Hey there, readers!
Well, it’s been a wonderful, relaxing summer of travels, experiences and soaking up the sun! I took a break from my June Lit List because I didn’t read anything that quickly, but my July Lit List is one that I’m excited to share with you and recommend to you for your own summer read.
St. Therese of Lisieux is my confirmation saint and a saint that I have had to warm up to over the years. I chose St. Therese because it was what all of my female family members had selected as their saint and it was a part of the “family tradition”. I was familiar with the Little Flower and didn’t protest – she seemed like a nice pick!
Over the years, I had a fair-weathered relationship with St. Therese. Per usual, as it is with Heavenly friends, it’s always the mortals who are fair-weathered (i.e. yours truly). I was familiar with her story, but had never read her autobiography or any biographies about this incredible saint. To be honest, I thought she was rather whiny whenever I read the abridged version and heard the stories about her. She didn’t really make sense to me and I wasn’t really interested in learning more about her.
St. Therese truly is the saint whose vocation is love because she has revealed her incredible love for me and, more importantly, God’s love for me.
During the past few years, I wanted to learn more about my faith, enter into it more fully and truly live it out for God. It’s been a process with many highs and lows and rocks strewn along the path, but it is worth it. It is a beautiful and full life when lived for Christ and continually working on diminishing our vices and improving in virtues.
Reading The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul was so eye-opening for me. It was so incredible to be reading a book that was penned by the saint herself and I could read her own words, thoughts and her beautiful analogies about God and His Love for us. There is something so powerful when we can read the very books that saints write themselves and not simply reading or hearing about them through others (although still wonderful!).
I had read The Extraordinary Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, which was wonderful to read before her autobiography to understand her parents, her childhood and how her family life shaped her faith life. Reading this gave me greater insight and a greater love for the Martin family.
St. Therese writes beautifully and she is so easy to follow. It doesn’t require a lot of caffeine or countless highlighters to follow what she’s writing. St. Therese writes in a way that allows you to soak in her words and her analogies and love for God is so deep and so incredible, I couldn’t help but wanting to be just like her. Which, I’m sure is her hope for those that read it – to want and to desire to become a saint for Christ!
St. Therese writes about Jesus asleep in her boat when the storms of life come and, instead of bothering Him, she hunkers down and lets Him sleep. Well, I’ve got to be honest with all of you: When the storms of life come and Jesus is sleeping in my boat, I come down and I start poking, prodding, making some loud noises (you know, banging cupboards, smacking the wood of the boat to make some noise without it totally being my fault…) and He’s still asleep. At this point, I’m annoyed and I’m thinking, Well, what the heck! I’ll just handle this storm myself! I thump upstairs to the high winds & storm and at that point, Jesus is waking up and wondering what on earth just happened. Well, I’m trying to handle the storm and it’s going horribly and Jesus is trying to call to me. Pride is a stupid thing and I decide that I’m not going to respond because it’s all too embarrassing because he KNOWS that I was banging those cupboards and poking Him while He was asleep and I was lacking all patience. Eventually, I’m disgruntled, upset, and I run over to Jesus and He’s smiling and looking at me like I’m a goofball for trying to manage a storm by myself and an even bigger goofball for making a bunch of racket and losing my patience altogether.
When the storms of life seem to be too much or take over, instead of figuring it out all by myself, I need to wait patiently with the Lord and ask Him what I should do – instead of impatiently running around trying to remedy the problems that I’m experiencing. That is so much easier said than done, but by praying every day for guidance and talking to the Lord daily, He can begin to work on and mold my heart to be more like His and to trust in Him with my life.
I think I need to take notes from St. Therese.
I’m not going to give away anymore spoilers, so I highly recommend that you pick up your own copy and read it! St. Therese’s autobiography is fabulous, a wonderful read and it’s chock-full of wisdom. She truly is the greatest saint of modern times!
One of my favorite images of St. Therese of Lisieux in Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome