St. Therese: Radical Innovator

I just read something wonderful from Jacques Philippe about the audacity of St. Therese. He writes about how she realized early on that there was no way for her to be a great saint in the style of those towering figures of the past. So she decided to find her own way–a new way.  St. Therese wrote,

“But I want to find how to get to Heaven by a little way that is quite straight, quite short: a completely new little way.”

Philippe observes the following,

“A little way that is ‘completely new.’ That is her most surprising expression. She has her nerve, this twenty year-old who wants to find a new way to holiness after nearly two thousand years of Christianity! A new path to Heaven…that really is bold! Had the theologians who pronounced in favor of Therese being made a Doctor of the Church actually read this passage?”

Love it!  It reminds me of a passage from de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence: “Today God speaks to us as he used to speak to our ancestors at a time when there were neither spiritual directors nor any systems of spirituality. To be faithful to the designs of God then comprised the whole of one’s spiritual life. […] Those spiritually inclined needed nothing more.”

If we are faithful to God’s designs, who KNOWS what “new” things will appear in the Church, even after 2000 years! It’s a matter of faith.


1 thought on “St. Therese: Radical Innovator

  1. St. Therese’s boldness is one of my favorite things about her. It’s what keeps her from being just a dainty little flower of a saint (if there could be such a thing). If it weren’t for her boldness (and her bold honesty), I’d find her very saccharine. Good post, Nate!

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