Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta chose the name of “Teresa” because she was inspired by St. Therese of Lisieux’s capability to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. Both of these women are beautiful examples about how we are used as instruments of God’s love.
Wisdom for the Spiritual Journey
We know of her because she appears in a few scenes from the Gospels: the Christmas stories, a wedding, the crucifixion, the post-Resurrection community in Jerusalem, and Pentecost.
Oh! how I love Thee, Jesus! my soul aspires to Thee —
And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray!
Come reign within my heart, smile tenderly on me,
To-day, dear Lord, to-day.
What is the meaning of "the little way" of St. Therese? 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. St. Therese based her little way on two fundamental convictions:
Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.
The past century has been called the age of Mary. In defining her Immaculate Conception one hundred years ago, Pope Pius IX inspired a renewal of Marian interest that has climaxed in the truly Marian pontificate of Pope Pius XII. The apparitions of our Blessed Mother at Lourdes in 1858 and at Fatima in 1917 have helped the devotion of the faithful keep pace with the announcements of the Popes. Our age has seen the canonizations of saints devoted to Mary, the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart, the definition of her glorious Assumption into heaven, and the proclamation of the feast of her universal Queenship. Truly this has been a Marian era unparalleled in the history of Christianity.
From the dawn of reason the heart of St. Thérèse was raised to God. As she grew in years she was blessed with insight into his merciful love. Her desire was to always do his will. At the reception of her first holy communion she told our Lord that she is giving herself to him forever.
After her entrance to Carmel at the age of fifteen she set full sail
|As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.
All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."