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Thérèse of Lisieux

Thérèse of Lisieux is popularly known as "The Little Flower of Jesus", or simply "The Little Flower.” She lived only 23 short years, but the Church formally recognised her spiritual wisdom by declaring her a doctor of the Church. She was a Carmelite religious sister in France in the 19th century and suffered through much psychological and physical torment in her life. She lost her mother at a young age and her older sister (who was like a second mother) joined the convent when Thérèse was still a child. This nearly broke her heart. Thérèse struggled with tremendous anxiety as a direct result of her scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is not uncommon among people of faith and is essentially a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. It is marked by a deep and pervasive fear that one has sinned gravely, thinking things are sins which are not sins, and not finding solace and peace in the forgiveness we experience in the sacrament of confession. She knew what it felt like to be dragged through deep and pervasive thoughts and come up for air only to be pushed down again. Her anxiety and fears were very real and were not less painful just because she was so holy. She is a tremendous example and witness that physical and psychological troubles don’t keep us from holiness and they don’t mean we are failing. We can turn to St. Thérèse in prayer asking for her intercession. She knows and understands the terrible way anxiety can creep into our lives and she is at the ready to help you take control of yours. (Remember, depression and severe anxiety always need to be addressed through a mental health practitioner) She said that she would spend her time in Heaven by doing good works here on earth!

O Glorious St. Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire the human family, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you "Prodigy of Miracles...

the greatest saint of Modern Times." Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition

(mention in silence here) and to carry out your promises of spending heaven doing good on earth... of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Therese, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere"

and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you.



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