St. Therese of Lisieux has revealed to us an extremely powerful and simple way of holiness, which will be particularly appreciated by those who struggle with discouragement and mental anguish. Her “little way” has already helped to form many great saints, such as St. Faustina, St. Padre Pio, Sr. Consolata Betrone, Bl. Mother Teresa, and Bl. Pope John Paul II.
Jesus tells us that only those who accept the Kingdom of God as little children will enter it. St. Therese’s helps us to put into practice these words of Our Lord.
The “little way” consists in seeking to please God, Our Father, by CONFIDENCE AND LOVE, which are inseparable.
Jesus wishes to make known that “CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY WHICH OPENS THE TREASURE OF MY MERCY.”
(Revelation to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
… Because who can love God without first humbly and CONFIDENTLY receiving the infinite gift of His love and MERCY? No one. And who can PLEASE GOD without LOVING HIM? No one.* Therefore confidence and love are inseparable!
It follows, then, (and this was clear as crystal to St. Therese!) that in order to please God, we must open our hearts to Him and confidently accept His graces. No matter how weak or sinful we are, God wants to save us.
Our sanctity is God’s glory!
A lack of confidence causes Jesus “great suffering” (words to Sr. Consolata). Jesus came to save even the worst of sinners. He has saved (and even raised to great holiness) those who were previously murderers, Satanists, prostitutes, despairing, alcoholics, thieves, presumptuous, apostates, heretics, the crucifiers of Jesus (which is what all sinners really are), idolaters, lukewarm, abortionists, persecutors of Christians, betrayers… God seeks out all sinners, and it offends Him greatly when we doubt His goodness. Why else did Jesus die for us but to save us from sin, death and the Devil? And what better way to overcome these things can by striving courageously for holiness?!
“And why should you become a saint except to please your Jesus ever more and more.”
(Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
“… even sinners can love me and become saints.”
– Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina
Jesus came that “they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus said to St. Catherine of Genoa, “You cannot live without love, because I, your God, am Love.” This means that Jesus desires to give Himself to us, because He is life itself (John 14:6)! How consoling! The Blessed Sacrament confirms this truth, as do the words of Our Lord, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” (John 6:53)
With all this in mind, we can be assured that God always desires our love, and for us to love Him, we must receive Him humbly; and the more we trust, the more we will receive! By seeking to please God through love and confidence, the “little way” will simplify our lives, fill our hearts with love, dissipate our fears, and make holiness a joyful thing! Ask for the simplicity of a child, for God asks for one thing of us only: love (which is always preceded by confidence).
“Finally, to attain more speedily to perfection, she should have God alone in view in all things, His glory, His good pleasure; doing this, she will always be at peace.”
(Jesus to Sr. Beninga Consolata)
*Obviously small infants, amongst others, are not capable of loving God in the sense we typically understand it, but they love God by receiving His gifts. The way of spiritual childhood is a reminder that we are all like infants in one way: we cannot love God until we receive Him, for “God is love” and without God we can do nothing (John 15:5).