Well! I’ve not really been here much!
This year, my patron for the year is St Therese of Lisieux! My Little Flower! I kicked off the new year by using some iTunes gift cards to purchase the audiobook, “A Story of a Soul.” It has been years since I read it. I am listening to it while I use the treadmill in the morning.
There has been quite a difference (for me, anyway) in being chosen by a Saint that you already have a devotion to and decent knowledge of than it is to be chosen by one you don’t know as well. Neither experience is bad or negative, but it is different. I kind of feel like I’m ready to get down to business with St Therese and I’m ready to get moving. The other years, I felt I wanted to get to know them more first ~not that this would be required. It was desirable to me, though.
As is the custom of many, I try to have a word of the year. This year, I have two:
Discipline came to me first. I had just been thinking through my resolutions and came up with several to make. I realized that resolve is never enough. Good intentions won’t cut it. I need discipline to carry these things out. It is discipline that will carry me through the daily grind over and over and over.
• If I want to be a better steward of my time, I must discipline myself to step away from the things I want to do (read, knit, sleep, surf the web) in order to spend my time doing those things which my vocation demands.
• If I want to save money, I must discipline my desires and refrain from purchasing things I don’t really need.
• If I want to lose weight, I must discipline myself to eat properly and get some exercise and I must have the discipline to stick with it!
• If I want to keep house better, I must discipline myself to come up with a routine, schedule, good habits and then discipline my self to follow through on them and not put things off until later.
• If I want to acquire a virtue or be free of a vice, I must have the discipline to do my examen, make a plan of attack and actively follow through.
• If I want to live a more sacramental life, a richer liturgical life in our home, I must have a plan, make it priority and then just do it!
• If I want a richer family life, I must be disciplined enough to make it a priority and not just wait for it to happen on its own.
Discipline is key. I have great ideas and plans, but if I don’t follow through it’s just a mist that disappears in the morning sun (not that we’ve had much morning sun lately. errrm)
This idea of discipline applies to everything, really. I find that discipline is dry, however, without something to back it up. That something, I realized, is Love. To just accomplish those things for the sake of accomplishment is not enough. Why I do them matters. Love is what gives these things their savor. Love of God, love of family, and [proper] love of self. What better patron for me, then, could there be than the Little Flower whose “Little Way is all Love”?
I am planning to fill my reading time with St Therese this year. I will be re-reading these books already on my shelf:
I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux
This spiritual classic has long been beloved by Catholics for its wondrous distillation of the teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into a reader-friendly set of meditations. It’s perfect as a personal retreat when you have only a few moments to spare each day – and for spiritual reading anytime and anywhere.
Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, a French priest deeply imbued with St. Thérèse’s spirit, brings you St. Thérèse’s teachings on God’s love and the confidence in Him that it should inspire in your soul; humility, peace, and fraternal charity; the apostolate; the Cross; and what it means truly to abandon yourself to Divine Providence.
I Believe in Love has helped countless souls embark on the way to the Father. It will help you focus on Him throughout each day, rest in Him amid your troubles, and live joyfully with Him at every moment!
Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotes on the Spiritual Life from St. Therese of Lisieux : Doctor of the Church (v. 1)
This deluxe book contains a collection of hundreds of direct quotes and short sayings of Thérèse, carefully arranged by the major virtues of the Christian life. The quotes are arranged and classified by the virtues represented in the classic 15 decade Rosary. The Rosary mysteries provide us a mosaic of virtues for the spiritual life, a ladder for advancing in holiness and in the love of God.
Spiritual Childhood: The Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux
St Therese of Lisieux, now a Doctor of the Church summarizes her spirituallity in these simple but profound words, “My Little Way is all love.” Her complete and unshakable trust iin the love of God oru Father was the foundation of her spiritual life, a childlike relationship with our Creator that raised her to the heights of sanctity in only 24 years of life…
Msgr Vernon Johnson, a famous convert and apostle of St Therese, presents in this book the most clear, practical and yet profound explanation of the “little way”, a way to perfection that changed his life and the lives of countless others. Johnson summarizes the spiritual approach of St Therese in these three words: Love, Humility, Confidence.
The Story of a Family: The Home of St. Therese of Lisieux(The Little Flower)
Pope St. Pius X called St. Therese the Little Flower “the greatest Saint of modern times”; Pope Pius XI declared her co-patroness of the Missions throughout the entire world with St. Francis Xavier; and Pope Pius XII declared at just 24, having been a Carmelite nun only 9 years. What was the secret of her greatness? Giants in any sphere of human endeavor stand on the shoulders of giants. Nobody gets to Heaven alone. We are all what our birth, our families, our education, our country, etc. have helped to make us.
In The Story of a Family, Fr. Stephane-Joseph Piat has masterfully reconstructed for us the lives of Louis and Zelie Martin, St. Therese’s parents, as well as those of her four sisters and near relatives, plus her own early life. In the process, he has produced one fo the most moving books a Catholic will likely ever encounter.
The Story of a Family is a tender and touching panorama of Catholic family life at its very best, a story that will thrill, motivate and inspire Catholic families so long as faith is alive. Whoever takes up this story is in for one of the great reading experiences of his life. For this story tears at the heart-strings as it reveals the making of a great, Saint in the family context of what certainly has to have been the flower of French Catholic life.
Thoughts of St. Therese: The Little Flower of Jesus Carmelite of the Monastery of Lisieux, 1873-1897
This book gives 328 brief quotations from The Story of a Soul, Counsels and Reminiscences, and her letters, arranged under 20 different topics. It shows her greatness of soul and that she was no Saint by accident.
The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul
St. Therese wrote this account of her life at the behest of her prioress sister two and a half years before she died. Writing in her cold cell for a short spell each evening, this obscure manuscript was completed just a few short weeks before she expired.
A spiritual guide for millions the world over, this is the autobiography of a holy woman who “attained to the knowledge of supernatural things in such abundant measure that she was able to point out the sure way of salvation to others.” –Pope Pius XI
Who is your patron this year? Do you have plans? Resolutions? A word? If you do, please feel free to share. If not, why not? 😉