“Lent is a time to grow and change for Christ”, reads the bulletin board outside our kindergarten classroom. Twelve flowers decorate the board, each with a Lenten promise written by a student. “I will play with my baby sister”, “I will give up sweets”, and “I will pray for the poor” are just a few examples. The promises, like the children who wrote them, are small. However, they contain a larger truth that is worth contemplating throughout our Lenten journey, a truth expressed by the Little Flower herself, St Therese: “Nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.”
Lent can be a time when scrupulosity creeps into the heart. As we reflect on Christ’s sufferings, we can feel overwhelmed with our insufficiency, with the feeling that we simply aren’t doing enough. Perhaps we broke fast, couldn’t focus during a holy hour, or forgot to bear the day’s inconveniences with angelic patience. Rather than fall into despair or guilt, we can rejoice in our littleness. St. Therese, who was deeply attuned to God’s love and mercy, reminds us that, “to enjoy these treasures we must humble ourselves, must confess our nothingness.” How comforting to know that our littleness is exactly what brings us to God! He does not weigh the magnitude of our acts, but delights in the love with which we act. When we let this truth rest in our hearts, we can find the strength to rejoice in our own insignificance.
Therese gives us many examples of this humility in her Story of A Soul. One day she wrote, “For a long time I had to kneel during meditation near a Sister who could not stop fidgeting; if it was not with her Rosary, it was with goodness knows what else. Maybe no one else noticed it; I have a very sensitive ear. But you have no idea how much it annoyed me. I wanted to turn around and glare at the culprit to make her be quiet, but deep in my heart I felt that the best thing to do was to put up with it patiently, for the love of God first of all, and also not to hurt her feelings.” Therese shows us that ordinary, simple moments can be handled with extraordinary love. Humility opens our hearts to see God’s grace in every little detail of our day. So as we continue walking with Jesus through Lent, let us ask St. Therese for her intercession and strive to find little moments for great love.
AUTHOR: Maggie McKenna, Kindergarten Teacher