Sunday, July 10, 2011

Three Words of Wisdom


(Photo: R. Massaro)

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us the Parable of the Sower. Have you ever planted a garden? If you have, you will know how unbelievably small a seed can be.  It is amazing how such a little thing can blossom into a fruit or vegetable and become food for our body.  Even Scripture describes the tiny mustard seed:  "...It is the smallest seed of all, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes so big a shrub that the birds of the sky come and build their nests in its branches." (Matthew 13:32).

How do we use the "little things" in life? Do we take little annoyances, inconveniences, etc. to help us grow in virtues, such as patience and humility?  Do we use the "little things," the negative seeds people scatter our way to prevent us from growing in holiness? Have we let a "little thing" become a great big thing, such a big thing that it has broken relationship with our neighbor and with God?  Families who have broken relationships will relate that the reason they are not speaking to someone was over a "little thing." Sometimes, they cannot even remember what they were upset about. And then year-after-year the relationship remains broken.

As Secular Carmelites, we can look to the Doctor of Love, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, for inspiration. She is our great model in the "little things" of  life. She turned the smallest of daily annoyances into great victories of dying to self.  Popes have referred to her as the "greatest Saint of Modern Times." Why is this?  Why does she deserve such a lofty title?  Many people misunderstand her teaching of spiritual childhood.  For those of us who have studied her writings, it is clear that she is a spiritually mature child of the living God! 

St. Therese never left the monastery, yet she became a great saint by embracing the little things in daily life that God sent her way.  Many of us will never leave our homes, jobs or families to become great missionaries, but we can be great witnesses to those we live with and to those we work with, if we accept with grace and humility the "little things" life has to offer. May the Lord free us from getting upset over little things and help us to see the great things he has in store for us.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

No comments: