was very difficult to live with on account of her crotchety character and disagreeable manner. Therese forced herself to treat her “as she would the person that she loved most.” At times when she was tempted to give a sharp answer, she treated the Sister’s rudeness with a friendly smile. This puzzled the nun so much that she asked the Saint one day why she was so attracted to her. Therese replied that she smiled each time they met because she was “glad to see her.” In recounting this incident later, she added with a twinkle in her eye: “Of course I didn’t tell her that I was acting from a supernatural motive.” We learn from the Saint herself that her charity towards that Sister gained for her so great a grace that, from that time, she had no further difficulty in practicing that virtue.
When others complained to her about the unpleasant character of that nun and the annoyance they suffered on her account, she replied: “Be very kind to that Sister. It is both an act of charity and an exercise of patience. We must not allow our own souls to be upset and yield to interior bitterness. We must sweeten our minds by charitable thoughts. After that, the practice of patience will become almost natural.”
Source: Rev. Francois Jamart, O.C.D., Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, pp. 96-97
Thanks for the quote for me to read.
“Little Way” is not always easy. But for who wants to work toward holiness, consciously practicing such “little way” is a very practical way.
For that incident I mentioned above, I did not feel like to bless that person at all. But I heard the Holy Spirit urge me, so I obeyed. Such little way takes obedience and practice. At least for me, it does not come as a piece of cake.
Thank you for the link. I enjoyed it.
It just occurred to me that the red rose pedals on the Novena videos may very well be the roses I am receiving from St. Therse, resulted from the “Little Flower Novena” I have been praying the past days!!
This is a very good post and very true in everyone’s daily life. All work for God is part of His plan so is very important even if it is not big. Our work is part of Jesus’s work as part of the body of Christ, thus nomatter how small it is, it is very important and meaningful.
God is always in different disguises. Sometimes very unexpected and the exact opposite of what we would imagine.
It's now Advent and our search for the spiritual in the everyday continues. Advent can be a beautiful time to reap bountiful graces if we but allow this season to break into our busy lives. It is a challenge for me who is engaged in health care ministry. The needs of the residents don't go on a pause because it's Advent. But I try as much as I can to get the quiet I need to prepare my heart for Christmas. It is much harder when one lives out in the "world." It is possible but it takes a lot of creativity and patience.
Great to hear this. I also wish to practice this in my life too. I also had many situations in my life that people behaved like this.