Welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to share this little corner of the internet with you! With my blog being titled something pretty unique, I thought I would share with you it’s meaning for my first blog post. Grab your coffee or drink of choice, and let’s jump right in!
Deciding to start this blog has been a process, and deciding on its name was something I have been putting a lot of thought into. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is my confirmation saint. I absolutely adore her. I knew I wanted her to play a big part in my blog because she has made a big impact on how I practice the Catholic faith. I mainly confided in my sister Morgan for ideas. I had been toggling a few around, but I never came up with anything I truly loved.
One day, my sister sent me pictures of a book that she had been reading. And guess what? It was all about Saint Thérėse! Everything that was talked about in that excerpt of the book highlighted what I want to emphasize in this blog. I’ll share with you the few pages that my sister sent me.
One day, Thérèse’s older sister Leonie had decided she’d outgrown some of her playthings. So she offered to her little sister, Céline and Thérèse, a basket full of such items. Céline chose one item that pleased her. But when it came to Thérèse’s turn, the future saint suddenly exclaimed, “I choose all!” and proceeded to take the entire basket.
That story expresses well how Thérèse approached the spiritual life and the path to sanctity in particular. She understood that “there were many degrees of perfection” and she want the highest degree, saying to the Lord, “My God, I choose all! … ‘I choose all’ that you will!”
Later, Thérèse would express her bold desires for holiness in an even more audacious way, saying that she wanted to love God even more than Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite Doctor of the Church! However, she also realized her weakness and littleness. And so, for Thérèse, saints like the great Teresa of Avila were like eagles, soaring on the heights of holiness; whereas, she simply saw herself as a weak little bird without strength and unable to fly. In fact, she readily admitted, “I am not and eagle.” Nevertheless, she went on to explain, “but I have … an eagle’s EYES AND HEART.” Then, she continued, “[ So, ] in spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon [ the Lord ], and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle.”
Such is the boldness that led Thérèse to discover the Little Way. Rather, it’s more accurate to say that the Lord couldn’t help but reveal it to her: “Because I was little and weak He lowered Himself to me, and He instructed me secretly in the things of His love.” In the following passage, she sets up this joyful revelation of “the things of His love”:
I have always wanted to be a saint. Alas! I have always noticed that when I compared myself to the saints, there is between them and me the same difference that exists between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and the obscure grain of sand trampled underfoot by passers-by. Instead of becoming discouraged, I said to myself: God cannot inspire unrealizable desires. I can, then, in spite of my littleness, aspire to holiness. It is impossible for me to grow up, and so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short, and totally new.
So, the little bird with the heart of the eagle, the little bird who is well aware of her weaknesses, is also totally confident that God could not have given her the heart of an eagle without also providing her the means of realizing her desires. Therefore, there must be such a path! There must be a path for little souls like her: a “straight,” “short,” and “totally new” way. Well, Thérèse is a great Doctor of the Church because she discovered such a way – rather, she rediscovered it. Yes, she rediscovered the very heart of the Gospel, the Good News that God lifts up the lowly:
We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs, for, in the homes of the rich, an elevator has replaced these very successfully. I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched, then, in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: “Whoever is a LITTLE ONE, let him come to me.” And so I succeeded. I felt I had found what I was looking for. … The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more.
If you read that whole passage, then congratulations! When I received this from my sister I knew that this is what my blog needed to be about. This is exactly what I imagined it to be! All of us should strive to become saints. We should all strive to choose all that God has to offer to us. Even though I am not an eagle right now, I have the heart of an eagle. I want to become a great saint. Like Thérèse said in that passage, “God cannot inspire unrealizable desires.” Therefore, if I desire to become a saint, then it’s not that far out of reach. God can make me into a great saint and bring me to Heaven through my willingness to live out a life of holiness and littleness.
With that, let us pursue all that God has for us with an eagle’s heart. Let God inspire our hearts and our minds to strive to become saints. I believe that as a community we can all build each other up to take the elevator to heaven. So let’s go on this adventure with Christ and see where He leads us!
Prayers and Blessings,