St. Therese's Little Way (Part 2)

The continuation of Anastasia’s thoughtful reflection on St. Therese.

One of the most beautiful things about St Therese’s spirituality is her trust in God. Though we know we should trust God, often I found it difficult to open my heart enough to do this. St Therese’s “little way” can help to love our littleness by allowing us to let go of fears and hidden pride. The smaller (and more trusting) we become, the more freedom we give to Jesus to do His work in us, without hindering Him. The problem is not at all our weakness, but lack of confidence in His power and mercy. It took me a while to just let Him love me.

One day, I came across a very beautiful book called “Way of Divine Love”, which contains the words of Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez. Jesus said, “Why fear? The more miseries I find in you, the more love you will find in Me”. Such words of comfort for any “little soul”! God loves us not despite our weaknesses, but because of them! His Sacred Heart is tenderly moved to pity when He considers our weakness. Yes we are so weak, so unable to love Him perfectly, to practice virtue, to pray without distractions, and to love others in the way we should. Even when we make good intentions, we have difficulty living them out and persevering through trials. Yet instead of this making Him angry, He looks at us with even more mercy and love that heals our hearts in the deepest, most truest way. Our souls crave to be loved, and understood… Who can understand us better than the One who made us, who hears our every hidden thought, every heartbeat, and not stopping at our sinfulness, wishes to embrace us closer to Himself? If we ever waited for true love, He is the one we have awaited.

Was I afraid that Jesus would love me less if I let Him see my heart? All this broke down my defences and made me see the importance of gratitude for my everyday weaknesses and unwanted faults. With them, we can stop pretending that we are strong, let go, and turn to Jesus as our only strength. Then, we would allow Him to live in us and through us. With St Paul, we can rejoice in our infirmities. Jesus spoke about us as His sheep, and said that we should become like little children. What is more helpless than a sheep? Sheep get lost without guidance and left to their own they can easily become the prey of wolves. As little sheep, we can rest safely in the arms of Jesus, our gentle Shepherd, and offer Him our little efforts just as they are. We can close our eyes and trust that He Himself will take us where He wants. He alone has enough power and love to do it, and it is not important that our own steps are imperfect.