Paul L. Caron

Sunday, October 16, 2022

WSJ Op-Ed: St. Thérèse's 'Little Way' To Heaven — Small Deeds Done With Great Love

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:  A Canonized Saint Who Began as an Everyday One, by Mike Kerrigan (Hunton Andrews Kurth, Charlotte, NC):

Little WayI am apparently called to be a saint. That was a somewhat disconcerting revelation for a cradle Catholic in his late 40s. But according to a homily during Mass some years back, this is the purpose for which I was born.

With further reading, I learned this vocation doesn’t require me to be declared a capital-S Saint by the Catholic Church. I just need to be holy, or set apart for God—a lowercase-s saint. It’s no simple task, though, to close the gap between who I am and who I am called to be. This is where the wondrous St. Thérèse of Lisieux, or the “Little Flower,” has shown me a way.

Before dying of tuberculosis in 1897 at 24, the cloistered Carmelite nun pledged to spend her time in heaven doing good on the earth. ... The Little Flower left assurance for all who feel, as she did, they lack the heroic excellence in their own littleness. She looked at the saints who went before her and felt herself a grain of sand in comparison to the towering mountains of their lives. St. Thérèse of Lisieux needed another way to get to heaven, so she prayerfully came up with one: the “Little Way.”

Perfecting her Little Way to sanctity amounts to remembering that “our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even their difficulty, as the love with which we do them.” The occasion to do great deeds, after all, may never come to pass, or when it does it may find us wanting in courage. Small deeds, on the other hand, are everywhere, and when done with great love, they cease to be small.

Op-Eds by Mike Kerrigan:

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