This Week's Reflection


This Week's Reflection

This week I have been discovering something of the story of Saint Teresa of Lisieux and it is her picture that you see here. She was born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin in France in 1873 and is popularly known in English as "The Little Flower of Jesus", or simply "The Little Flower". She is the patron saint of small things, florists and mission.

Her mother died when she was 4 years old and she grew up with a very deep spirituality, so much so that as a teenager she decided she wanted to be a nun and joined a group of contemplative nuns living sheltered from the world. She spent her time praying, serving and writing from inside those walls.

Like many of her generation, her life was short. She died aged just 24 after contracting tuberculosis. There is nothing particularly extraordinary about her life, except the remarkable way that she responded to the news that she was dying. When she knew she would not recover, she decided she would live her life with limitless love: what she called “the little way”.

She said: “love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden for me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”

She was made a saint in 1923 because of the impact of the writings she left about living love. Her moto was “to do small things with great love.”

I came across her story this week as I was reading a reflection on the little thing things we do and how central they are to being the people God’s calls us to be. Last week I spoke about the friendship between Jesus and Simon Peter, and how Simon had let Jesus down by denying he knew him and how Jesus had shown that friendship can go beyond such potential breakdown. One of the things that Jesus asks Simon Peter to do when the friendship is being restored is “feed my sheep”. Jesus is asking Simon Peter to carry on the work that he has started. I imagine Simon Peter wondered if he could trust himself to do what Jesus was asking him to do. I imagine he wondered where to start. Reflecting on this and the story of St. Teresa of Lisieux I am reminded that sometimes, or even often, it is the small things that we can do that can make a difference. We might wonder what we can do to support creation in the crisis we are in, we may wonder how we can make peace or bring justice in our world, but there will be small things each of us can do. Take a little time this week to think about the small things you do and the small things you could do and give thanks that in the small we can be serving God in the world and making a difference.

Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by everything that needs doing, but the small things can make all the difference and all of us can do something.

May you know that God loves you when you do small things and may you do small things with great love this week.


I’m away this week with a group of minister so see you in 2 weeks’ time.


Rev. Anne Sardeson.