St Therese was a girl of fifteen when she entered the Carmel of Lisieux, a choice that led to many struggles her entire religious life. Living with older women who often criticized her for petty faults, she determined to perform simple acts of charity for all her sisters without notice, and these gentle acts of love became the foundation of what she called the little way.
Therese also struggled in a culture and with a spirituality that emphasized the fires of hell and eternal damnation, but did not give in. Her blood sisters, who recorded her words and insights as she neared death, tell us she offered her last communion for Fr Hyacinthe Loyson who others called a renegade for leaving his religious community, marrying and fathering a child. Therese saw only a man in need of prayer and hope.
Therese's little way remains an attractive path for many in the twenty first century who feel overwhelmed by information overload and the demands of overly busy lives. The little way is clear, accessible and direct. While some might argue that the path of Therese does not address the structural injustices that divide our world so deeply, others would insist that each of us can help one another one kind act at a time.
Today, do something simple for someone without them noticing it.