...so said St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun who is also known as "The Little Flower."
Years ago when I learned about her, my life changed. Her existence on earth was short and small, in that she was not famous or revered. She was devoted to Jesus and lived out that love in a fellowship of fellow nuns that was not necessarily as harmonious or life-giving as it sounds. Living in a fellowship with other human beings isn't without conflict, of course.
She was often cold and hungry. She suffered terribly before dying.
But God used her writings and her love for Him and others to inspire, comfort, and bless millions around the world.
In these difficult days of Covid-19, which for me have included high anxiety and at times even anger, the Lord has been drawing me back to Thérèse. To her reminder that "the world's thy ship, not thy home."
To the call for my vocation to love. Not to judge or be righteously upset at others' judgment, not to be vexed or resent others' vexations, but to love.
I haven't been doing very well with that, I confess. This season of Covid has revealed ugliness in our society, in our hearts, in our world. People say things from behind the safety of a keyboard or a phone screen that they wouldn't say to another person's face. I'm not saying that sometimes lines shouldn't be drawn in the sand: the Lord shows us that it is sometimes necessary to cut off, cast away, tear down and rebuild.
But I've seen lines drawn that do nothing but drive others away from the Gospel, and I confess I've been saddened and angry.
These are strange days indeed, but God's call hasn't changed. To follow His commandments. To serve Him and others. To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with Him. To love.
I'm thankful for the example of Thérèse, and for the Lord using her to give me the gentle nudge to seek Him and live in His love first and foremost.
Draw me, we will run...To ask to be drawn is to will intimate union with the object which holds the heart captive. If fire and iron were gifted with reason, and that the latter said to the fire: "Draw me," would not this prove that it desired to become identified with the fire even so far as to share its substance? Well, that is exactly my prayer. I beg of Jesus to draw me into the flames of His Love, to unite me so closely to Himself that He may live and act in me. I feel that the more the fire of love inflames my heart, the more I shall say: "Draw me," the more also will the souls who draw near to mine run swiftly in the fragrant odors of the Well-Beloved.
Story of A Soul, Chapter XI