DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     October 1-3, 1999     vol. 10, no. 187


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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister talks about her "little sister" - the great Doctor of the Church Saint Therese of Lisieux whose feast we celebrate with the Church on Friday. Sister shows how hidden she was in life and how visible she has become after her death, touching countless hearts through her little, hidden ways and striving for holiness like few before her or since have tried to do. Sister Lucy reminds us of her intercessory power in Heaven and not to forget this wonderful saint who Sister calls My Little Sister Therese in her column this weekend.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.


        On October 1, we celebrate the Feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. That is her full name as a Religious Carmelite.

        I was named after the Little Flower. At my Baptism on April 7, 1940, my parents named me Teresa Marie and named the Little Flower as my Patroness. I must confess that as a child I did not have much devotion to the Little Flower. Actually, I didn't like her very much. Don't ask me why ... she certainly did not do anything to me to warrant my disliking her. But since love is based on knowledge, I think I can attribute my not liking her to my ignorance and stupidity. (I humbly ask her forgiveness now for not giving her signs of affection and appreciation for so many years.)

        But time and learning helps to wane disagreeableness, or at least it would be a good thing, if it would. As an adult, I have traveled to so many places, visited so many churches and convents, and have seen a statue of the Little Flower everywhere I go. That little Sister, so quiet and unobtrusive in life on earth, is all over the place today. One cannot help but think of her when she seems to be around every corner somehow, somewhere.

        I call her "My little sister!" I have two reasons for doing so. First of all, I am older than she. Therese died at the age of 24. I am more than twice her age at present. Also, I weigh more than she did. From photos of her which I have seen, and because she died of the ravaging disease of tuberculosis, Therese was not a physical heavyweight. I am! Therefore, I think I have reason again, to call her "My little sister!"

        That's how I pray to her now. I often call upon her with that name! She had said before she died that she would spend her Heaven doing good on earth. I try to help her keep her promise by keeping her busy answering my prayers.

        The Little Flower's life and holiness is a reason for hope for all of us. Therese never did great things that were apparent to the society in which she lived. She was not known by thousands of people. She was never on television or radio. She was never a public figure. So how did she achieve such great holiness?

        Therese became a great saint by doing little things with great love for God. Whether she washed clothes, swept the floor, sewed or counseled her novices, she did them with GREAT LOVE for God.

        She saved many souls that way. That is why Pope Pius XII named her Patroness of the Missions though she never left her cloistered convent even once to visit any mission anywhere.

        Happy Feast Day, my little sister! As you are my patroness, I claim your special attention and protection. Please obtain a special grace for everyone who reads this article.

        Peace and good will to all! God bless you.

October 1-3, 1999       volume 10, no. 187


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