If worldliness is summer of life, Spirituality is an experience of springtime in life. Little Flower is the ambassador of Spirituality formed out of the greenness of nature. World is a story book which contains only the history of victory, of being big and becoming big. With the green ink of nature, The Little Flower, which bloomed in the nature, wrote a history of victory by being little, becoming little and being with the little. Advertisements tempt people to search for the advertised thing. Created nature is an advertisement of the Creator. In other words, nature is a bundle of advertisements which lead the people into the maker of the nature. St. Therese was a little flower who was fascinated by the advertisements in the nature which led her to the Creator. For her, world was an altar of God-experience.
St. Therese formed a spirituality of littleness in this world of race and chase by imbibing lessons from the nature. She observed the flowers in the garden so keenly. And she found that creator has created every flower creatively and beautifully. The beauty of rose flower and the freshness of lilly flower do not hide the simplicity of daisy flower. If the little flowers desire to be roses, the paddy fields will lose its natural rhythm and beauty. The lesson she learned from the garden is that the beauty of the world finds its perfection in the diversity/differences and each flower has its own significance in making the beauty of the world perfect. It is from this conviction that she formed the spirituality of simplicity, the crest of her spirituality. Do I dare to be small to be filled?
It is by seeing an uprooted flower plant that she dove in to the depth of her vocation and found her real location. When Therese shared with her father her desire to join in the convent, her father silently uprooted a small flower plant and handed it over to her. It is that uprooted plant which told her that she is also a little plant which is uprooted from Lebeusone (her family) to be planted in the garden of Carmel to blossom Little Flowers of sanctity for Christ. Religious life and married life must be an experience of getting uprooted from the garden of being to the garden of becoming to produce hundred percentage harvests.
Even the lecture of God’s providence was provided to her by the nature. When she was sick, she went with Agnes for an evening walk and saw a hen holding its chicks under its wings and she could not hold the tears by seeing the act of holding. As an answer to Agnes’s question about tears, she told –‘as told in the Gospel, Jesus held me under His wings of providence every moment of life’. What was flowing out of her eyes through the cheeks was not tears but drops of gratitude. Mother Earth beckons us to grow from hen to the heavenly father and to experience His providence under His wings of safety.
It was from the nature that she realised the uncountness of blessings that she received in her life. The observation of a fruitful paddy field ended in the result of realising the unbearable blessings she received from the Lord. Do we open our eyes to see the truth that each falling rain drop forms a sea of God’s blessings in our life?
Every flower bud in the world has a story to tell us about the Creator. The only thing is that we have to be vigilant in reading it from the nature like St. Therese did. When Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man with mud, He was pointing to the wonders of the nature. Let us transform our sights into insights, insights into experiences and experiences into vision. St. Therese has opened before us a book of spiritual fulfilment with the green ink of nature. Let us read it and add chapters of greenness of goodness.
The First Embrace of Jesus
How sweet was the first embrace of Jesus! It was indeed an embrace of love. I felt that I was loved, and I said: “I love Thee, and I give myself to Thee forever.” Jesus asked nothing of me, and claimed no sacrifice; for a long time He and little Therese had known and understood one another. That day our meeting was more than simple recognition, it was perfect union. We were no longer two. Therese had disappeared like a drop of water lost in the immensity of the ocean; Jesus alone remained–He was the Master, the King!
(St. Little Flower about her first communion)