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Perfect Abandonment

“So I, though least of all
Seek my Beloved One.
King Whom I love the most!
The star I always see
Is Thy White Sacred Host.
Little and low like me;
And its celestial power,
Down from Thine altar sent,
Wakes in my heart that flower –
Perfect abandonment.”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
(A stanza from her poem “Abandonment”)

 

St. Thérèse uses beautiful and naturalistic imagery to describe her yearning for God, for Jesus Christ, and His love. How wonderful it would be for us all to constantly experience that same yearning, that longing that leads us to humble and abandon ourselves completely to the Lord. 

St. Thérèse is well known for believing herself to be such a “little” and “simple” soul and in this poem, she even compares herself to a little and insignificant flower seeking the warmth of the sun. This is a beautiful image to meditate on because all flowers need three things to bloom into wonder: soil, rich in nutrients for its roots to grow and become strong; water, and of course, sunlight and the warmth it provides. How similar we are to flowers! We are in need of the Trinity. In need of rooting our lives in God, so that we can grow to become His strong children. In need of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our everyday life. And we are in need of the light of the Son, Jesus Christ, and the warmth of His love for each and every one of us. Do we seek our Beloved One as a flower seeks the sun? A flower cannot live without the sun, neither can we, without our Beloved One.

One amazing aspect of this poem is that St. Thérèse captures the humility in which God presents Himself here on earth, in just a small little white host. In writing “Little and low like me”, St. Thérèse recognized that Jesus Christ completely abandoned Himself to us, to be like us so that we can relate to Him and follow His example. Are we capable of abandoning ourselves to Him? The answer is (obviously) yes! But maybe at this moment, you find yourself incapable of doing so or you are trying and find it difficult, or you believe yourself “unworthy”. These may all seem like obstacles in your attempt to abandon yourself completely to God, but there is nothing that can stop you from praying this simple prayer every day regardless of how you feel:

“My Beloved One, encourage me to seek you every day as a flower seeks the sun. My Beloved One, every day wake in my heart that flower, perfect abandonment.” 

  -written by Valentina Fajardo, Keewatin Le-Pas Team

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