When I was in college, I hosted a girls’ group at my apartment each Thursday night. We took turns presenting and then leading a discussion on different topics each week.
As I sat down this afternoon to pray and do some spiritual reading, I had the sudden urge to pray through journaling, so I picked up an old notebook I’ve been using for a few months now. The notebook happens to be one that I used briefly for my girls’ group in college in the fall of 2007.
When I opened this notebook today to journal, I accidentally didn’t open to one of the pages toward the end of the notebook; I opened to a long entry I had written to prepare for a girls’ group presentation on St. Therese of Lisieux that I did in honor of her feast day, Oct. 1. The journal entry was from Oct. 2, 2007–four years to the day today. I had copied out many quotes from Story of a Soul, and the page I opened to had a quote that spoke to my heart immediately:
“To remain a little child before God is to recognize our nothingness, to expect everything from God as a little child expects everything from its father; it is to be disquieted about nothing, and not to be set on gaining our living.”
When He wants to be, God is amazingly clear with me. And he loves to use goosebump-inducing coincidence to get my attention.
As you know from my previous post, I’ve been experiencing the frustration and discouragement of a little spiritual dryness lately, coupled with some anxiety about challenges I’m going through right now. Especially with a precious newborn in the house, the reminder to go before my God “as a little child” is well-timed for me!
I’d like to share some of the book quotes and personal reflections from that journal entry. I could type for hours about how each of these quotes applies to my spiritual life right now, but I’ll show some restraint. 🙂 I hope that one or more of these may speak to something going on in your lives!
“Dry prayer or distance from God is sometimes necessary in His will. Sometimes He can only work on us when we’re “asleep.”
“Just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to make the humblest daisy bloom on a set day, in the same way everything works out for the good of each soul.”
“All the flowers He has created are beautiful. How the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understand that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers. And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to the lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfection exists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.”
St. Therese is a wonderful friend and intercessor for us in Heaven. She is a special saint that I think I will study and also ask for assistance much more often from now on. Her writings and example remind me so much to put simplicity and trust back into my prayer. And I have a feeling she is particularly ready and eager to pray for me and for all of us here on earth.
After all, she always said that her dream was to “spend my heaven doing good on Earth.” 🙂
St. Therese, pray for us!
The spiritual dryness and feeling of distance of God you speak of reminds is familiar to me as well. I think we have to have periods of dryness in our spiritual lives so that we can appreciate the "rain" we receive when we accept God's and FEEL his grace. I have to remind myself that even Mother Theresa lived years on end of spiritual dryness, although I think hers was a special kind of cross that not many others could've taken on.
Kate Dawson says
What a gift we have in our precious St Therese! Next time you come in town, I'll show you our relic!