Submitted by Kateri Hennessey, Bishop Roger J. Foys Scholar
St. Thérèse’s Little Way to Heaven
Most of us can agree that when we die, we would like to go to heaven. To achieve this goal, we have to become saints, but it doesn’t seem that simple. Being a saint is hard, and it’s not going to happen by itself. It requires effort on our part. Discouragement is often encountered when we look at the saints and their lives. It seems impossible for us to be a great evangelist like St. Paul, who brought the gospel to so many people, or to help the poor like Mother Teresa did.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux is my favorite saint because she often felt like she was small and insignificant, like a grain of sand on the ground, but she was still able to become a saint through her “Little Way.” This young, unknown cloistered Sister was a master at making small sacrifices throughout her day out of love for Jesus. In her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul,” she wrote about a time when she was erroneously accused of breaking a vase. Instead of defending herself, she humbly accepted the correction for the love of Jesus. At another time, there was a Sister in her convent whom she found very annoying, especially in the chapel when she fidgeted constantly. Our saint treated this Sister with patience and kindness so much that she felt Thérèse was greatly fond of her. Thérèse let the love of God shine through her.
It is these daily sacrifices that brought Thérèse closer to Jesus and into heaven. St. Thérèse’s “Little Way” is what she called an “elevator to heaven,” as opposed to the staircase that other saints trod.
Whether it’s setting aside just five minutes a day to pray, or offering up the minute, mundane everyday tasks for love of Jesus, we too can imitate this humble young lady in her “Little Way” to heaven.
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux