The story is a bit strange. Sainte Thérèse of Lisieux invited herself on our journey.
Now, I’m not a fan of religious imagery or any other religious trinkets for that matter. The day I left our former apartment, after having emptied it completely, I checked one last time to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I enter the bedroom and there I find the image of Sainte Thérèse on the bookstand. I had never seen it before and I don’t know where it came from.
I had to hurry, because we were running late for a meeting at the Grand Place with our friends and I still had to pop by the real estate agency to leave them the key of the apartment. I had the choice between throwing the picture away or taking it with me in my backpack. We already put out the garbage and in my haste I put it in my bag, along with my passport and drivers’ licence. I completely forgot about it and it wasn’t until I was unpacking my affairs in our hostel in La Paz that I was surprised to discover this image. This made me curious about Thérèse’s story and so I went looking on the internet.
“Small as she was, the way she described herself, she touched the hearts of thousands of people all over the world with her writings. “
Thérèse Martin lived during the 19th century and died very young, at the age of 24. She felt a calling for religious life very early on in life. Bypassing several obstacles, she enters the Carmel convent of Lisieux et the age of 15.
Thérèse pored her love and confidence into every little ordinary task. She was amazed by the thought that god would feel good receiving all these small tokens of love, day after day, second after second. She called it “the way of confidence and love” or the theology of “the small way”. This is what she wished to communicate to the world and what she realised, after her death, with the publication of “History of a soul”. This book, wherein she tells us her life, will conquer the world (it’s been translated in more than 60 languages). She was Sainted in 1925 and is considered to be one of the most elevated Saints. The basilica of Lisieux, built in her honour, is the second most visited place of pilgrimage in France, after Lourdes. What touches me about her story, is the reconnection with simplicity. I’m not an enemy of the people of the Catholic church or any other religion, even if I don’t belong to any of them for multiple reasons which I won’t elaborate upon now.
I now that sometimes there are people who are able to inspire others beyond their religion or belief. I don’t fully understand the message of this image in my journey yet.
I just the things happen as they happen and I’ll understand later on. But I feel that Sainte Thérèse will stay present as a guiding thread. To be continued….