Therese Martin thought she could never become a great saint. As a young nun living in the Carmel in Lisieux, she had lots of wishes and dreams. She wanted to be a martyr, a missionary, a doctor or a great warrior like St Joan of Arc, doing heroic things. But, knowing she could never do any of those things, she worked out her own Little Way towards holiness.
Therese believed that, in the eyes of God, she was just like a little child. Sometimes while sitting in the chapel trying to pray, she felt so tired she would fall asleep! At first she felt bad about not praying properly, but then she imagined herself in the arms of God – the way a baby falls asleep in the arms of it’s mother. The smaller the child, the more it has to rely on it’s mother or father. In the same way, Therese completely relied on God.
Therese lived her life trying to do little things for God because she thought she could never do great things.
Her Little Way was a way of love. She decided that she would BE love for all the People of God. She chose to do little things out of love. Some of those things included:
asking for the jobs nobody else wanted to do being a friend to those who annoyed her helping those who never thanked her sharing her time and ideas as though they belonged to everyone still smiling while bearing pain and illness
Therese believed that God loved the littlest person as much as the greatest. Her Little Way meant that she walked the path of life as ‘a poor little child’, not thinking of herself but always praying for others. She believed that this was her path to holiness and she followed it without drawing attention to herself.
During her illness, despite being in a lot of pain, Therese did everything as an act of love. She gave all of the pain to God, so that God would turn it into a blessing for missionaries and priests working elsewhere in the world.
If there is one thing we can learn from Therese’s Little Way, it is that we can all follow the path of holiness – to sainthood – no matter how small or unimportant we might be.