On My Way…

Dearly Beloved, we are God’s children now…
From 1 John 3:2

I decided to use a free afternoon to clean and organize my desk. I admit that I need to do this far more frequently than most people. Apparently, I find it impossible to part with a good quote, allegedly important notes or an inspiring story. This time, I found a wrinkled page of notes which summarized something I’d read about St. Therese of Lisieux a long time ago…

Therese who is lovingly referenced as The Little Flower didn’t always merit that designation. Poor Therese realized this at the ripe old age of thirteen. It was then that Therese realized the selfishness of her ways. Poor Therese was the youngest in her family and she was prone to tantrums whenever things upset her. It was Christmas Eve when she overheard a life-changing comment from her father. He suggested to Therese’s sisters that they get through Christmas Eve as quickly as possible so they could be finished with Therese’s outbursts for the day. Sadly, poor Therese had no idea that she’d caused so much pain for the people whom she loved most in this world. It was within minutes of hearing her father’s frustration wit her that Therese resolved to change her ways.

Year’s later, Therese described this event as her “Christmas Conversion”. It was from that moment on that Therese began to live according to what she later called her “Little Way.” Through all of this, Therese realized that God loved her just as her family had loved her in spite of herself. As a result, Therese spent the remainder of her short life convincing others that God loves them just as completely.

I admit that I stopped cleaning my desk long enough to considered my contributions to the world around me. Is “Mary’s Way” as honorable an endeavor as Therese’s had become? This gave me quite enough to think about as I finished cleaning my desk…

Loving God, you love us and you forgive us everything. This new year, be with us as we work on our own little ways of doing good.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Our Little Way

Dearly Beloved, we are God’s children now…
From 1 John 3:2

A few weeks before Christmas, I helped to plan a reconciliation service. My hope was to move those who would attend beyond their guilt to certainty of their forgiveness and their goodness.

As I looked through my notes, I found the service we’d used a few years earlier. Our associate pastor had given me a copy of his homily for that evening. I searched for inspiration as I perusing his words. Early on, I found Father Dave’s reference to St. Therese of Lisieux. He’d cited Therese’s realization -at age thirteen- that she’d seriously harmed her family and herself. Therese was prone to tantrums whenever things upset her. On Christmas Eve, she overheard a comment from her father which opened her eyes to what she’d done to her family and to herself. She’d held her family hostage with her outbursts. She’d also transformed herself into an extremely selfish person. With that realization, Therese resolved to change her ways. The timing prompted Therese to call this her “Christmas Conversion”. This change did take hold and Therese began to live according to what she would later call her “Little Way.” All the while, Therese knew that God loved her just as her family had loved her in spite of herself. As a result, in all that she said and did, Therese hoped to convince others that God loves them just as thoroughly.

As I continued my planning, I considered my contributions to my family’s well-being and to that of the world around me. Was “Mary’s Way” as honorable an endeavor as Therese’s had become? After reflecting upon that for a while, I realized that my efforts would be well placed if I did as Therese had done. I would encourage those who attended as Therese had encouraged me.

Loving God, you love us and you forgive us everything. This new year, be with us as we work on our own little ways of doing good.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved