Growing up I never had any particular devotion to saints. I have always been aware of my mom’s reliance on Saint Anthony to find all things lost. To this day, my mom and Saint Anthony are tight!
So, I guess I can attribute my first experiences with saintly devotion to my mom.
As I’ve grown in my faith, I have learned more about the Saints and the role they can play in my life. I recently finished reading “My Life with the Saints” by James Martin, SJ. In that book he makes a statement about devotion to a particular Saint perhaps developing from that Saint already praying for me. I found that thought very comforting and reassuring for the fact that I am making changes in my life that are important for growing in my faith and strengthening my relationship with Christ.
My devotion to Saint Therese of Lisieux developed over time.
I believe it started after reading “My Sisters the Saints” by Colleen Carroll Campbell years ago and further grew watching “Therese: The Story of Saint Therese.” So many things resonated with me and I quickly realized the parallel of many of her daily experiences to those in my own life. I quickly began to pray for her intercession in my life and for her to teach me her “Little Way”.
The teaching that touched my heart the deepest centered on doing acts of kindness and performing everyday tasks with love.
“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”
My heart was opened to the fact that I had allowed bitterness and resentment to overwhelm me when I was doing these tasks alone and not receiving help. This was only causing me pain and keeping me from happiness. Once I began to perform these tasks because I love the people I was doing them for and without expectation (“When one loves, one does not calculate.”), my heart was much more joyful.
“Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love at which we do them.”
While I still have my moments of struggle, I know I can always turn to Saint Therese and her Little Way as my guide to remind me that love is always the answer.