"Shower of Roses" at the Carmelite Monastery, Allentown, PA
The monastery chapel was packed to overflowing and they needed the local fire police to direct traffic and parking. Monsignor Kuhns of the Allentown diocese, spiritual director for the nuns, gave a wonderful homily regarding the "little way" of St. Therese and how we are all invited to participate in it.
Why do Catholics get so enthusiastic about an obscure cloistered nun from Normandy France who died over 100 years ago at 24 years of age? Because she showed us how to grow in holiness in the most simple fashion. To offer up our daily sufferings and disappointments all for the love of God.
"Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love."
So this obscure nun who died of tuberculosis at 24 years of age showed the world how to love God in the most simple and ordinary ways. Though she never traveled outside the convent, her writings have been spread throughout the world and she was canonized less than 30 years after her death. She has been declared a Doctor of the Church for her insight and wisdom and joins the company of the likes of Sts. Augustine and Aquinas.
We Catholics don't worship St Therese but many of us have a special place in our hearts because she shows us how we too can grow in holiness and love for Jesus in her "little way." Not only is she a role model, we know that she is available to pray for us as well. One of the last things she said was "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth." She certainly is keeping her word!