Last week I finally succumbed to Covid and had to isolate, or not circulate for around ten days. Strangely, my emails and general administration were tended well during that period. Sadly I suspect such matters will be once again squeezed now that interaction is allowed. Suffice to say that the symptoms of Covid were not that
One opportunity it afforded me was space to read and reflect. Indeed on one occasion I listened to a protracted podcast called “Nomad”. The topic on that particular occasion was exploring the spirituality of St Terese De Lisieux, I must confess she was not a Saint I was familiar with. She was a French Carmalite Nun who died in 1897. She died at the age of 24, but not before she had gifted the world with a wisdom that went way beyond her years and experience.
The essence of her understanding was “love”. Now that in itself is no earth shattering revelation, but when you understand the context of living alongside other nuns with all their annoyances it adds a little gravitas. When you are assigned a seat at prayers each day and the nun immediately behind you grinds her teeth, infiltrating the silence with a most unholy noise, you may start to see that her sentiment about love wasn’t some banal comment without lived out evidence. It seems she wasn’t interested in gushing sentiment to show that love. So buying a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers to say sorry, by themselves would not wash with her. Instead it is the ongoing little actions that skew the mind towards an individual and by evolution they become transformational. Take this quote which plays on that theme as an example
“I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifices to all ecstasies.
To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul”
Terese has been a huge influence on individuals’ lives ever since. She was an inspiration to Mother Teresa, who was named after her, and Pope Pius X declared that she was “the greatest saint of modern times. Her monotony of obscure sacrifices was known as “The Little Way” and it is something that can easily be adopted by each one of us. So next time we wash up, clear a room, fulfil a chore, if we do it with love rather than begrudgingly then it has the potential to convert a soul, be transformational for them, and for us as well I’m not necessarily recommending the podcast “Nomad”. I suspect you have to cherry pick the different episodes, but if you are going on a long journey and you wish to be transported into a place of reflection then it is worth trying.