And Your Daughters: All Are Loved, and Necessary

St. Therese of Liseux was one of God’s beloved daughters.  Her words call us to consider our belovedness…

I had always wondered why it was that God has his preferences, instead of giving each soul an equal degree of grace… Jesus has been gracious enough to teach me a lesson about this mystery, simply by holding up to my eyes the book of nature. I realised, then, that all the flowers he has made are beautiful; the rose in its glory, the lily in its whiteness, don’t rob the tiny violet of its sweet smell, or the daisy of’ its charming simplicity. I saw that if all these lesser blooms wanted to be roses instead, nature would lose the gaiety of her spring tide dress-there would be no little flowers to, make a pattern over the countryside.

And so it is with the world of souls, which is his garden. He wanted to have great Saints, to be his lilies and roses, but he has made lesser Saints as well; and these lesser ones must be content to rank as daisies and violets, lying at his feet and giving pleasure to his eye like that. Perfection consists simply in doing his will, and being just what he wants us to be.

This, too, was made clear to me: that our Lord’s love makes itself seen quite as much in the simplest of souls as in the most highly gifted, as long as there is no resistance offered to his grace. After all, the whole point of love is making yourself small; and if we were all like the great Doctors who have shed lustre on the Church by their brilliant teaching, there wouldn’t be much condescension on God’s part, would there, about coming into hearts like these? But no, he has created little children, who have no idea what’s going on and can only express themselves by helpless crying: he has made the poor savages, with nothing better than the natural law to live by; and he is content to forget his dignity and come into their hearts too – these are the wild flowers that delight him by their simplicity. It is by such condescension that God shows his infinite greatness. The sun’s light that plays on the cedar-trees plays on each tiny flower as if it were the only one in existence; and in the same way our Lord takes a special interest in each soul, as if there were no other like it.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books.
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