One of the most enduring pieces of wisdom from St. Therese of Lisieux.
St. Therese of Lisieux, a holy Carmelite nun of the 19th century, was a strong champion of this idea of offering little sacrifices to God. It started during her childhood, but remained a central part of her spirituality throughout her short life.
Writing in her autobiography, Story of a Soul, Therese found a letter from her deceased mother that illustrated a strong desire to make sacrifices during her childhood.
Even Therese is anxious to make sacrifices. Marie has given her little sisters a string of beads on purpose to count their acts of self-denial … it is more amusing still to see Therese put her hand in her pocket, time after time, to pull a bead along the string, whenever she makes a little sacrifice.
Thus was born the custom of having “sacrifice beads” to keep track of the sacrifices that one makes each day. While it may seem strange to keep a tally such as this, it is a powerful reminder throughout the day and helps us assess our spiritual life. Before retiring for bed, we can look at our sacrifice beads and see how we did and how much we need to improve. Making little sacrifices each and every day is a powerful way to grow in holiness.
Another way to put it is “baby steps,” making little steps along the road that will lead to greater acts of love in the future.
Therese wrote, “I must stir up in my heart fresh transports of love and fill it anew with flowers. So, each day I made a number of little sacrifices and acts of love, which were to be changed into so many flowers: now violets, another time roses, then cornflowers, daisies, or forget-me-nots—in a word, all nature’s blossoms were to form in me a cradle for the Holy Child.”
Each little sacrifice we make will add up in the end and make our heart a perfect place for Jesus to lay his head.
Support Aleteia takes a minute
If you’re reading this article, it’s precisely thanks to your generosity and to that of many other people like you that make possible the evangelization project of Aleteia. Here some numbers:
- 20 million of users around the world read Aleteia.org every month.
- Aleteia is published daily in eight languages: French, English, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Slovenian.
- Each month, our readers view more than 50 million pages.
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia’s social media pages.
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos.
- All of this work is carried out by 60 people working full-time and approximately 400 other collaborators (writers, journalists, translators, photographers…).
As you can imagine, behind these numbers there is a big effort. We need your support so we can keep offering this service of evangelization to everyone, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
Support Aleteia from as little as $1 – and only takes a minute. Thank you!