Monday, February 12, 2007

The Little Flower's Way of Sacrifice

I read The Story of a Soul as a teenager, and it marked my life forever. I decided to become a cloistered nun, and live a life of sacrifice and prayers. Well, my vocation is different as a married mother of three girls, and the prayer is more irregular, but the opportunities for sacrifice remain.
A good way for us to 'keep track of' our sacrifices is with Therese's 'sacrifice beads'. The purpose is not to get prideful about our sanctity, but merely to remind ourselves that little acts of love throughout the day DO add up, and to remind us to offer them for a good cause. I like to remember something I read in the news, like Portugal's referendum on abortion, or a sick or deceased relative, or for the good of my family.
Therese, as a girl prayed fervently for the conversion of a condemned criminal who was an atheist, and she read in the paper that at the last moment, he reached for the crucifix and kissed it, she rejoiced that her prayers had been successful.

Sometimes, when my daughters are at the end of their patience with me or one another, I just say, "grit your teeth, and pull a bead!" Then, when something wonderful happens, I remind them to take partial credit for it, because of their sacrifices.
There are kits available to make these beads, or they can be made with any large wooden rosary beads, string, a miraculous medal and a crucifix. The trick is to cross-thread the beads, so they can be pulled and remain in place.

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