“[Jesus] showed me the book of nature, and I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be enameled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, which is the garden of Jesus. He has been pleased to create great saints who may be compared to the lily and the rose, but He has also created lesser ones, who must be content to be daisies or simple violets flowering at His feet, and whose mission it is to gladden His divine eyes when he deigns to look down on them.”
She writes that her autobiography is “the story of the Little Flower gathered by Jesus.”
Therese thought she was only a little flower, yet she was greater than she realized. Just 27 years after her death she would be canonized a saint. John Paul the Great would name her a Doctor of the Church (the third, female Doctor, after Catherine of Sienna and Teresa of Avila.) Pope Pius XI even called her, “The greatest saint of modern times.” Such was the greatness of her life, her words, and her friendship with God. And yet, Therese didn’t realize her greatness while she lived.
If St. Therese, the Doctor of the Church, could so misjudge her importance in the garden of the Lord, then how easy might it be for a humble, daily, Mass-goer to under-appraise his or her significance in the eyes of God too?