Monday, October 1, 2007

Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower

Today is the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. I first came to love her when I read "Story of a Soul" at fifteeen, and fell in love with the idea of a religious vocation. All the trivial sufferings of my life, as a public school student, the teachers who mocked the Church in class, the indifferent classmates, the friends who never did anything but study, all this took on new meaning, as things to be offered up as gifts for Jesus. I developed a deeper prayer life, and continuted my spiritual reading. This was difficult in the late 1970's, it was nearly impossible to find good books, the library had books debating the sexual orientation of Jesus, the Church had forgettable tomes on wheat and vineyards, and there was no internet, no EWTN, no good book catalogues. The local religious bookstore had few interesting titles, they mostly carried statues and rosaries. How fortunate we are now, with all these resources to share the richness of our Faith with our children.
I suggest:
The DVD "Therese" We saw this film in a theatre twice, after waiting nearly a year for it to be released locally. For anyone who has read "A Story of a Soul", it is an accurate depiction of the young life of Therese. My only disappointment was that the movie was focused on Therese's entrance into the convent, and not enough of her life there was shown. Also the convent chapel was ugly, I haven't been to Lisieux, but I can't imagine a chapel from that time looking so plain. Her religious life with it's sufferings would have been more inspriring in a beautiful setting. The acting was good,however, the soundtrack beautiful, and Therese has some very touching moments when Papa Martin has to bid farewell to each of his daughters, while growing more feeble each goodbye. I reccommend this film for anyone who wants a reliable introduction to the life of the little flower.

"Story of a Soul" The classic autobiography of Therese, which she wrote at the request of her Mother Superior, the work which explains her "Little Way". This made an obscure twenty four year old nun world famous, patroness of missions she never visited, and a doctor of the Church.

The Catholic Treasure Box Series: an excellent 20 book set from Maryknoll which has a serialized story of the Little Flower's life. My girls adored these simple books, full of old fashioned missionary stories, children's poetry and charming illustrations. A must for every Catholic family who wants to re-discover authentic Catholic childhood.

One of the craft projects which brought my girls closer to the Little Flower was making sacrifice beads, like little Therese had. Each time you sacrifice something for the love of Jesus, you pull one of the ten beads, hoping by the end of the day, that you have pulled all ten.

My last suggestion for celebrating today's feast with your children, is to visit a blog based on the Little Way, Therese's Roses.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Therese is my favorite saint. I think we will be astounded one day in heaven when we see what God allowed to happen through her intercession!

The movie Therese -- I liked it very much -- it was emotionally exhausting though, kwim?

There are a couple more movies about her, no? I know I've seen one the others - and the actress really resembled Therese, which is so helpful.

St Therese - pray for us!