1st October: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Pious statues do this saint no favours, but a photograph taken before she entered Carmel shows a saint of flesh and blood, not plaster.
Thérèse justified writing her Autobiography in terms of her vocation. Citing Mark 3:13, ‘Jesus went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him’, she declares:
Here is the mystery of my vocation … he does not call those who are worthy, but those whom he pleases. Or as Saint Paul says, “God has mercy on whom he wants to, and has compassion on whom he wants to have compassion. So it is not the work of one who desires, nor of one who exerts himself, but it is God who has mercy”. Romans 9:15-16.
For ages I wondered why God had his favourites … then Jesus opened before my eyes the book of nature and I understood that all the flowers he has created are beautiful, yet the splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily take nothing away from the perfume of the violet or the daisy’s ravishing simplicity … I saw that if all the little flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime glory, the fields would no longer be bright with little flowers. And so it is in the world of souls, which is Jesus’s garden. He created great saints who can be compared to lilies and roses, but he also created lesser saints who should be content as daisies or violets, destined to please the good God when he sees them at his feet. Perfection consists in doing his will, in being what he wants us to be.
See http://www.livres-mystiques.com/partieTEXTES/Lisieux/Histoire/fol1a17.html for Text and photograph.