So our big girl will celebrate her feast day tomorrow, the feast of St Thèrése of Lisieux (although it falls on Sunday and is not officially her feast day). We’ll still do her choice of dinner and give her a bunch of roses. Thèrése is her second name. She’ll actually spend most of the day with the family of a friend from school, with whom she’s gone camping this weekend. Before going she requested ‘proper tacos, with guacamole’ for her feast day dinner.
I’ve written a few times about St Thèrése, but not really about what she has been for me personally. I think it’s time to put that onto my ‘to do soon’ list. But for one thing, I am certain of her influence when it comes to our daughter, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
I shall begin to sing what I must sing eternally, the mercies of the Lord.
– St Thèrése of Lisieux, Story of a Soul
The saint points out a way to God which is ‘very short and direct’; an ‘entirely new way’ which is still little used today – even by me. I couldn’t be more different to St Thèrése, personality-wise, but she is still a sister to me and every time I am reminded of her ‘little way’ I want to start praying for the grace to start trying it again. (It’s actually quite hard to do!)
People talk about her little way of spiritual childhood and doing small acts with love, and all of that, which is all well and good and she did do and teach those things, but I was reminded of St Thèrése when reading this recently in Pope Francis’ God’s Name is Mercy:
To walk down the path of holiness means living in the presence of God, being irreproachable, turning the other cheek, and imitating his infinite mercy. – Pope Francis
We’re moving into what I always feel is a month of special grace for me. October 1 is usually the feast of St Thèrése, the 5th is our wedding anniversary, the 10th is my birthday, the 15th is the feast of St Teresa of Avila, it concludes with the eve of All Saints’.
I told my husband and the four kids who are home at dinner tonight that tomorrow begins my birthday month, and it’s the eve of October 1 so it kind of starts now. They scoffed and made out that I was being greedy. But then Peter remembered he had bought me something (some nice tea and a strainer) the other day and forgotten to give it to me. I tell ya, October is my month.
(The pic above is of feast-day roses from a few years back.)