St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) was a French nun who died at the age of 24 of tuberculosis. She grew up in a very devout family, experienced "the Virgin of the Smile" during an illness, was converted at the age of 14, took a pilgrimage to Rome, and then entered the monastery in Lisieux, Carmel. She was known for her devotion to God, her plays and poems, and her battle with tuberculosis. As a teacher of the "Little Way," she was a pioneer of everyday spirituality as a path of faith in action. She was recently made a Doctor of the Church.

To Name This Day:

Book Excerpts

"Therese shows us that within our ordinary lives — going to work in our cars or on the subway, doing our taxes, getting our children ready for school, fixing meals — we can find the mysterious exchanges between ourselves and God in prayer and meditation, no matter how brief or hurried. She reveals the hidden works of love that go on daily, not in some special precious time, but in ordinary everyday time. Therese poses a tremendous threat because she brings hidden mystic life out into the open and says, in effect, here it is for the taking, for all of us, not just the specially gifted, but all of us, each with our own gifts.

"Therese acts as a perfect complement to our century's huge explosions that force power outward — into bombs, into space, across new frontiers. Therese shows us explosions of energy inward, into inner space, and a spirit so powerful it spills over into relationships with others, near and far. She uncovers an energy of tremendous intensity in daily life."

— Ann Belford Ulanov in Religion and the Spiritual in Carl Jung

Spiritual Practices

Try this practice. Locate and celebrate a few of the mysterious exchanges of life — signs of your relationship with God — that take place in the hugger-mugger of your life.