Sanctification in Daily Work
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Unless You Become Like Little Children

nullBesides Our Lady, I think St. Therese, whose feast day was today, has had the biggest impact on my spiritual life. Early on in my spiritual journey I was encouraged to read her biography, Story of a Soul, and I fell in love. Never before had the spiritual life been shown, or explained, in such a real way. If you have not read it yet, I HIGHLY recommend it! I have read it twice now, and I’m sure will pick it up again.

This little saint is best known for articulating what she called her “Little Way” of spiritual childhood, which is what made her a Doctor of the Church. Here is an excerpt from her autobiography that I think gives a beautiful vision of this little way.

I look upon myself as a weak little bird, with only a light down as covering. I am not an eagle, but I have only an eagle’s EYES AND HEART. In spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon the Diving Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle.

The little bird wills to fly toward the bright Sun that attracts its eye, imitating its brothers, the eagles, whom it sees climbing up toward the Divine Furnace of the Holy Trinity. But alas! the only thing it can do is raise its little wings; to fly is not within its little power!

What then will become of it? Will it die of sorrow at seeing itself so weak? Oh no! the little bird will not even be troubled. With bold surrender, it wishes to remain gazing upon its Diving Sun. Nothing will frighten it, neither wind nor rain, and if dark clouds come and hide the Star of Love, the little bird will not change its place because it knows that beyond the clouds its bright Sun still shines on and that its brightness is not eclipsed for a single instant…

Jesus, I am too little to perform great actions, and my own folly is this: to trust that Your Love will accept me as a victim. My folly consists in begging the eagles, my brothers, to obtain for me the favor of flying toward the Sun of Love with the Divine Eagle’s own wings!

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As our Father, God wants to do everything for us and we must rely on Him for absolutely everything. Even our good works are not our own. The best thing we can do is offer our Lord our empty hands so that He may fill them with good works. My favorite quote from Therese: “Sanctity consists in suffering.” I also wrote about Therese on my post about darkness and the spiritual life.

Books you should read:
Story of a Soul
St. Therese of Lisieux, Her Last Conversations

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