Lent with St Edith Stein Day 10: The St Therese Takeover

Lent with St Edith Stein Day 10: The St Therese Takeover


                We are about a week and a half into Lent and our Lenten plans have met reality. It’s still early on, but some of us are probably already struggling to keep up with our goals. Maybe you’re stuck on day 9 of Father Mike’s Bible in a Year podcast when you vowed to get caught up by Easter. Or maybe you’re already a week behind on Hallow’s Pray40 challenge. Sometimes we take on too much and need a reality check. Don’t give up, just get real.

               With that in mind, St Therese will be taking over our reflection today. My St Therese coffee mug has a great quote from her: “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” If you are feeling overwhelmed by your Lenten goals, remember that the Little Way is always an option.

               Perhaps you made a goal to say the rosary every morning and that isn’t panning out. Can you do a five-minute morning offering instead? A three-minute morning offering? One minute? Or if you planned to read a Scott Hahn book every week, maybe you can read the daily Mass readings on your lunch break each day? Or just read a Psalm and really reflect on it?

               Another thing you can do is buy a rosary CD and put it in the car so it automatically starts up when you get in. Even if your drive to work is only five minutes each way, that’s five minutes of prayer. Offer up that commute, no matter how long or short it is! If you’re struggling to do a family rosary every day, try doing a weekly family rosary on Sunday night. Don’t worry about changing everything about your life all at once. Just surrender yourself a little bit at a time, even if it’s just one minute at a time.

               St Therese also said: “In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.”

               Make your Lent a series of little straws you’re throwing on the embers of your faith. One by one, they keep the fire burning. Even just taking a moment to stop and earnestly tell Jesus that you love Him stokes the fires of your faith. So, if your big plans aren’t working, give the Little Way a chance instead.

               One more note: it can be difficult to find solace and strength in the little things when there are such big things happening in the world around us. After two years of pandemic, we are now watching war erupt in Ukraine and the threat of worldwide conflict continues to grow. Even with all these things happening, it’s important to remember that your prayers are important. Your spiritual well-being matters.

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