Trusting in the Example of St. Therese

My little way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender.

 St. Therese of Lisieux

Ever since I was little, St. Therese has been my role-model. My mom would read me a different story about her every night before I went to bed. Growing up and even now, I try my best to imitate her little way. Over the summer I wanted to learn more as to how to put her little way into practice, so I read The Way of Trust and Love by Fr. Jacques Philippe. I find myself talking frequently about her to my friends and often they ask me questions such as “So what exactly is her little way?” and “What does it mean to trust and to surrender to God’s will?”

By reading this book and throughout college, I have come to better grasp what her little way actually means. College can be a difficult time for many people. Everyone seems to be breaking up, friends may leave you, and the work load can be so stressful at times that you feel you might collapse from it all. When friends or even a boyfriend leave your side, our natural human reaction is to feel anger, rejection, and loneliness. We may feel abandoned and then wonder… what should do with our life?

This is when we should especially turn to God for help. Through prayer, we can better fully understand what St. Therese’s little way means. Her little way as said in the quote above is trust and absolute self- surrender to God. Trusting and surrendering in God mean you realize that you cannot do it all yourself. You always need God’s help. It means giving every trial to Jesus and laying it all at his feet. Matt Maher’s song, “Lay it Down” basically sums up this idea of surrender.

Trusting in God also means that you understand God’s will is always the best way to go. We may want to go down a certain path, but is that what God wants us to do? When we pray for what we want, God gives us one of three answers: Yes, Not Yet, or I Have Something Better in Mind. If He is asking you to wait, there is obviously a reason why. He knows things that we do not know even about our self. His will is what will ultimately make us happy because it will lead us closer to Him and Heaven where we will be happy forever.

So… If your boyfriend breaks up with you, there is a reason God allowed that to happen. He either has a better relationship for you or a different vocation in mind. If friends abandon you, maybe God is leading you to a better group of friends that can lead you closer to Him. We might never understand why God allows certain things to happen to us, because His reasons are sometimes beyond our understanding. If we give these problems to Him and offer them up as a sacrifice, however, our suffering becomes a prayer.

This Advent, I am going to strive to prepare for Christmas by following St. Therese’s way even more. You can ask St. Therese to pray for you. She is the one who came up with this little way so she can definitely help you! There is a beautiful prayer to St. Therese that you pray every day found here.

Remember to ask St. Therese to pray for you to trust in Jesus just as she did!

Read Anne's testimony of overcoming the loss of her father here.