Daily Reflection
October 1st, 2005

Rev. Rich Gabuzda

Institute for Priestly Formation
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Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29
Psalm 69:33-35, 36-37
Luke 10:17-24

On the Way

Jesus had a strange habit of exalting what other people held as unimportant or marginal. An example of this was his attitude toward children. Often considered insignificant to the people of his time, children were more than once the focal point of his teaching. And so we hear him in today’s portion of the gospel of Luke: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” The question is: what did Jesus mean by being “childlike”?

Today’s saint provides an answer. St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a doctor of the Church, spoke of a “little way” to God. Therese was haunted by a deep desire to be a saint, but struggled to find “the way” to fulfill that desire. One day, an image inspired her, and this is how she described it:

"We live in an age of inventions. We need no longer climb laboriously up flights of stairs; in well-to-do houses there are lifts. And I was determined to find a lift to carry me to Jesus, for I was far too small to climb the steep stairs of perfection. So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: ‘Whosoever is a little one, come to me.’ It is your arms, Jesus, that are the lift to carry me to heaven. And so there is no need for me to grow up: I must stay little and become less and less."

For Therese, being childlike, being little, meant having an enormous confidence in God and his love, the confidence of a little child. May we follow this wise doctor’s advice: stay little, become less and so confidently find “the way” that leads to God.

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