I watched a movie about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux last night, Thérèse. I loved it and loved learning about “The Little Way”.
Below is a definition I found online for “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse.
It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday.
I have been thinking about this a lot today and I think when you empathize with someone it can naturally guide you towards “The Little Way”. In the movie Saint Thérèse was very considerate and aware of her family and then later of her fellow sisters. She attempted to help others in ordinary and everyday moments without ever expecting anything (a thank you or even acknowledgement) in return.
I think when you empathize with someone, really attempt to see things from their perspective, it can help you to move beyond the expectation for a thank you or acknowledgement of what you then do for that person since you now can more fully appreciate the difficulties that brought about their current needs in this moment. I think once you are released from this expectation you can then truly find joy in meeting their needs (serving them) in that moment without the weight of what you will receive (your expectations) on your mind.
I know I still have a lot to learn about “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse, but these are are my initial thoughts. I hope to learn more when I get a chance to read the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul.
Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could all truly let go of “me” and focus on “you”? I think what we would find would be Our Best Life because even if I really let go of me, Jesus won’t let go of me… He wants us All!
We went to the park the other day to take a short hike with the girls. As we were all getting out of the car and unfolding the stroller a woman was walking by with two small dogs. I was just about to look up and say hello when she dropped her wallet and said in a very angry and exasperated voice to herself, “This has been the worst f*****g day, can anything else go wrong?” She picked up her wallet and stomped past us through the parking lot. It was only 10:30 am, and I thought to myself, unfortunately she still has most of the day left for things to continue spiraling out of control. Obviously I only saw one moment of her story and it appeared to be a very bad moment, but it made me think about perspective and if a perspective shift could have helped her through the rest of the day.
Perspective is defined as a mental view of or outlook on a situation. I think a perspective shift can change almost anything. When I don’t know someone else’s full story it is difficult to suggest a perspective shift, but hopefully a personal story will help make my point.
A few weeks ago I was out on a Sunday evening on my way to return a movie. I turned onto the highway feeder road a little too quickly and hit the curb with my rear tire. The tire immediately blew and luckily I was just about 200 yards from an open gas station. As I was pulling in to see if they could help me change my tire I was thinking, It serves me right because I made the turn too quickly, as if this was punishment for my poor driving. A really nice young man changed my tire and I was on my way. The next day I went to buy a new tire and the man at the store strongly suggested replacing the other three as well. I took a look at the tires and if you know about the penny test to check the treads then you will understand how necessary it was for me to get new tires when I tell you that there was nowhere to even put the penny. As I was pulling away with four new tires I could have been complaining about the hour I had just spent waiting for new tires or the money I had just spent that I had planned to use for something else, but instead I thought to myself, Thank you God for making me get new tires since I wasn’t going to find the time to do it without your help.
Despite some of the terrible things I see in the news, I try to keep my perspective shifted and continue to believe it is Our Best Life and I hope you do too? If we all believe it is our best life would the news change?
Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
I watched The Passion of Christ (2004 American Drama directed by Mel Gibson) on the evening of Easter Sunday. It was the first time I had seen it and now two months later I still think quite often about the lashing of Christ scene. While I was watching the movie the lashing scene seemed to go on forever and at one point I actually winced as Jesus received a lash and I thought to myself, that one was mine. The thought actually surprised me and made me cringe, but the more I have reflected on it the more I think it is true. I think we are all responsible for at least one lash that He received that day.
The comfort I have found as I continue to think about this scene and the innumerable lashes Jesus received is that the lashing did eventually stop. Even though the final number of lashes could not be counted by the end of His lashing, we know the final number of lashes was a finite number. I find comfort in this because to me it means that although there is evil and sin in this world, there is a finite amount. It does not go on forever and there will come a day when all that is left will be GOOD. Thank you Jesus for loving us so much.
I believe it and I pray with all of my heart that you do too! It is Our Best Life!